Embrun to Les Thuiles
After all the usual travel adventures getting to Nice it's time for the real adventure to begin - the 2017 Mavic Trans-Provence. Delayed bags, crushed or lost axles, and just the normal bad luck of modern day air travel aren't enough to dampen spirits by the time racers arrive at Camp Zero at Embrun to greet old friends or for the first timers to hear the war stories of the old timers.
So Day 1 dawns and two big hike-a-bikes take us to the highest point of the race - the Col d'Orres at 2611m above sea level. Stage 1 was a loose affair - straight off the saddle into an off-camber scree slope high alpine descent. Not your typical TP stage - but a great welcome and wake up to the event.
After the stage a quick traverse across the alpine stage 2 was more typical fare - flowy woods trails with more than it's fair share of tight corners to grab your attention and the brakes. Stage 3 was what the Brits would call nadgerry - switchbacks that would end in up hills just as you were looking down for the trail. After some massive exposure three of the tightest switchbacks dropped you to a river crossing and long sprint into the waiting arms of the Mountain Staff.
A brutal 25 minute push of a climb up to stage 4 and it was time for another almost non-TP like fast flowy trail with some man-made features and jumps brought us down to the Ubaye valley and comfort of camp to share new stories over a beer.
Follow the results for Santa Cruz's Max Schumann, Jamie Nicoll, Shane Kroeger, Conrad Murdoch, and Seb Kemp along with Juliana-SRAM pro team's Anka Martin on the Trans-Provence site and then check back here for more from the team!