Trans-Provence 2019 Day 5 Video

With the sea visible for the first time yesterday, riders must be able to smell the sea breeze as the opening shuttle took them from camp in Breil-Sur-Roya to the summit of Col de Tende. 

The opening liaison would follow the former World War One front line and a series of massive mountain fortresses that guarded the French-Italian frontier over a century ago. 

A full dose of the Roya from the very top France’s most Southeastern Valley, 100% new for Trans-Provence. Insane, wild, big mountain trails, tamed just enough by TP’s indefatigable trail teams to be rendered raceable.

Stage 17 took in some classic Trans-Provence high alpine, warp speed singletrack dropping the back into Tende for the liaison to Stage 18. 

Both (wo)man and machine would be thankful for a shorter day after yesterday’s monster 61km, two-valley traverse. 

Day 5 leant heavily towards the descent, with over four and a half kilometres of descending to test how well the riders are pacing themselves through the week. 

Tracy Moseley revelled in the old school conditions, as did Steve Peat, both extending their leads to over seven minutes in the women’s and M40 category respectively.  

Romain Paulhan’s battle with Marco Osbourne heated up with the American taking back the lead now with only a single day and four stages remaining before we slip into the Mediterranean.

Trans-Provence 2019 Day 4 Video

Damn. More fantastical terrain for the last ever running of the world’s best enduro stage race, the Mavic Trans-Provence.

From TP:

Day 4 saw riders fully traverse two valleys, the Vésubie and the Bévéra, the latter housing the infamous medieval town and MTB mecca of Sospel. After starting with a pedal out of Valdeblore the day went on to involve almost 2000m ascent and 4500m. Stage 15 would stand out as the longest of the 24 special stages, with riders discovering huge rollercoaster down through the Turini Forest, this was proper Monte Carlo rally country from evergreen Alpine woodland, to Mediterranean scrub in one hit.

Day 4 was the monster of the week with over 60km in the bank by the time they rolled back to their tents before cooling off in the waters of the Roya River itself.

The sky would stay clear all day, with the high June sun’s attention focused on the riders as aching bodies were coerced further into yet more brand new stages over the course of the day. For some, those high hopes of glory have been humbled by the true test that is Trans-Provence.

There’s now a real two-man battle solidifying in the Pro Men’s category as Romain Paulhan has extended a slender lead over Mavic Trans-Provence 2017 winner Marco Osbourne. Anything could happen during the eight stages to come over the next two days.

Tracy Moseley sits some five minutes clear of second place Tanja Naber, but to win, you must first reach the beach. Will we see a late charge from the German as the coast approaches?

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Title image by Sven Martin: