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Trans Provence 2011

Date range:
September 25 - October 1, 2011

September 27, Stage 3: Digne-les-Bains - Villars-Colmars 49km

Weir fastest on day 3

Cycling News
September 28, 2011, 20:28 BST,
September 30, 2011, 22:59 BST

Vouilloz in overall lead

Day three of the Trans-Provence over 49km from Dignes-Les Bains to Villars-Colmars brought a slightly less arduous day than the epic that was day two. Regardless of that, it was still three hard stages including a brutal hike-a-bike to start the day.

Riders initially gained 500 vertical meters in less than four kilometres, starting with fireroad and then onto a steep path cut in to the mountainside. Hard breathing and carrying (and no doubt cursing) were rewarded with amazing views across Provence and in the distance the second special stage (9) of the day.

Before that, riders had to negotiate special stage 8 with a huge drop in elevation and many types of technical riding.

From the col, an open section led through open loose rock singletrack and switchbacks before plunging in to leaf-filled woodland similar to something you may find on a (dry) day in the south of England.

The riders were then spat out in to open meadow land all too briefly before finding themselves in long a rock chute of singletrack that threw them down to the valley floor, after cresting one more undulation. (Trans-Provencers who have been part of the event since the first year are used to Ash's various way's of describing climbs without saying the word "climb". - ed.). The trail finally plummeted down to finish.

After the feed station, special stage 9 was a combination of woodland and rock gardens - before a hard fireroad climb that lead to an open rock riverbed through pine forest - fast and not as technical as most stages and the climb in the middle meant that the stage really suited fit riders, not just good technical ones.

The final stage of day three was more of what anyone that loves mountain biking would ask for. Fast on-site flowing open sections through the top of the stage with a feeling of exposure, before pine forest loam land curled down to a riverside trail and the end of another hard day's riding

As always, today was about great trails in beautiful country but day three also passes a major watershed and begins the journey in to the higher Maritime Alps, as can be seen by tomorrow's start of the day with a 2000-metre drop from Col du Champs.

Full Results

Day 3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Mark Weir 0:26:00  
2 Ben Cruz    
3 Nicolas Vouilloz 0:01:00  
4 Jérôme Clementz    
5 Matt Ryan    
6 Fabien Barel 0:02:00  
7 Rowan Sorrell 0:04:00  
8 James Richards    
9 Andreas Hestler    
10 Pascal Kienast 0:05:00  
11 Iain Mathews    
12 Marc Beaumont 0:06:00  
13 Steve Jones    
14 Mick Kirkman    
15 Rob Brookes    
16 Tim Graverse    
17 Sven Martin 0:07:00  
18 Neil Mclean    
19 Tracy Moseley 0:08:00  
20 Kevin Harper    
21 Joris Zimmermann    
22 Anka Martin 0:09:00  
23 Matt Alder    
24 Chris Porter 0:10:00  
25 Cesar Rojo 0:12:00  
General classification after day 3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Nicolas Vouilloz 1:26:00  
2 Jérôme Clementz    
3 Mark Weir    
4 Fabien Barel 0:02:00  
5 Matt Ryan    
6 Ben Cruz    
7 Rowan Sorrell 0:09:00  
8 Marc Beaumont 0:10:00  
9 Steve Jones 0:12:00  
10 James Richards 0:13:00  
11 Mick Kirkman 0:15:00  
12 Rob Brookes 0:18:00  
13 Pascal Kienast    
14 Tim Graverse    
15 Sven Martin 0:19:00  
16 Andreas Hestler    
17 Iain Mathews 0:20:00  
18 Neil Mclean 0:21:00  
19 Tracy Moseley 0:22:00  
20 Cesar Rojo    
21 Kevin Harper    
22 Chris Porter    
23 Joris Zimmermann 0:30:00  
24 Anka Martin    
25 Matt Alder 0:31:00