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Trans-Provence Day Four Update

11:43 29th September 2011 by Billy Thackray
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Jerome Clementz takes the lead as Vouilloz rips off a mech. Steve Jones still in 9th despite a crash and tweaked ACL.

Here is the day four report from what is transpiring to be one hell of a physical race.

Day four .

• start: Villars-Colmars (1180m)
• trailhead: Col des Champs (2080m)
• finish: Guillaumes (793m)
• riding distance: 41.49 km
• on-bike height gain: 965m
• on-bike height drop: 2434m

Many regular Trans-Provencers think that day four is the finest over all day of the weeks riding – starting with the huge decent from Col des Champs and including the unique Grey earth stage, if these two trails were all that you rode in a day , you’d consider it a fine days riding, but with two other exceptional trails included it really is a special day in the big Mountains

Special stage 11 is Col Des Champs then. This is a real test of riding – individually each of the many sections would be challenging but taken together it takes a strong technical rider , who can also onsite rock gardens and turn into the tightest switchbacks whilst ignoring the ever increasing exposure on either side of them, all of this of course is whilst the clock is ticking -it’s a fifteen minute descent for the fastest riders.

Next Special Stage 12. The liaison stage itself is something quite unique. It’s a slice of exposed rock that cuts it’s way across the side of a Mountain with vertiginous 200 metre drops below you and an amazing viewing point down across the valley and to the stages ahead.

The stage itself continues initially in the same vein as the Liaison but with the risk to life removed a little if you fall off! More open rock face switchbacks lead to the lower pine forested trails and beautifully grippy sandy corners – with dust still hanging in the air from the rider in front.

From the feed station a fun liaison stage took riders across the valley floor before the fire road climb to the start of the Grey Earth.

Trans Provence Day 4 from Trans-Provence on Vimeo.

(Apologies for the video glitches…a bit of grit got jammed in the internet pipe.)

Special Stage 13 The Grey Earth is unique to this part of the world. What looks like a combination of grey cement dust mixed in to tarmac that has then rolled down a hill like lava, has then set into long flowing ridge lines of incredibly grippy and fast rolling trail. For the riders there’s a suggested line laid out for them but the opportunity to go “off-piste ” and choose a quicker line is there for those that want it..

The final stage of the day is reached by steep bike a hike to open meadowland – before a steep switchback loam ride propels riders back to the valley floor once more and the chance to recuperate for the next day.

We haven’t mentioned racing much other than results before today .Whilst the Trans-Provence is a race it’s also just as importantly for many people taking part in a chance to ride amazing trails and to be in this beautiful part of the world.

Today however we had our first injuries and they’ve been with the fast guys. Ben cruz is out with either severely torn ligaments or a broken ankle – Steve Jones had a big crash and whilst Nico Vouilloz hasn’t hurt himself – he lost time after tearing of his rear mech.

For the people that are racing tiredness is starting to show – Seven days of racing is partly a war of attrition.Silly mistakes are having consequences that could either cost the race, the stage, or stop them from finishing the event itself.

Results

Top ten Men overall after four days .

1)Jerome Clementz 02:04:22
2) Nico Vouilloz 02:05:25
3) Mark Weir 02:05:42
4) Fabien Barel 02:07:42
5)Matt Ryan 02:10:23
6)Marc Beaumont 02:17:08
7)Rowan Sorell 02:18:55
8 ) James Richards 02:24:12
9)Steve Jones 02:25:14
10)Andreas Hestler 02:28:29

Top five Women after four days

1) Tracy Moseley 02:37:34
2) Anka Martin 02:48:56
3)Ingrid Hohermuth 02:58:01
4)Kara Bolelema 03:23:51
5)Fiona Thomson 03:59:31

  1. RHS

    ‘TELL US WHAT YOU THINK’

    I tell you what I think. Awesome is what I think!

  2. Adrian

    I want to be there !!!!!! Holy Shit! :D

  3. MiSc

    Interesting Lunchtime Question: What Tires and width?

    Tire Question and Answers would be very interesting for me. And i guess for others too ?!

  4. Luker

    Shallenging!

  5. James Russell

    LOVE IT! Got to get in this next year!!! To hell with the cost.

  6. Seb

    2hrs is surely the time for just Day 4, not for days 1 + 2 + 3 + 4…

  7. Seb

    Oh wait, they only time a few sections out of each day, I see. Suddenly not as surprising to see these DHer names at the top!

  8. billy

    Seb, 2 hrs is the total time after 4 days. Although there is a lot of time in the saddle there are only three timed downhill sections per day with each section being about 10 mins long.

  9. ddmonkey

    Entries for next year will be a bun fight and no mistake. Get in the queue!

  10. tim grant

    certainly not one you can prepare for. But fair play for all those doing the event. looks epic in the proper sense of the word.
    Get jona…..

  11. RHS

    ‘certainly not one you can prepare for.’

    Ride your bike. A lot.

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