Lee Trumpore is best known for his work as a photographer with Vital MTB, but this weeked he's swapping his camera for a race plate, as he makes his EWS debut at the first round of the European Enduro Series in Spain. We caught up with him ahead of the Enduro Salines race in Massanet de Cabrenys in Catalonia to see how he's feeling ahead of the event.
Lee is a familiar sight at the EWS races, but this will be the first time he attends as a racer rather than a media squid
People know you as a Vital MTB photographer, but you have a race background as well don’t you?
I do, and I actually got into photography as a way to get back to the races after a few years away. I rode downhill fairly seriously for about 15 years but that feels like ages ago now, totally a different era as far as the bikes and speeds are concerned. I think I raced my last World Cup in 2007, so it's definitely been a while.
Lee is no stranger to racing as a former DH World Cup competitor
What made you decide to do the first round of the European Series?
Turning 40 this year I decided I'd try to race the EWS in Madeira as sort of a birthday present to myself, and originally I thought this would make for a good chance to shake the cobwebs out and have a go at it a few weeks earlier. That was before the competitive side of me decided to train a bit harder over the winter, so the plan now is to have a proper go at it. My goals for the season are to get enough points to qualify for the EWS, so while I'd love to think I could pull off a top five and check that box, I honestly have no idea how I stack up against the other Masters racers. First priority is to just have fun riding my bike, treat this as a learning experience, and go from there.
Are you nervous about being between the tapes rather than behind them with your camera?
I wouldn't say I'm nervous, but this is the first time I'm racing where I feel like other people are paying at least some attention, even if only because of my media credentials. I'm even doing pre-event interviews, that definitely has never happened before. For this first race I'm just curious to see where I stack up, if I'm still competitive with the fast guys or not. So yeah, maybe a little nervous.
Lee and son Jackson chlling in the pits at the EWS in Aspen Snowmass
Will you be doing any other races in the European Series?
I was going to try to do the entire series, but then I was quick to the draw and managed to get entry to all the EWS rounds in Europe this season. With a young family and other work commitments there's no way I can do both series so this will probably be the only one.
You’ve signed up to race the EWS100 in Madeira - will we see you on a few more start lines this season?!
Yes! I'm going to be at the EWS rounds in Italy, France, and Switzerland. Whether the plate on my bike says 'Media' or has a race number on it may change, but right now I'm planning to go racing.
The first round of the EWS European Series takes place in Spain on April 28, full details can be found here