Day Three – Villars Collmars to Guillaumes
Here is a round up of everything that went down on day three of the Trans-Provence. The top riders haven’t moved, with Jerome Clementz, Nicolas Lau and Fabien Barel still top three. Although it’s not all about the racing, with breathtaking scenery and amazing riding on offer, the Trans-Provence looks like one hell of an adventure!
Day Three brought with it plenty of good bits, being dubbed as an ‘amusement park’, riders were treated to some spectacular riding, with just a brutal climb thrown in now and again for good measure.
The first stage was a mix-up of the classic Trans-Provence with a few added extras. Riders were uplifted to Col Du Champs (2100m) before riding through high alpine pasture moving on to the first timed stage.
The next section was a combination of green woodland, dropping steeply along the side of a mountain with a mixture of wet roots and rocks, providing a challenging ride before coming out onto a large bridge. Between stages nine and ten riders had to avoid ball bearing shaped rocks before getting into a dry tinder forest and dropping down onto the road and then tackling a winding climb back up to 1400m.
Special stage ten was similar in many ways to nine, with dark forests and loamy trails with the addition of complex ‘jigsaw puzzles’ to negotiate, but also giving riders chance to gain speed with long straights. Riders then stopped at a feed station before taking on the legendary ‘Grey Earth,’ aptly named and also known as the ‘slippiest yet grippiest’ trail in the world!
Once out of the top section good luck trying to pick a go-faster line. The trail then opens on to the side of a huge mountain that looks like a frozen grey sand dune. If you’re having a good day you can ride it with very little braking, hitting natural jumps along the way and hitting some of the fastest speeds of the week.
Gaining access to special stage 12 required hard work, grit and determination, from the bottom of a wooded trail, riders had to push or carry their bike for around 45 minutes before reaching the top, taking them onto the final stage of the day.
The final stage took riders down some steep terrain with rutted corners to act as mini-berms, which allowed them to keep speed down the trail. Once riders cleared woodland and a field it brought them to the original start of the stage used in previous years. With something of everything thrown into this final stage, riders found themselves taking on roots, rocky switchbacks, short brutal climbs and the occasional rock garden, all on one trail – putting all the best that mountain biking has to offer in one neat package to finish the day.
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It looks like there are changes planned for day four, with organisers keeping pretty quiet!
It is a new and exciting day for Mavic® Trans-Provence 2013. We can’t say too much until then. Except we know you’re going to enjoy the coverage and it may come as a surprise to regular followers of Mavic® Trans-Provence.