Thursday, April 07, 2011

2011 Fontainebleu Report - Full Story

The Grand Parquet, an exceptional venue located at the border of the big nationall forest of Fontainebleau. Not too far from Paris, just 50 km or so to the South. So it's easy for the riders coming from the south but also from the north (especially the Belgians) who can avoid crossing Paris and its horrible traffic jam.

A stadium, several (maybe a dozen) sand arenas (I didn't make count them), a direct access to the forest, a restaurant and a bar, permanent stables... So everything was there in place for a good event.

The organizers have designed a nice course with four different loops with enough variety. Several kind of forests were crossed: pines and leave trees. One especially scenic with huge eroded rocks covered with moss, looking a bit like some places of the Lord of the Rings. The last loop was a bit technical with several (small) hills, but no big deal as the leaders covered it at more than 20 km/h.

At the start of the CEI** there were several very talented (or promising) horses ridden by professional riders (the one living from their sport) like Laurent Mosti, Virginie Atger, Sabrina Arnold ou Jean-Philippe Frances...

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