With the infamous Enduropale du Touquet - Le Touquet Beach Race - marking the seventh and final round of the CFS: Championnat de France des Sables, all eyes were on defending champion Nathan Watson to see if he could repeat his 2019 history-making result.
Watson made a good start to the race and was fighting through the field from around 12th position in the early stages of the three-hour event. Unfortunately, having been a little too keen to get his race started, the British-ace was penalized with a 60-second stop-and-go penalty and had to battle hard to ultimately claim third against a 1,200-rider strong field, which was enough to secure the title.
Watson won half of the rounds raced in the ultra-competitive winter beach race series (round three of the championship was canceled) with a podium finish at every event aboard his KTM 450 SX-F. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider’s incredible consistency earned him his second consecutive French Beach Race championship title, which is no mean feat in some of the toughest conditions for both man and machine.
Nathan Watson: “It’s been a hard season, but to come away with back-to-back French Beach Race titles is amazing. It’s a credit to the team, they worked so hard to get this result. It’s me out on the track but it really is a team effort, for sure. Naturally, I wanted to win the championship with victory here today, but the cards didn’t fall my way. Between the nature of the track and then the stop-and-go penalty, things were against me. I felt like the track was maybe too fast for me and I needed more corners to slow the early pace down. I hold my hands up about the start, I simply got my timing a little wrong with the bungy being released. I went a little too early. One minute was a tough penalty, especially as I never gained anything and exited the first corner in 12th. But it is what it is. Overall, I’m pleased with the season as a whole. I think that myself and Camille showed we’re two of the strongest guys out there and our bikes never missed a beat. Thanks to KTM and the team, we’ll celebrate this title for sure!”
Fabio Farioli - KTM Enduro Team Manager: “We are really happy to have taken a second consecutive French Beach Race Championship title. Nathan enjoyed great results throughout the series and he had a very mature approach; he pushed when it made sense and also remained consistent to reach the podium at every event. Of course, our goal at the Enduropale du Touquet was to fight for the victory and while we didn’t quite achieve that, Nathan had a good race to secure the title with Camille just missing the podium in fourth. We once again learned a lot and we will aim to come back stronger next year to fight for the top of the podium. Overall we are happy – our riders enjoyed strong performances aboard the KTM 450 SX-F throughout the series and to earn the French Beach Race Championship title again is something we are proud of. The series is growing in interest with a lot of spectators and riders taking part and it is something we are happy to be part of.”