The monster day that was Day 5 of Mavic Trans-Provence 2017 saw racers battle hammered bikes and bodies on the biggest and hottest day of the week. Sospel would be the destination for the day, but the riders would have to take in the longest distance and the biggest overall descent beforehand.
As the race winds its way through the Maritime Alps towards the sea, a very different feel to the day's proceedings and terrain underfoot keeps riders on their toes. Gone is the high Alpine, Grey and Red Earths, and rock is dominant with a Mediterranean feel. Any forgiveness for error in the dirt beneath the wheels today would vanish in and instant.
The day's stages would be characterised by the sheer quantity of vertical metres dropped. No other day of the week even comes close. Starting with a climb over 800m, the following two stages would drop over 900m together. After the feed station, riders would climb the Col des Baus to make another 900m descent over Stages 19 & 20.
Mental stamina and a functioning bicycle would be the keys to soldiering on through the heat and physicality of what Day 5 had in store for riders.