Trans-Provence Organizer Announces New, More Remote Backcountry Race in Italy & France

Nov 16, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  

It's been more than two years since the last-ever Trans-Provence, but rather than hang up his hat and rest on the memory of what was, Trans-Provence founder and organizer Ash Smith has announced a new venture: an even wilder race that will span four distinct regions in Italy and France from the high mountains to the Mediterranean. The first Stone King Rally will have riders cross the main watershed of the Alps twice over six days of racing and 24 timed stages in what's billed as the evolution of backcountry enduro racing.

SCB Heckler MX Rally of the Stone King Ash Smith Anka Martin

The event will take cues from Trans-Provence, but Smith says the philosophy behind the trails has changed: "Trans-Provence was a project of direct approach, collating the most readily-available worthy trails into a sequence," Smith wrote. Stone King, however, will go deeper. Smith aims to "trace human footsteps as far as they ever went" to make the most of the mountains and truly experience the terrain as thoroughly as possible. After about two years of scouting, since the autumn after the final Trans-Provence, Smith has worked to link together sections of ancient foot trails with new, purpose-built connective sections, all to create massive, untamed descents.

Alongside the riding itself, Stone King Rally will emphasize storytelling around each region's cultural heritage and understanding the human connection with the thousands of years of history in each of the areas ridden.

Mt Torragio - Stone King with Ash Smith

- Countries: 2 (~75% of the route in Italy, ~25% in France)
- Riders: 100
- Days: 6
- Timed Stages: 24
- Distance (on-bike): 269km
- Ascent (on-bike): 8014m
- Descent (on-bike): 20297m

Santa Cruz Bicycles will be the event's title sponsor, with support also from SRAM, Fox Racing, Suunto, and Komoot.

The race is scheduled for June 28 to July 3, 2022. Registration is limited to 100 riders and will open November 30, 2021. More information is available at and on Instagram at @stonekingrally.

SCB Heckler MX Rally of the Stone King Ash Smith Anka Martin


  • 19 0
 I think my hands cramped up just reading that. Looks like an bucket list event.
  • 7 1
 What's up with the Monster Ski background today that goes to a dead outside link? Is it a paywall I'm missing? Is this the end of bike ads?
  • 5 1
 The TP was the best adventure with the best group of people, that looks even more amazing. I can feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up just imagining riding those trails. For all who are lucky enough to get a place, your in for one heck of a wild time!
  • 5 0
 Damn, Same time as Trans BC in 2022
  • 4 0
 For the price of the registration, you can buy a new bike!
  • 23 0
 Keep your current bike, and do this race. The memories will outweigh a new bike !
  • 1 0
 I did similarly expensive ‘holiday’ a couple years ago and was a little apprehensive due to the cost but I’d been invited so seemed rude not to go for it! (Ben Jones/endless trails Lake to lake for those Intrested) Without question the most incredible week of riding ever! And I normally spend 5/6 weeks a year traveling around the alps so don’t judge it out of hand. Looks incredible! Bravo Ash, Malissa and the team.
  • 4 1
 Not really. The bike that you can buy for that price is certainly not in the same league as a Trans-Provence/ Stone King, or anything else that Ash's imagination, determination and planning has come up with, level of experience.
2016 Trans-Provence was the best post ACL surgery present that a mountain biker could give themselves for both rehab motivation and a reward.
  • 1 0
 Yess! I literally discovered the Trans Provence in the article announcing that 2019 would be its last year. So glad it's back. Won't be able to do it in 2022, but it's moved near the top of my bucket list.
  • 2 0
 Is there an old, fat, too old to race master blaster version someone can guide me on. Looks fun, just need to ride within my limits and don't need to slow the others down.
  • 7 1
 There'll be a Ride version as well, which is the non racing edition a little bit later during the summer. And dude, Trans Provence was in deed as much a mental game as a physical game. Multiple of us, who's done it more than once, are filled with defects. Rare bone deceases with a crooked skeleton, heart issues, massive skin burns, too many kilos etc. And I've seen a Special Air Service soldier withdrawal because it was just mentally too much! So don't necessarily judge yourself out. Live the dream, keep the flame burning!
  • 4 0
 @kristianskjodt: I could not agree with you more Kristian. One thing I will add, what ever you thing it’s going to be, I won’t be. Not better or worst just very different. One quote I liked was “you start the week thinking your going to win, by the end of the week your just happy to have completed it” and it’s still the best thing I’ve done on a bike.
  • 2 0
 Looks so rad! Fingers crossed for a spot!
  • 1 0
 Finally! I've been waiting for that one to come. Now it's all about getting a spot there!
  • 2 1
 Ahhhhh yes please!!! Missed my chance at TP years ago and always regretted it.
  • 1 0
 I'm planning to ride the TransVerdon next year, but this .... and it's even closer to Milan ... getting in the list
  • 1 0
 Just need Australia to get its shit together so I can come and go freely and international races might be a reality again
  • 1 0
 Ohh that looks like a worthy treat post graduation.
  • 1 0
 Couldn't think of anything better to do on a mountain bike!
  • 1 0
 Oh Lord... I want this!!!
  • 1 1
 the King returns!

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