Yesterday saw the start of Mavic Trans-Provence in France. Now in its fourth year, Mavic Trans-Provence is one of the few multiday point-to-point MTB races in the world.
The race route starts in the beautiful Durance Valley and ends up at Alp Beach in Monaco but only after seven days of gruelling singletrack action that tests the endurance of even the most complete MTB rider.
Riders compete against each other over three “Special Stages” over the seven days of the race with the rider that accumulates the lowest total time from the all the Special Stages being declared the winner.
We’ll be having daily updates and video from Trans-Provence, starting with a report on Day 1 below, which took place on Sunday.
Seventy riders signed on to take the start when Trans-Provence got under way at Rochebrune at 8.30am on Sunday morning.
Day 1 would take the riders from Rochebrune to Clamensane with 45km of riding in total over three Special Stages for the day.
As you’d expect with Mavic Trans-Provence, there was nothing relaxing about the terrain when the riders started on Stage 1.
After moving out of the starting valley, riders were quickly greeted with the legendary first climb to Special Stage 1. The climb, an innocuous enough fire road, gains height steadily with 600 metres of height gain that tops out at around the 2000 metre mark.
Stage 1 has been modified from last year and has been shortened. This means riders no longer have to do a lung busting carry or push up on part of the climb but they still start on a slightly uphill singletrack before plunging in to a leaf and wood littered shoot that starts steeply and only continues to steepen.
There is a brand new Special Stage 2 for 2012. It starts with steep switchbacks and ends in singletrack that then criss-crosses a stream. There were a number of crashes on Stage 2 including Geoff Kabush, who used his face as a rudimentary brake!
Special Stage 3 saw the riders start on open woodland singletrack, which then gave way to more leaf filled gullies. Riders had to drive steeply down the side of the mountain in increasingly tightening switchbacks before firing out over a muddy stream.
At the end of Day 1, last year’s winner, France’s Jérôme Clementz, was leading with a combined time of 21.19 from the first three Special Stages. Nicolas Lau is second and only 14 seconds back. Nicolas Vouilloz is third with a time of 20 seconds back on Clementz’s. The leading female rider is Caroline-Ann Chausson on 25.38.
Full results from Day 1