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Weir fastest on day 3

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) TeamResult
1Mark Weir0:26:00
2Ben Cruz
3Nicolas Vouilloz0:01:00
4Jérôme Clementz
5Matt Ryan
6Fabien Barel0:02:00
7Rowan Sorrell0:04:00
8James Richards
9Andreas Hestler
10Pascal Kienast0:05:00
11Iain Mathews
12Marc Beaumont0:06:00
13Steve Jones
14Mick Kirkman
15Rob Brookes
16Tim Graverse
17Sven Martin0:07:00
18Neil Mclean
19Tracy Moseley0:08:00
20Kevin Harper
21Joris Zimmermann
22Anka Martin0:09:00
23Matt Alder
24Chris Porter0:10:00
25Cesar Rojo0:12:00

General classification after day 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nicolas Vouilloz1:26:00
2Jérôme Clementz
3Mark Weir
4Fabien Barel0:02:00
5Matt Ryan
6Ben Cruz
7Rowan Sorrell0:09:00
8Marc Beaumont0:10:00
9Steve Jones0:12:00
10James Richards0:13:00
11Mick Kirkman0:15:00
12Rob Brookes0:18:00
13Pascal Kienast
14Tim Graverse
15Sven Martin0:19:00
16Andreas Hestler
17Iain Mathews0:20:00
18Neil Mclean0:21:00
19Tracy Moseley0:22:00
20Cesar Rojo
21Kevin Harper
22Chris Porter
23Joris Zimmermann0:30:00
24Anka Martin
25Matt Alder0:31:00


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