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A rider on day 1
From Basecamp in Rochebrune in the morning to Clamensane and camp two for the night, on stage 1 riders embarked on a 300km journey across Provence which will end in Monaco in seven days.
Three timed stages made up day one's racing. After a big climb to start the day, special stage 1 started the race proper. In terms of fitness, it's probably one of the hardest of the week as it is more cross country in nature and with a nasty vertical kick in the middle - but still interspered with the steep and technical downs for which the Trans-Provence has become famous.
A short liaison stage led to special stage 2. After the up and down nature of stage 1, stage 2 was down and more down. Starting in woods and exploding in to a section of open scrubland with rock steps around every corner,the stage finally finished with ever tightening switchbacks interspersed with perfect eight-inch singletrack to the valley floor.
One more big pull from the valley floor to the last top of the day found racers at the start of special stage 3. Big sweeping switchbacks and perfect loam made for slip and drift corner to corner riding, a natural earth luge from top to bottom finished a great start of the great week to come.
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