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Mavic Trans-Provence: Cheating, or easy mistake?

Mavic Trans-Provence: Cheating, or easy mistake?

It was announced earlier today on the Mavic Trans-Provence Twitter that six riders were to be penalised for cutting the course during the morning of the race:

TPAccording to the website, due to the nature of the race it isn’t marshalled, so how are these alleged trail cuts being reported?

Due to the point-to-point nature of this long-distance event, we do not station marshalls at regular intervals along the route. We employ a sweeper system with one back marker for each wave of 28 riders. The back markers are highly competent riders with an in-depth knowledge of bike repair and first aid

Although rules are clearly laid out before the start of the race and all riders receive an official set of rules in the pre-event pack, how can these be upheld on an un-taped course with no marshals. Are riders deliberately taking advantage, or is it an easy mistake to make during such a tough race?

Support is clearly provided from organisers when comes to the course:


Route finding on Mavic® Trans-Provence is not complex. As such we use a minimalist approach to signposting, i.e. before key junctions, plus some repeater signs on long sections between junctions. In addition to this, competitors are be provided with substantial navigational back-up via the following means:
• an evening briefing at the end of dinner, every day

• a morning briefing at the trailhead, every day

• full stage-by-stage course description with map prints in the form of a personal booklet

• the option each evening to upload .gpx data to ones GPS unit for the following day’s stages

The same thing happened during last years race with riders taking an alternative line despite the organiser providing signs for the riders to follow. Ash Smith gave this official race director’s statement after stage five:

“On the Mavic Trans-Provence 2012 Day 5 (Thursday 27/09/2012), approximately 15 riders were accused of, and subsequently admitted to, “cutting the course” at the start of special stage 17.”

Penalties were given and the problems were addressed by organisers as to why this had occurred:

“The complex set of circumstances of which the stage start situation was comprised, and the lack of information from Trans-Provence staff sources regarding rider discussions, decisions and actions, leads Trans-Provence race director to believe that the standard three-minute course cut penalty cannot not be applied. Nevertheless, due to the fact that most riders did ride the corner in question correctly, a penalty reflecting the time gained by the offending riders was applied. The penalty given was 30 seconds.”

The riders have not yet been named, and the race organisers will be releasing a statement later on today. More news to follow.

What do you think, are riders just making an simple mistake on the course, or is it a deliberate action to save time in order to win? Let us know.



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  1. Mark

    Someone in this sport needs to man-up and actually name names for once. It’s the only sport I can think of which doesn’t actually report who has stepped out of line

  2. Mark

    GPS transponders for top 20 riders could help solve it. Then you know your route can be tracked.

  3. flymcg

    its not a case of manning up, i assume the names are being kept under wraps until a decision has been made. saves tarnishing anyones rep unnecessarily.

  4. Tim Goodwin

    “so how are these alleged trail cuts being reported?”

    There are official TP media guys on parts of the course… I should imagine Ash asked them to position themselves at certain parts that course cutting could occur.

    The TP is really a bike ride, where timing just happens to be involved.

    The organisation really just want the true spirit of enduro to be the guide for riders actions… whilst not the perfect, black and white situation you have in DH… at the same time you don’t have restrictions of a 5 inch thick rulebook and dozens of commissaires spoiling the enjoyment


  5. Clarence Seemore

    ‘Spirit of enduro’ wtf

  6. Tim

    Exactly,,,,,there is no spirit when you have cheats in the race….but this goes for some of the sports best…personally I have seen both male and female top pros ignor organisers saying “stick to the trail” minutes after a briefing. Why enter a race to ride awesome trails then cut out sections? It’s impossible for organisers to tape miles of alpine single track.

  7. Hecklerone

    When money starts to get involved there are people that will do anything for that ,it’s just evolution of the sport , not the spirit,cause there are so many brands so many sponsors and etc.,so maybe the organizers have to step it out and hire more people to make the rules stand ,it’s the natural evolution , because that talk about spirit of sport it’s good with no time and no prizes that’s the spirit do that and with amateur people and you can charge money for entrance and it will be full


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