Old School Morzine Pleney MTB: History Lesson

The infamous Morzine Pleney MTB tracks have been a point of reference for European downhill for going-on 30 years. How bonkers is that? Sometime late-nineties, the crew that shaped the mountain’s fast-and-furious original mainline track, which today is still frequented and much-loved by the world’s best racers.

Among the pioneers for the Morzine Pleney MTB tracks and the town’s fledgeling scene was a certain skier-turned-shaper called Roger — you’ll find his bar, ‘Chez Roger’, on the Rue du Bourg street in the town centre. Roger welcomes riders from across the globe and promotes the sport with unstoppable enthusiasm; race events are always on the screen, pro riders are usually hanging out with Roger after a day on the trails he helped create.

The above section from Alex Rankin and Milan Spasic’s Sprung 4 probably made its mark on a great number of people. Pleney’s mainline was and always has been a rollercoaster of g-out berms, monster hucks and suspension killing holes, but seeing Nigel Page and Rob Jarman absolutely sending it into every section, throttles wide open, no doubt helped pave the way for a generation of riders from Britain and further afield to test their mettle on the mainline.

Over the years, pretty much all of downhill’s greats have ridden the Morzine Pleney MTB tracks. Things have of course developed and dozens of ‘Pleney singletrack’ lines sprung up through the woods.

On a minor side note, most members of Misspent Summers’ crew have spent weeks and months and years of their lives in the town and on the trails. We’ve seen things change, people come and go, companies like our friends at Riders Refuge go from strength to strength.

Now, several decades after the inauguration of Morzine’s original track, built to host an Avalanche Cup DH race (we think), things are on the up once again. Roger’s is packed with pros, the Pleney trails are flowing as fast as ever, and the tracks on the Super Morzine/Avoriaz side of the valley keep getting better. On a recent sunny weekend, the likes of team Commencal’s Myriam Nicole, Santa Cruz Syndicate’s Loris Vergier, Point1Athletic’s Chris Kilmurray, the one and only Roger, and freeride legend Pierre-Edouard Ferry (PEF) could all be spotted putting in the laps. Santa Cruz has a European HQ in town, there are World Cups and Champs scheduled in Les Gets for several seasons, times are good. There is one thing that never changed though, and that’s the Pleney’s fierce speed.

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CORE TEAM:
FOUNDER-DIRECTOR: James McKnight
CO-DIRECTOR: Ben Winder
CO-DIRECTOR: Mike Rose
CO-DIRECTOR: Victor Lucas
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Chris Jones
DOOD OF DOODLES: Jon Gregory

REGULARS:
Morgane Charre: Research
Harriet Jones: Management
Sven Martin: Photography
Boris Beyer: Photography
Sebastian Schieck: Photography
John Parkin: Legendary

FRIENDS:
Ric McLaughlin, Paul Aston, Lauren Jenkins, Tom Caldwell, Chris Kilmurray, Kerstin Kauffmann, Chris Jackson, Pedro Ballin, Alan

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