Mavic Trans-Provence Day 5

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A new day, a new dawn and everyone’s feeling rad. And possibly a teeny bit weary. Here’s the report from Day 5 of Mavic Trans-Provence – only one more day to go!


Start: Valdeblore
Finish: Sospel
Distance: 65.28km
Ascent: 1623m
Descent: 4288m
No. of Special Stages: 4

Credit: Sven Martin
Thank god this is downhill. Credit: Sven Martin
Credit: Sven Martin
Getting loose. Credit: Sven Martin
Credit: Sam Needham
Still got some Red Bull left in him. Credit: Sam Needham

Day 5 was a monster. The Valdeblore to Sospel day saw riders take in a steady 1623m of climbing and a mammoth 4288m of descent over an even more impressive 65.28km. If any day tested rider fitness and mental stamina, as well as the humble bicycle, then it was Day 5.

Credit: Sam Needham
Essential wheelying, not showboating. Credit: Sam Needham
Credit: Sam Needham
Enjoying yourself. Credit: Sam Needham

Once again, riders would battle through some ferocious summer conditions, with temperatures pushing past thirty degrees for the 5th day running. Water became the key to keeping mind and body sharp for the biggest overall descent of the week.

Credit: Sven Martin
Hold on tight. Credit: Sven Martin
Credit: Sven Martin
Show off. Credit: Sven Martin

Valdeblore was met by a clear sky at dawn and riders knew they were in for another hot one. Despite being hammered by the conditions and the tracks, smiles were still the most noticeable expressions on the faces of those out on their bikes. The penultimate day would sort the wheat from the chaff in the overall standings.

Credit: Duncan Philpott
Steezy. Credit: Duncan Philpott
Credit: Sven Martin
Getting low. Credit: Sven Martin

Fast and open, with the classic Trans-Provence switchbacks required a measured approach. Some of the more technical switchbacks would be the crux of a run won or lost. Pushing on where it was safe, then getting through the tougher bits clean was now making all the difference as tired bodies lose their focus.

Credit: Sam Needham
You’re not Danny Mac. Credit: Sam Needham
Credit: Sven Martin
Hard day? Credit: Sven Martin
Credit: Sam Needham
Don’t slip out. Credit: Sam Needham

Day 5 would be Marco Osborne’s (Cannondale/WTB) day again. Eight seconds put into his closest rival François Bailly-Maître (Ibis Cycles Enduro Team) would see him regain almost all the time he lost on Day 4 to wheel disasters. While 18 seconds is but a number at Mavic Trans-Provence, it shows how Marco has mastered the art of this kind of racing to keep the lead even when the going isn’t good. Olivier Giordanengo (Lapierre Mavic La Roue Libre) who before today looked set to make the leading pair a three-way battle slipped back almost a minute and a half today.

Credit: Sam Needham
Giving your legs a rest. Credit: Sam Needham
Credit: Sam Needham
Don’t think you need that on a ride. Credit: Sam Needham

Osborne now leads the General Classification by 18 seconds after Day 5.

Ines Thoma (Canyon Factory Enduro Team) looks almost untouchable with a 6 minute lead in the womens’ race. Anka Martin (Juliana/SRAM) would regain her second place from Monika Buchi (Schmid Velosport, RC Graenichen) with only three seconds separating the two going into the final day. While Thoma may look safe for gold, there should be an awesome battle for the other two spots on the podium.

Credit: Sam Needham
Are we there yet? Credit: Sam Needham
Credit: Sam Needham
Hang up the boots and retire to bed Credit: Sam Needham

As if that wasn’t enough envy inducement, here’s the Day 5 video. And since it is a race, here are the Day 5 results and here are the overall standings.  Go Beer King Stu Taylor! Climbed to 37th after a couple of good days!

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