DAY 1 /// CLAMENSANE – DIGNE – Distance: 39.15km
D+ : 1516m
D- : 2107m
Day One of this year’s Mavic Trans-provence: 39km on the map with a bit of up and down. It can’t be so tough, right?
A few years ago this same day’s racing was nearly 62km. Veterans mumble about how the days are getting easier, and reminisce about the old days when things were tougher and how much easier competitors have it now.
Ask the same vets at the end of today whether it’s got easier and you hear a resounding “NO!”. With the same amount of climbing that you used to get spread over 62km jammed into just 39.15mm, it just makes for steeper days up and down. Being able to really spin uphill, is no use at all if you have to carry your bike for most of the climbs; so less distance, but still a classic Mavic Trans-Provence day. Many people had seven and eight hour days out on the hill today.
It’s not all slog, the usual array of starry eyed happy people are found at the feed station after Stage One and Two, and for Stage Four virgins the now legendary Donkey Darko ends in a combination of words that makes no sense, but clearly means they are happy!
So day one is done. People are tired, some are scraped, and some are bruised. Sven Martin has a suspected separated shoulder and there’s tales of teeth bouncing off bars. Lessons learned for some, and a race finished for others, and tomorrow is promised to be a brute.