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!
DAY 5 STATISTICS:
No. of Special Stages: 4
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!