All those kilometres covered, all that elevation gained, all that terrain navigated. It had been a monster week moving through the mountains on the Santa Cruz Stone King Rally, but eventually, it had to end somewhere.
Day Six: Dolceacqua to Bordighera
- 23.7km length
- 430m ascent
- 1,690m descent
The finishing point was where land meets water; a welcoming Italian shoreline in Bordighera.
Day six – the final day of the first-ever Stone King Rally – was a rare treat among a week of massive rides. Instead of a sting in the tail, riders got a series of four special stages emphasising the special: rock slabs, technical turns, and steep chutes aplenty, all with the Mediterranean shimmering blue in the background.
It was a slow beginning for some riders still sore from day five’s effort, but this last ride was one to cherish. Short by Stone King standards, with barely any climbing and under 25km on the trail, but the day still managed to pack in thousands of metres of descending, some of it on fresh trails shaped up especially for the rally.
The inaugural Stone King Rally was a blast. We want to say a huge thank you to everyone racing, working, organising and following the event; hopefully, it has opened people’s eyes to the endless mountain bike adventures in this area and sparked people’s imaginations. Its legacy will be a series of painstakingly sought-out trails revived and revamped for all to ride.
Congratulations to SKR winners Romain Paulhan and Tanja Naber and every finisher. Now, where’s that ice cream?
What was 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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