Day 3 started in complete contrast to the one that preceded it, as riders were met by clear blue skies in Valberg for another four stages of trail discovery skirting the Mercantour National Park.

Stage 9, the first of the day, would be the ultimate test of whether riders had shrugged off the two previous days’ efforts as they started with a warp speed run down the ridge above Beuil before the first of two chairlifts of the day to Stage 10. What followed was proof positive that Trans-Provence is not all about the racing, as riders traversed their way in between the 2000m+ peaks high above the Gorge du Cians on the liaison to Stage 11.

Day 3 packed a big punch into one of the shorter days of the Trans-Provence week. Riders would enjoy the lowest amount of climbing of the 6 days, while still racking up some serious descending in classic Trans-Provence country. The day would culminate in some riders getting caught in the late afternoon’s brief rain storms that accompany the occasional rumble of thunder.

It would be tight at the top today, with only three seconds separating the top 2 Pro Men on the day’s four stages and only 12 in the General Classification. Tracy Moseley has amassed over a 3 minute gap overall on second place Tanja Naber, with today having a strong showing from Emily Slaco in the stages.

— report by Trans Provence

Bonkers scenic shot by Sam Needham.
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