DAY6 /// SOSPEL → MENTON
Distance: 40.3km D+ : 1641m D- : 2731m
The End, the final day; the final four stages, the last three climbs, creaky bikes, creaky joints. Some people are more tired than they’ve ever been before, some people are just getting into their stride and are finally feeling fit, some people are still not sure what's really hit them.
It matters not; today marks the end of the sixth Mavic® Trans-Provence and depending on your perspective there are either 75 winners or just two.
We’re not just being soccer mum PC here; there really are 75 winners, 75 people who can only be proud of themselves, because anyone that’s dragged themselves across six days and 24 stages of Mavic®Trans-Provence has by any standards been victorious, even if it’s only on a personal level.
For most people that’s been what the week has been about—dreams of personal victories. An arbitrary number in the rankings that they’ve decided beforehand they’ll end the race in, something they’ve decided is an acceptable finish for them among riders who are ranked fastest in the world.
Some are sorely disappointed; their fitness training has not tamed the trail in front of them. Some are elated that they had unknown switchback sliding technique buried deep inside them that they never knew they had, and on special stages they're holding their own, but find every hill a limit of their fitness.
There’s a real race of course, including people who will (sparing disaster) be guaranteed a place in the top ten or the top five. The ones we all dream we could be, that look smoother, go faster, pick the other line, the ones you enjoy to watch, that make the hard easy.
That top ten who have won on the same trails that all of the other competitors have ridden on, the regular folks whose jobs get in the way of training, the ones with families to worry about, people with fixed amounts of holidays who have chosen to spend it here with us, a one off opportunity for many to chase an adventure across France.
On the final day we’ve been joined by good friends of Mavic® Trans-Provence.
Fabien Barel joined us today to ride the last four special stages, catch up with other friends in the industry, and see how he is healing since his potentially career-ending injury at the EWS in Chile earlier this year. Local kids in Sospel got to try out the belise timing system and check out how good they are against professional riders, and as it turns out they are very, very good indeed! The next generation of riders getting to ride against their heroes and check how their times compare.
On the beach loved ones wait to meet competitors who have raced all week. Some of the catering staff catch up with their kids and wives for the first time in a long week. The 30 plus people who are behind the scenes that make the race happen take a much needed breath as the end looms into sight. Beers are drunk and tales are told.
We never tell you the results in our press releases; check the links, or watch the videos to found out who won. Needless to say it’s another close year.
And that’s it, there’s a dinner for everyone tonight, and probably hangovers tomorrow, and for most of us flights to different parts of the world and a catch up with real life we left behind for the last six days.
If you’ve enjoyed the films,and if you want to do more than just watch, join us next year for our new date for 2016 of the 20-27th of June 2016. Keep your eyes open for the application dates on your favourite mountain bike website.
Until next year.