Speeding along the shore of the English Channel Story and photos by Anthony Brebant

The staging area reminds us of the heydays of events like the Adelanto Grand Prix in California. If someone in the U.S. would put on an event like this, we would be one of the first to sign up.

France’s Le Touquet beach race is the country’s most famous and one of the oldest ATV events. Hundreds of racers and tens of thousands of fans descend on the seaside village for the action three hours from Paris. The race is part of the French sand series. An eight-mile track is laid out with three-mile straightaways, huge bowl turns, walls of sand, tunnels and more to test the riders. This year young rider and 2020 winner Randy Naveaux battled the veterans, six-time winners Romain Couprie and Jeremy Warnia. 

Sand is brutal on equipment. 2019 winner Matthieu Ternynck suffered an engine failure this year on lap four.
the event. With that many riders, the smooth, flat beach sand quickly turned into a whooped-out circuit after lap two.
Racers are allowed to run paddles. They choose a small ribbed paddle that provides floatation, hooks up well and still allows you to turn the quad in the corners.
As you can see, the whoops develop quickly. The key is to keep your machine and body from failing early. For this rookie rider Romain Colleatte, it was his quad that had an electrical issue taking him out on the last lap.

The race is long enough to force riders to take one pit stop at the halfway point for more fuel and a fresh set of goggles. In the end, the three favorites kept their machines going, and all finished on the podium. It was a battle of attrition, as many of their stronger competitors had mechanical issues. 

Fourth-place finisher Benoit Beroudiaux is shown battling through the pack after a bad start. The wide course had lots of room for passing.
An estimated 30,000 spectators were on hand to watch the event, which features quads and dirt bikes, and historically takes place in February.

Davino Bruneel took the French championship after an eighth-place finish at Le Touquet, with Keveen Rochereau a close second. Emilie Bourgeois was the women’s Le Touquet winner.

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