The 25th Corsica Raid – Ready to Race Around The Scented Isle
The 25th Corsica Raid is about to start, and though it can’t quite be the celebratory race they’d hoped for, it’s a tribute to the race organisation that they’ve managed to stage the race in the current conditions.
The race this year has been limited to 15 teams, cut down from an entry of over 50 for the original and traditional date in May. Yann Bicaïs told us: “The decision was taken in April to select only fifteen teams as the organizers wanted the best chance to be able to calmly manage Corsica Raid Aventure in this very special year 2020. And to get there, only a very small number of teams could be accepted.”
Today’s preparations at the San Damiano campsite in Biguglia are a little different to normal and are all being carefully managed by race staff wearing face masks in the race colours. The day began with taking temperatures and declarations that no one had any symptoms, and the staff moved around to each team to carry out detailed gear checks in the open air, rather than having everyone gathered in one place. They also checked each and every item of food and drink was numbered, in order to identify any potential litter. The race takes eco-responsibility very seriously, and any waste they have is recycled.
So, despite some travel restrictions the race has teams from 8 different nations and the visitors just outnumber the French teams. There are teams from Germany, Italy (x2), Croatia, Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Slovenia, and there is one Corsican team who will be on the start line.
We don’t know much about the teams, but they are split into categories for pairs or teams of 4, and each team can have either one or two assistants. Some can also have reserves to swap in and out and one thing anyone new to this race always says is: “It’s complicated!” Aside from the different team line ups the race has daily stages, with multiple maps (over 30 this year), and lots of transitions and disciplines. We’ve also just found out the stages have been switched around due to the weather forecast, and will now be in the following order; 3,4,5,1,2,6. You have to go with the flow at Corsica Raid.
The course is around 300km and will include 5 day and one night stage, with 3 campsites used for the race overnight stops. There will be 200 checkpoints and 10 different disciplines including canyoning, rope stages and coasteering, and there is always a high mountain stage. Corsica has so much to offer the race is really spoilt for choice and always packs in lots of different racing experiences.
With its Mediterranean coastline and climate racers can expect some pleasant temperatures and ocean stages with crystal clear blue-green waters, but the mountains are never far away, and temperatures there can drop quickly.
The race starts on Sunday 6th and the first day is now the high mountain stage, so teams will transfer tonight to the Camping De Tuani in the Vizzavona Forest ready for the start at 08.00 in the morning.
You can follow the race on the event Facebook and Instagram pages and we’ll have reports and news each day here and on our Facebook page.