Arriving at Nice airport it was easy to find our assembly point. With bikes everywhere being put together and riders eagerly awaiting their shuttle north to Camp Zero. Among the crowd there were some familiar returning faces from the previous year and many new faces that were all excited for the adventure that lay ahead. Each year the route changes to keep things fresh and interesting at Trans-Provence. This year the route was one of the toughest but best yet! The route was 270km in length with 9000 meters of climbing and 17,000 meters descending (that's 17 vertical kilometres, or nearly 56,000 feet) over 24 stages and 6 days of racing. The key to a good week is pacing yourself, ride smooth and enjoy the adventure!Riders arrive at Nice airport from all over the globe, bikes are assembled and put on the trailers ready for the journey north to camp Zero where the route begins.
Day 1 kicked off with a gentle climb and un-timed descent into the next valley, unfortunately it wasn't able to be used as a race stage but I think everyone was ok that this descent wasn't on the clock. It was a good insight to how steep and technical the riding ahead of us can be. The view at the top was phenomenal.Riders navigate their way across this shale hillside between stages.The terrain you encounter along the route can be rugged at times. I think this was probably the only part Tracy Moseley didn't attempt to ride all week!Lunch break and a chance to take in our surroundings.The riding in Trans Provence is raw, there's no safety nets or fluffy pillows to land on, you've always got to keep your wits about you. This was a cool section of trail under an overhang along the cliffs edge. Don't look down….This was the start of Day 3. Riders make their way across the meadows to the first stage of the day from the shuttle drop.The dingo aka Dylan leads Claire Buchard through the grassy meadowsRed sky at night, Shepherds delight and another hot day pedalling in the sun for us.Day 4, the final stage of the day was a monster with almost 1000 meters of descending. Riders share stories of their adrenaline filled runs, mechanicals and close calls
.Riders utilizing all hours of the day to prepare their kit for the following day.Day 4 we descended into this small town. This small bar was open ready to serve riders as they came through. It wasn't long until there was no beer left...The legendary Scott Chapinator from the Santa Cruz factory aka switchback artist awakes from his slumber ready for a new dayIt's pretty exciting when you get your first glimpse of the Mediterranean ahead, a sign that the end is near.Some riders were well prepared and carried beach attire with them on the last day for when they reached the Med. Others just didn't care and chose to stay in their shammy, but everyone enjoyed a well deserved post race swim and a few cold brews that were waiting at the finish.
If you're in search of an adventure holiday in 2016, TP will not disappoint!