Santa Cruz Bicycles

Trans-Provence Day 2

 

Mavic Trans-Provence - Day Two

Junio 17 — 2019 | France

The second race dispatch from Santa Cruz’s own world-traveling lens-slinger, Gary Perkin who's on the ground and in the mix all week at the 2019 Trans-Provence.

Race organizer, Ash Smith, is fond of the saying, “it’s a game of two halves” - and today was one such game at Trans-Provence. The day started off sunny and warm in Colmars, but there was the threat of afternoon thunderstorms looming large in the mountains surrounding our destination in Valberg.

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Gary Perkin

The weather wasn’t the only element of the day that could be split down the middle in terms of contrast. The stages, and the routes up to said stages, each proved as different all throughout today’s four special stages.

Mavic Trans-Provence 2019 // Day 2 from Mavic® Trans-Provence on Vimeo.

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Gary Perkin

Starting off with an early shuttle to the top of the Col des Champs, we were treated to one of the warmest mornings in my memory of the race at just under 2100m above sea level. Riders set off in glorious sunshine for a neutral liaison down to the valley below to one heck of a hike-a-bike above St. Martin d’Entraunes up to the start of Sp5 - Royére. The stage was a flat out woodland descent, which shared a bunch of turns from the famous Narrow Wide stage of the Enduro World Series race in Valberg a few years ago.

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Gary Perkin

Special Stage 6 - Courdiagliau - had a shuttle and a hike-a-bike to reach the start of the longest stage of the day at 3.55km and 496m of descending. Continuing today’s theme, the top was traverse’y - race organizers description - and the bottom was much tighter and twisty with switchback after switchback to add to the physicality.

After the third shuttle of the day up to the hilltop village Chateauneuf d’Entraunes, riders continued to ascend up to the start of Special Stage 7 - Martre. This, to me, was a truly special stage in all meanings of the word - some tight rocky switchbacks, leading into fast flowy woodland trails with turn after turn over roots and rocks for 2.5 sweet km.

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Gary Perkin

The liaison to Special Stage 8 - Clots was what this race is all about, a true adventure ride through some of the most amazing scenery on trails that knock the socks off what we normally ride. Grey earth features, exposure, fast rocky chutes dropping all the way to fast flowing river which has seen its fair share of snowmelt over the years. But the warm fuzzy feeling of adventuring was replaced by the humid, sweaty pain of yet another big hike-a-bike. But this time with the added incentive of thunder booming in the mountains above.

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Gary Perkin

Just before the summit and the special stage start, the heavens opened above me and race doctor, Mike Pollard. At first, we thought it was just rain, but it quickly turned to hail, which covered the forest floor. We dropped into the stage quickly and I was shocked to discover dry dusty tracks a few hundred meters into the trail. The hail and rain hadn’t touched this side of the watershed. The stage seemed to tighten in on itself all the way with each switchback and turn getting progressively tighter than the previous.

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Gary Perkin

After a short pedal to Guillames to recharge on pizza and beer, and more importantly wish Steve Peat a happy birthday, the memories of hike-a-bikes and hail storms had faded into loud banter about the flow of the turns and the speed of some of the trails. Two halves or two sides of the same coin … you can’t have one without the other.

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Gary Perkin

 

From the Riders

Follow the results for Santa Cruz's own Steve Peat, Chris Johnston, Jamie Nicoll, Max Schumann, and Romain Paulhan, along with Mary-Anne Wannamaker, Loic Delteil and Lyle Hyslop of Santa Cruz Factory Racing, and Juliana Bicycles’ Tanja Naber and Emily Slaco on the Trans-Provence site and then check back here for more from the team.

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Gary Perkin

Romain Paulhan

Pretty good day man! I’m so happy to win all of today’s stages and to take the lead with 17 seconds over Marco Osborne. It was a pretty good day sharing all the good vibes and the 45th birthday of the legend that is Steve Peat. Beautiful scenery and beautiful trails - thanks Ash.

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Gary Perkin

Steve Peat

Well I can think of a lot better things to do on my birthday - but I’ve definitely had fun. It’s always good to get to the end of the day in a bar - and they brought me out a pizza with candles on it. So I got a birthday cake and got to blow ‘em out. I had a pretty good day - it was tough with all the hiking but I enjoyed the riding. Cheers boys!

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Gary Perkin

Loïc Delteil

Day 2 was a good one. I expected it to be shorter but it wasn’t the case. We had amazing stages - really fast for the first two with amazing corners. Lots of hike-a-bike and I’m pretty tired now but motivated for tomorrow.

Jeff Calam

Yesterday was a pretty good day, and today felt pretty good too. But looking at the times its not so good today so we’ll have to see. But its more than a race!

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Gary Perkin

Bérengère Boës

Today was good, good tracks and obviously lots of pushing so the body is a bit sore now. But I managed to get a massage just now. I won’t say I feel fresh but I’m already better. I’ve got two massive blisters on my heels so I had something else to think about while I was climbing up - I didn’t have to focus on what I was doing as much as trying not to get to sore which helped take my mind off the climbs. Having fun and keeping it going.

Emily Slaco

Day 2 was really fun - better than Day 1  given I am getting more used to French riding. The trails were more flowy, less awkward for me at least. Big day but really fun - good downhill tracks.

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Gary Perkin

Check back tomorrow for the dispatch from day three of the final edition of the Mavic Trans-Provence.

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