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Raid in France 2020 Called Off

Press Release / 14.10.2019

There will be no Raid in France for 2020.  Contrary as to what was previously announced the racd has now taken the decision not to organize the event in June 2020. Pascal Bahuaud, Raid in France Race Director, explains why in the interview below.

Raid in France has announced the venue for 2020 and the calendar of national adventure races has been modified in accordance, so why is the race cancelled?

Pascal Bahuaud: First of all, I would like to apologize for the inconvenience caused to those who have been affected by this decision: the adventure racing section part of the French triathlon Federation who changed their venue date to October 2020 and the Absolu Raid organizers who gave Raid in France their venue date.

Two reasons are essentially responsible for the choice we have made. First of all, the difficulties encountered in coming to an arrangement with the partners and institutions needed for the event, especially regarding local elections in view next springtime. The second and main reason concerns the security on the terrain for both the competitors and volunteers.

What exactly is the security risk?

When deciding to do a Raid in France in the northern Alps, the original period was to be September 2020. But as the ARWC 2020 was planned for the same month, it was necessary for us to change to June in order to unite national and international teams.

But as time as the route was planned, I have felt this decision risky in high mountain terrain due to the snow which could still be present. I really thought we could make it work, but, to be honest, it feels like taking a potential risk. If the winter 2019/20 is hard, it could put both racers and volunteers at risk. The majority of the planned routes being above 2000 meters could be impraticable. With these factors in mind, I feel that it is best to cancel. I know that this decision will be criticized. We sincerely regret this decision, however, it seems to be the safest one.

Is this the end of Raid in France?

Absolutely not and definitely not in these circumstances. We aim to organize a leg of the adventure racing world series in 2021 and another one in 2022. Our ambition is to organize 2 successive “back to nature”  Raid in France, spirit which our racer’s appreciate. One in high mountain terrain and another probably in the Grand Aquitaine region. The  perspective of  taking the time and energy necessary is very motivating.  We feel like it is the correct thing to do and feel very enthousiastic about   it. I hope that the big raid family – racers, volunteers, organizers, partners – will continue to have confidence in us.
Any other projects?

Yes, we would like to finish in 2023 or 2024 with a world event but we can’t say more for the moment!

And after that?

After La Reunion ARWC 2018, we didn’t really know what would happen with Raid in France. It was a passionate and challenging experience but which took up much more of my personal and family life than I could ever imagine. I needed time to find back the energy and envy. The pressure has been very intense from all sides.

Finally, we took the decision to start again as we were not satisfied of the way things ended: We definitively quit ? We keep going? We pause for a while ? Things were clear for no one. We thus decided a come back ... to leave in better conditions.

Coming back to allow Raid in France to stay alive. Taking three to four years to prepare and organise our retreat. The three legs mentioned above will be with the idea of transmitting the “know how” and RIF spirit to a motivated and competent team.

We believe that certain people may be interested: racers who are at the end of their career, organizers, volunteers and more than likely those we haven’t even imagined. The challenge will not be easy, however it’s very challenging for us and we hope to succeed.

It’s now time for us for 3 new races we are imagining... and wish everyone a great end to the season.

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