Chris Johnston and Jamie Nicoll have swapped places in the overall at Trans Provence, and Ali Quinn has moved into the lead in M40. Anka Martin holds down second still in the ladies class.
DAY 5 /// VALDEBLORE - SOSPEL
Distance: 62.9km D+: 1381m D-: 4031m
What can we tell you?
Well, as bang-for-buck goes Day 5 was like winning the pools, bingo and the lottery. For a “mere” 1381 metres of climbing you get to shred down 4031 metres of descent, taking in 62.94 km of trails. With two shuttles thrown in for good measure.
Today brought riders tantalisingly close to the coast. Tonight is spent in Sospel - home of Mavic Trans-Provence - and we are but a short hop over to sun and sand and the end of our six days of adventure.
This year seems to have been particularly hard on the bikes and kit. Tyres worn out in a couple of days, rubber soles of shoes delaminating away from their cleats in an act of rebellion against the amount of hiking, brake blocks, wheels, spokes, rims (showing no favour to whether they’re £3000 carbon wonder wheels or a pair of basic OEM wheels that came complete with bike).
There’s lot of people wearing not un-serious pieces of bandage. Tape on various appendages. There's a certain kind of refugee chic starting to appear. Dusty, shell-shocked people with helmets balanced at a jaunty angle. Typically descending upon eating and drinking establishments en route and eat and drink them dry (literally).
Tomorrow sees the finale of a long week in the mountains. We're going to get some sand in out bearings (yeah, kill that bike some more what the heck!), we'll get some salt in our chamois and we'll have a few drinks to celebrate and commiserate.
Just a few, mind. We're athletes.
As usual: check the videos, check the pics.