Trans-Provence Midweek Photo Epic: Views to Behold

Jun 25, 2015
by Irmo Keizer  
As we are about to enter day 5 of the 2015 Trans-Provence, the deck of cards is far from shuffled. Nico Lau is leading with a very slim margin over Jamie Nicoll. One minute and 21 seconds with two full-on race days to go. Chris Johnston and Matti Lehikoinen remain a threat as well, being just 2 minutes and 39 seconds behind Lau. One flat tyre, a crash or any other misfortune might just change the outcome of this incredibly tight race. Tracy Moseley has a more comfortable lead of 6 minutes and 26 seconds over her closest competitor, Anka Martin, whilst Claire Buchar is very close to stealing second from Anka. Yet the Trans-Provene is not only about racing. 80 participants ride. Some race, others are here to enjoy incredible trails in stunning landscapes in vast remote areas. Often, words fail to describe the experience that is the Trans-Provence. Here's a picture recap of the past four days.

Trans-Provence mid-week Views to behold
Each rider received this custom Trans-Provence fender. May the message be clear.

Riders await the start of the first special of the second day.
  Riders await the start of the first special of the second day.

Liaisons might sometimes be more enjoyable then actual specials as the lack of timing relieves pressure.
  Liaisons might sometimes be more enjoyable than actual specials, as the lack of timing relieves pressure.

A smooth singletrail in a remote valley in France. Life s good.
  A smooth singletrail in a remote valley in France. Life's good.

The way up is a long way up.
  The way up is a long way up.

Joe Barnes bike did not turn up during the first three days. He rode the bike of yours truly on day 1 after which Nico Lau gave him his 180mm bike. On day 4 Joe was finally able to ride his own bike.
  Joe Barnes's bike did not turn up for the first three days. He rode the bike of yours truly on day 1, after which Nico Lau gave him his 180mm bike. On day 4, Joe was finally able to ride his own bike.

Trans-Provence mid-week Views to behold

Awesome trails and weather to die for but riders have been swarmed by flies for the past days. The south of France is a popular destination for these little buggers. Horseflies are among them too.
  Awesome trails and weather to die for, but riders have been swarmed by flies for the past days. The south of France is a popular destination for these little buggers. Horseflies are among them too.

Six days of early mornings hard labour but foremost incredible views. Col des Champs is one amazing place to be for sunrise.
  Six days of early mornings, hard labour but foremost, incredible views. Col des Champs is one amazing place to be for sunrise.

Photographer Gary Perkin exits a steep section of trail. Overshoot this corner and you will have a very slim chance of survival
  Photographer Gary Perkin exits a steep section of trail. Overshoot this corner and you will have a very slim chance of survival.

Never make the mistake of thinking the climb is finished. Rounding the corner these riders face another fierce uphill after hours of sustained climbing by bike and on foot.
  Never make the mistake of thinking the climb is finished. Rounding the corner, these riders face another fierce uphill after hours of sustained climbing by bike and on foot.

Ryan Walsch keeping it tight at the bottom of one of the specials during day three.
  Ryan Walsch keeping it tight at the bottom of one of the specials during day three.

This race is enjoyed by all. Joe Barnes Nico Lau and Ludo May are getting ready to drop in to the famous Grey Earth stage.
  This race is enjoyed by all. Joe Barnes, Nico Lau and Ludo May are getting ready to drop into the famous 'Grey Earth' stage.

Nico Lau started the week slightly conservative but has taken the lead over Jamie Nicolls.
  Nico Lau started the week slightly conservative but has taken the lead over Jamie Nicolls.

The event hosts many nations. Canadian Claire Buchar speed tucks down Grey Earth.
  The event hosts many nations. Canadian Claire Buchar speed tucks down Grey Earth.

Trans-Provence mid-week Views to behold

The clock reads 18.00PM. After being on the bike for over ten hours this rider is about to finish the third day of the Trans-Provence.
  The clock reads 18.00. After being on the bike for over ten hours, this rider is about to finish the third day of the Trans-Provence.

The start of day 4 meant traversing and climbing through yet another beautiful valley.
  The start of day four meant traversing and climbing through yet another beautiful valley.

Mountain staff carries out important duties all day.
  Mountain staff carry out important duties all day.

Blind riding is challenging. Who goes out first is up to the riders. There is no set starting order.
  Blind riding is challenging. Who goes out first is up to the riders. There is no set starting order.

Matti Lehikoinen has been riding fast during the TP. Although still suffering from a shoulder injury Matti battles for the podium. The fourth day saw him crash on that same shoulder yet he is able to carry on.
  Matti Lehikoinen has been riding fast during the Trans-Provence. Although still suffering from a shoulder injury, Matti battles for the podium. The fourth day saw him crash on that same shoulder yet he is able to carry on.

On the fourth day three completely new specials proved a challenge for many as fatigue kicked in. Many struggled some crashed.
  On the fourth day, three completely new specials proved a challenge for many as fatigue kicked in. Many struggled, some crashed.

Gasping for air a steep climb proves too much for this rider.
  Gasping for air, a steep climb proves too much for this rider.

This abandoned house can be found in between the first and the second special of day four. Its remains largely untouched for many years showcasing the remoteness of the area.
  This abandoned house can be found in between the first and the second special of day four. Its remains largely untouched for many years, showcasing the remoteness of the area.

The feeding station. Incredible amounts of food are conserved by participants each day.
  The feeding station. Incredible amounts of food are consumed by participants each day.

This French bartender had the day of his life. Grinning like a Cheshire cat as he sold out on all of his beers.
  This French bartender had the day of his life. Grinning like a Cheshire cat as he sold out on all of his beers.

Sam Flanagan picked up this souvenir and stashed it neatly. No word yet if Hope will be producing this convenient storage system for the masses in the near future.
  Sam Flanagan picked up this souvenir and stashed it neatly. No word yet if Hope will be producing this convenient storage system for the masses in the near future.

Tracy Moseley is very very fit and very very fast.
  Tracy Moseley is very, very fit and very, very fast.

Hard work great trails and blazing sun. This beer is deserved.
  Hard work, great trails and blazing sun. This beer is deserved.

Overall standings here.


MENTIONS: @ikeizer, @SamNeedham



Posted In:
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26 Comments

  • 35 1
 Those flies. No thanks.
  • 3 0
 Look like bees doe
  • 3 0
 Ride above 30km/h and they're gone. Same apply for Patou dogs (the ones that keep sheeps from wolves).
  • 27 2
 Rim storage device you say? specialized is probably already working on it. in fact they may even sue hope for that picture.
  • 6 0
 Pretty sure that's a scab from his elbow.
  • 2 0
 Hope to get sued?
  • 2 0
 Orangesicle: I just thru up in my mouth a bit.........
  • 8 1
 "Never make the mistake of thinking the climb is finished. Rounding the corner, these riders face another fierce uphill after hours of sustained climbing by bike and on foot." This is my nightmare. I am caught in a never-ending climb, approaching a corner and thinking I've mad it to the top. Only to see the ascend continuing, forever...
  • 1 0
 The most scary picture of hell....I think I'm starting to live realy wholesome life from now on Smile
  • 9 0
 would love to do something like that, but i'd probably need a hospital after the 1st day.
  • 4 0
 Every article like this (lots of pics w/ captions) I just want to skip all the captions and look at all the pretty pictures...then I find myself scrolling back up to read the words... 3 PB
  • 2 0
 that was supposed to be a (heart) PB...eh oh well
  • 1 0
 i thought it was a bum...
  • 2 0
 Wonderful pictures of an amazing raid. Looking forward to it every year...
Definitely want to ride this someday ...
A few weeks ago i rode the raid les Chemins du Soleil (Saillans - Gap) and thought it was crazy, but this is way more nuts.
  • 4 0
 would give anything to be good enough and lucky enough to get onto this!!
  • 4 1
 what a beautiful place to ride. great job to photographers who shot these.
  • 2 0
 These trails are just unbelievable. Hopefully I get to ride there some day.
  • 3 1
 Great pictures. : ) Everyone can touch the racing spirit. : )
  • 1 1
 Ok, maybe it's just me, but just when I was getting used to "transfers" and "stages," now they're called "liaisons" and "specials"? Enduro is blowing my mind!
  • 2 0
 Haha yes, it is whatever the organiser chooses right. Doesn't impact the riding Wink .
  • 2 1
 What an incredible race, all of these competitors are beasts!
  • 1 0
 you had me until i seen those flies! nope
  • 1 1
 Beautiful but too much of an endurance race (reminds me of XC level efforts)!
  • 4 0
 This is far from Xc racing. Specials are very technical. But yes, you do need good stamina as there is quite a bit of uphill. It adds to the experience however. A descent well earned is just that much better.
  • 1 0
 flies?
  • 1 0
 man Im jealous.

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