Transvesubienne

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  • Transvesubienne
  • mtbmatt
    Member

    I’ve seen that before, but it doesn’t give much away and I was hoping for more of a personal experience.
    I spoke to Jenn about it after she raced, but it was a few years ago now.

    Premier Icon gary
    Subscriber

    Rode last year, but missed the 30 mile time cut by a few minutes. Back again this year because I’m annoyed by not finishing!

    Its got some proper rocky alpine descending and switchbacks so you need to weigh up how happy you are likely to be racing those kind of trails on a hardtail say vs a little bit of insurance with something more trail bike oriented. I think last years winner was on a Scott suspension bike, Jenn had a carbon Pivot 5.7 which she reckoned was spot on IIRC. That said, there were people surviving it on hardtails too.

    I’m taking my trusty battered Heckler again as I have no idea how my new 29er will deal with switchbacks or proper rocky descents. But then my aim is just to get to the finish!

    I would say a dropper post is a good idea, since you are going to be riding technical trails blind.

    Last year it was pretty cold hanging around at the start (and my source of local knowledge says there is still snow around this year), then it was ptetty okay until the heavens opened in the afternoon.

    Shoes that are good on mountains a better idea than carbon race soles!

    Couple of english write ups that you may not have seen:
    http://teamhpr.hpruk.com/blog/?p=89
    http://andrewhowett.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/transvesubienne-race.html

    mtbmatt
    Member

    Who has ridden this before? Any tips on what type of bike is best, how technical the terrain is?
    I’m guessing its pretty rocky, but with so much climbing I wouldn’t want to run anything too heavy.
    Dropper seatpost a good idea or not?

    Sounds like a brilliant race, but very little information/reports on it in English.

    ianv
    Member

    Not done it but it seems from French write ups that a lightish 140ish fs is the sort of thing to use. It has tech downhill sections and a lot of carrying on the big climbs. It sounds pretty brutal. That said, apparently there is an electric bike class this year 😯

    mtbmatt
    Member

    Thanks Gary & Ian, some great links and info.

    I’ll be taking my Pivot 429 Carbon, so I think that will be OK and will use the dropper.
    Will XC tyres be OK? Racing ralphs or rocket rons with snakeskin maybe?

    I’ve heard the climbing is usually pretty damn steep and often hike-a-bike. I’m hoping that a 1×11 drivetrain with a small 30t cog will be about right.

    Good tip about shoes too, thanks.

    timb34
    Member

    I’d love to do this one day, but I don’t yet have the fitness, it sounds like a huge, huge day.

    I’ve seen a few videos, but the one that really gave me an idea of the scale of the event is this one, from a guy who did it last year (Wicen). His mate (Bilou) did it on a Ti 29er hardtail (and I think finished top 50?). The guy in the vid decided to do the race about 48 hrs beforehand, did it on a alloy 26er hardtail without a dropper post, and finished!
    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7mCUMuGNFw[/video]

    I saw this on the vtt34 forums – lots of info there if you speak French. One guy was suggesting that the best training for the TransV would be to go and do the local steep, rocky mountain descent three or four times and carry your bike back up to the top after each time 😀

    Premier Icon gary
    Subscriber

    I saw this on the vtt34 forums – lots of info there if you speak French. One guy was suggesting that the best training for the TransV would be to go and do the local steep, rocky mountain descent three or four times and carry your bike back up to the top after each time

    It did occur to me that going and doing a few “laps” on Snowdon or Cadair Idris would be spot on preparation, had no chance to actually put it into practice though 🙁

    mtbmatt
    Member

    Oh dear… that link appears to have me as a “Les Favourit”
    I’d better start studying YouTube.

    Premier Icon gary
    Subscriber

    On the tyre front – my preference is for sufficient volume and robust enough sidewalls to be able to play point and shoot on the rocks. So Crossmark LUST at the back and Spec Butcher Control on the front.

    I’ve not used snakebite versions of Ralphs so don’t know how substantial they are. I wouldn’t go near it on standard RRs.

    I’ll be going with paranoid spares approach – I ended up with a broken gear cable for the first time ever last year and was left with a bent rear mech so there will be a spare mech hanger and cable in my camelbak

    juan
    Member

    Shit I have missed this one. I could have given you plenty of info.
    But hey happy to see that you survived and finished it, well done to you and gary.

    timb34
    Member

    Just seen Matt’s strava trace for the race – doesn’t sound like he’s keen to go back next year! So epic that it appears to have crashed his blog…

    Well done to you both for finishing. A huge achievement.

    mtbmatt
    Member

    Yes it was rather epic and no I am not keen to go back, although one day I probably will and I will know what to actually expect – ie. lots of walking. I’d like to know how much the bad weather affected the route though and if more is rideable when its dry.

    Big well done to David Beskeen who I travelled out with who finished 36th.

    Race report online here

    Premier Icon gary
    Subscriber

    Last year I said never again but I’m glad I went back to get the thing done. Don’t ask me about another time for a few months, I think this year was epic enough.

    Matt – as far as the weather goes, I recall more rideable climbing last year (but not a lot more!), the snowy section certainly had more riding opportunities, and the descents were a bit less sketchy, but the character of the event is the same.

    And as far as UK performances go, 2009 Trans Provence winner Dan Darwood looks highest placed in 34th and if the results PDF is right it was from the Challenger wave – chapeau!

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Ah, I wondered what happened to Dan, I thought he was off in Canada. Good work that man.

    I’ve done this event a few times now and I think it’s a great event. Matt was really unlucky with the weather so he didn’t get to ride the prologue. It’s good fun – 15km of mainly downhill.

    I remember the first time I did it in 2007, it was baking, and the final feed station looked more like a battlefield with people cramping, doubled over, all over the place. I think you do have to make changes to your bike which are specific to the race though – 200m rotors, huge rear tyre for uphill grip. I was on 22/36 so able to ride a fair amount of the uphills.

    Thing is, looks like the weather in Europe at this time of year in the south looks quite unstable, when it’s typically been very good.

    If you’re looking for something different, have a look at the Raid Terres Noires. It’s another event that’s 70km and virtually 90% singletrack. You get to ride over these ridiculous arretes where one mistake sends you to the bottom!

    Terres Noires

    The singletrack’s much more rolling but I found it harder than the TV for some reason.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Terres Noires

    The singletrack’s much more rolling but I found it harder than the TV for some reason.

    Oh wow… that’s a bit terrifying !!!! is it that scary on the bike ?

    Obviously we all ride very narrow single track at times with ease… but that’s without a 2 mile drop off the side LOL.

    If you’re talking about the riding @3.25, then sadly yes, it’s pretty unnerving, but we’re talking 30-40m not 2 miles! You’re warned about it with a prominent ‘danger’ sign painted on the earth – to make you feel better about it 😉

    Both of the races have pretty scary sections in them. Here’s a nice 3D photo you can drag around, of one of the sections Matt describes – you wouldn’t want to OTB here.

    Rockfest

    chriswilk
    Member

    Northwind – Dan resides in Chamonix at the moment.

    juan
    Member

    The DH from the brec isn’t that dangerous, there is on bit that mere mortal like us can’t ride. Everything else is very doable.

    stim
    Member

    My colleague did very well this year. He came 8th riding a Scale 29. Highest placed hard tail and he told me this morning he had to run (!) for 1 hour and 18 minutes (from GPS data) through quite deep snow.

    mtbmatt
    Member

    The DH from the brec isn’t that dangerous, there is on bit that mere mortal like us can’t ride. Everything else is very doable.

    I think almost everything is rideable, especially if you know the first before hand. There were the odd sections that I don’t think would be possible at all though.
    The problem is the consequences of getting it wrong could be really severe as there is no easy way off the mountain, no medics and very few marshals around.

    9th on a hardtail is pretty awesome, what is his name? The event is one big compromise, light bike for all the uphill carrying or bigger bike for the downhills. I saw one guy on a rigid singlespeed!

    Sauser’s strava for the event is quite incredible.

    juan
    Member

    yeah no real bike for it. I did it on my meta, maybe next time I’ll do it on the HT. But I’d like a go at the raid vauban and the raid des terres noirs first.

    timb34
    Member

    Quite a few vids up on youtube now. The one from the organisers makes it look like a good day out…
    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouPGk8K8AYQ[/video]

    mrlebowski
    Member

    Wow, that couldn’t be more different to the year I did it (2011 I think..) SCORCHIO that day!

    edit: it is a good day out, but I would add theres quite a lot more walking than you’d want & the riding is quite techie in places..

    juan
    Member

    There isn’t that much walking if you’re good.
    Basically the first part up to le brec is doable onthe bike except for the last bit.
    Then After the Mont diamant it’s doable on the bike up to la madone d’utelle.
    And the last bit toward the tip at levens is again “doable” but you have to be very very good. But I have seen people riding up this part.

    mrlebowski
    Member

    There isn’t that much walking if you’re good

    Come off it juan – theres a lot of hike a bike…way more than you’d get on your average race!

    Certainly more than any other I’ve ever done including BC Bike Race & The Downieville Classic or any other for that matter.

    juan
    Member

    Dunno I don’t do average race. And as I said I have ridden the switchback up to the Madone. And I have seen people riding most of the “portage” to the tip at Levens.
    But then yes you’ll have more walking than the gorrick series or the BBB.
    On the other hand I have yet to do a ride above 1200-1000m that doesn’t involve a hike a bike.

    mtbmatt
    Member

    There isn’t that much walking if you’re good.

    I think you are either deluded or have done a different race. There is LOTS of walking for everyone.
    I would say for the winners who take ~6hr 30min they will be walking for 2hrs minimum!

    juan
    Member

    no matt not at all I am local and I have done most bits on there own, and to be honest a lot of what you’ve walk is rideable.

    timb34
    Member

    Even when it’s covered in snow? Some of the photos make this years event look like some sort of siberian death march!

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    no matt not at all I am local and I have done most bits on there own, and to be honest a lot of what you’ve walk is rideable.

    You don’t give up do you?! That video makes it look brilliant but Matt has just done it a lot faster than you’ve ever managed, if I recall you were in the bottom quarter last time, so correcting Matt on what he’s just done is pretty stupid. If you’re going to adopt the hard man persona be able to back it up eh?

    Sancho
    Member

    Boom! owned!

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    And yes, TV2012 – 332nd out of 399, 5 hours behind the winner, and yet it’s all rideable is it?

    Sancho
    Member

    I’ve just been reading about it in the french “Bike” magasin and really want to have a go, they reckon a light 120mm bike, they also give bike carrying advice, training and diet tips, but it just looks epic.
    Kudos to anyone who completes it.

    Premier Icon gary
    Subscriber

    To defend Juan a little, I think if you take things out of the context of the race then a lot of the course would be more rideable in a technical challenge way. And some parts were definitely more rideable in better weather last year. I’ll take my hat off to anyone riding the last section to the Madone though!

    How much the front runners can ride – best ask someone else, I was grovelling along near the back wishing I was faster at carrying my bike.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Aye, “ridable” isn’t the same as “ridable in the middle of a race for the mental”

    mtbmatt
    Member

    I’ll take my hat off to anyone riding the last section to the Madone though!

    Was that the bit after the Pont de Cros?
    If so, then I don’t think it is rideable by anyone outside of a trials competition. There were plenty of similar sections too, where the size of the steps would prevent it from being rideable.

    This year even Sauser walked 45min within the first 90min and thats by his own admission. Not sure how much of that first climb is better in good weather mind, the gradient didn’t seem too bad for most of it.

    It’s one of those events that you really learn from personal experience.

    Premier Icon gary
    Subscriber

    I’ll take my hat off to anyone riding the last section to the Madone though!

    Was that the bit after the Pont de Cros?[/quote]

    The Madone d’Utelle is the chapel where the second food stop was, I was thinking of the detour back off road to reach that after the short road section. But yes plenty of nasty stuff after Pont de Cros too – and I just had a flash back to that stupid jungle section at the end 🙂

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