Race from the mountains to the sea with the Transvésubienne

While well known events such as the Megavalanche might grab all the coverage in the UK, with a fearsome reputation as one of the toughest mountain bike events out there, the organisers of that particular slice of madness have plenty of other epic races up their sleeves.

Makes the Mega look a bit minor - pic by Cyril Charpin

Just one of those is the Transvésubienne, a 100km race from the Mercantour Alps right down to the beach and the Promenade Des Anglais in Nice, losing over 4,500m of height in the process. It’s been a firm favourite in the European calendar, this year being the 20th edition of the race, and last year over 1,000 riders took part. It’s slowly growing in popularity here but seeing as the Megavalanche in Alpe d’Huez is now made up of roughly 40% Brits, they’re hoping to tempt even more adventurous UK riders to try something a little different.

The race takes place on the 26th and 27th of May 2012 and the organisers say it’s a true test of a mountain bike rider, requiring strength in all aspects of riding to compete, from fitness and endurance to bike handling skill and overtaking ability. The list of previous entrants is impressive, including World and Olympic champion Nino Schurter who took first place from the equally talented double Olympic champion Julien Absalon in 2009.

It’s no cross-country-fest either, as the organisers point out. The race is usually won on a 140mm or so travel full suspension bike, though they do reckon that the introduction of 29ers might pose a threat to this status quo. They’re well ahead of the curve in some respects – this year they will be introducing a special category for competitors on electric assistance bikes.

Our very own Dep Ed Jenn Hopkins is down to take part this year – no word yet on whether she’ll be using a battery bike, but we kind of doubt it.

Sea is probably quite welcoming by now - pic by Cyril Charpin

Full press release is below or you can check out www.transvesubienne.com for more information.

“From Mercantour mountains to the “Promenade des Anglais” in Nice.

The Transvésubienne race will celebrate its 20th edition on May 26th and 27th 2012. The very special configuration from the mountains of the Riviera allows this crossing to be one of the most fascinating adventure in Mountain Bike world.

The Olympic winner and world titled Nino Schurter won in 6h12’ in front of the double Olympic champion Julien Absalon in 2009. He managed to go through ascents, climbing and hyper technical tumbling from valleys to valleys before reaching the beach in Nice. The gap between the first ones, and the competitors who are able to stay in the given times on the key sections, are huge.

1000 riders were chosen to participate to this adventure of nearly 100 km, with more than 4 500 meter difference of height. All the founding values of the MTB discipline will be necessary to get a performance, or for the simple self-overtaking: athletic force, endurance, equipment management, downhill techniques, and overall the discovery of the exceptional landscape from the Alps down to the sea, with an arrival directly by the beach. The Transvésubienne has often been compared to Alpine skiing competitions (Pierra Menta), which requires all skills of winter sports.
As far as equipment is concerned, the Transvésubienne is a real life-size test; the best riders have always been winning the race with an “Enduro” bike, full suspension. Nowadays the characteristics of the 29 inches bikes reconsider the fact of using suspensions with more than 140 mm travel.
Another innovation for this 20th edition is the creation of an “electro” category exclusively for competitors equipped with an electric assistance Mountain Bike.

Program : – Saturday, Prologue (mainly DH, – 1.200 variation of level) departing from the Pic de Colmiane ; – Sunday, the big crossing : the Transvésubienne from La Colmaine : 3 start groups, and an Epilogue in the old town and on the hill of the castle in Nice : arrival on the beach.

The Transvésubienne, THE event that a “Rider” cannot miss !

All information on : www.transvesubienne.com

Preparation training and accommodation on request”

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