The penultimate day of Santa Cruz Stone King Rally gave riders a glimpse of their endpoint – the glistening Mediterranean sea. But with the sun high in the sky and temperatures rising, this was no cruise to the beach.
POV vid and pretty pics
Day Five: Tende to Dolceacqua
- 61km length
- 1,770m ascent
- 4,300m descent
Even with the sea in sight for the first time during Santa Cruz Stone King Rally Volume 1, day five was no time to think of dipping your toes in the Mediterranean. The closer the race gets to the sea, the less forgiving the trail surface becomes.
Riders left camp for a resilience-testing long, hot transition to the day’s first stage; things later cooled down, but only when the ice creams came out.
Pardon the pun, but limestone is king here and adds an unpredictable element to even a bone-dry trail. Everyone focused on keeping it upright as the rally closed in on Dolceacqua, the Nervia Valley’s answer to France’s Sospel – the spiritual home of mountain bike rallies gone by.
From dense forest vegetation to hair-drier-like open ridges, day five had it all, including yet more Alpine fortresses and medieval villages along the way – a testament to the deep history rooted in Stone King Rally’s origins. With hot dust stinging the nose and lungs, a cool beer or pleasantly brain-freezing gelato (or both) were high on the list once riders finished stage 20. Just one more day to go.
Results after Day 5
What is the Stone King Rally?
Santa Cruz Stone King Rally 2022 takes in two countries (75%in Italy, 25% in France) from 28th June to 3rd July 2022.
Stone King crew: “The Santa Cruz Stone King Rally is the evolution of backcountry MTB enduro competition. Containing the same blend of wild adventure and gravity racing excitement that Trans-Provence introduced in 2009 and refined over the course of a decade, we now take things to new levels on a 100% original itinerary from the High Alps to the Mediterranean.
“Stone King’s truly transalpine itinerary – crossing the Alps’ central watershed not once but twice – will take in two countries and four distinct regional areas: the majestic Queyras Regional Park (France), the mystical Occitan Valleys of Piemonte (Italy), the wild Roya Valley (France) and, last but not least, the revered coastal mountains of Liguria (Italy).
“Each of these zones contains its own brand of mindblowing descents and incredible journey-style trails. The inextricable link between these trails, the cultural heritage and the agricultural or industrial history of each valley is critical to the spirit of a backcountry adventure like Stone King; riders will experience – in a variety of formats – a thread of associated stories throughout the race and tour versions of the itinerary.“
Guillestre to Bordighera
28th June to 3rd July 2022
Timed Stages: 24
Distance (on-bike): 269km
Ascent (on-bike): 8140m
Descent (on-bike): 20153m
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