Lau and Martin win Trans-Provence day 3

Nicolas Lau (Cube Action Team) and Anka Martin (Juliana Bicycles) won day 3 of the Trans-Provence in France on Wednesday. Lau beat Jérôme Clementz (Cannondale Overmountain / Mavic) by three seconds and Fabien Barel (Canyon Factory Enduro Team / Mavic) by four seconds.

In the women's category, Martin enjoyed a larger margin of victory, more than a minute ahead of Emily Horridge (Transition Bikes) and Kelli Emmett (Giant Factory Off-Road Team) in second and third, respectively.

The orders in the GC stayed the same. Clementz defended his lead in the overall classification. Lau sits in second while Barel is in third. Martin tops the women's standings, ahead of Emmett and Horridge.

About the day 3 course

Day 3 is the Trans-Provence's equivalent of an amusement park. All of the good bits but less of the brutal liaison stages. The day's trails were split between a morning of wet and slippery and an afternoon of something that seems to have been teleported in from the badlands of Dakota. The day finished with a trail that had fast woodland combined with big rocky sections (and some very short but evil climbs mixed in there too).

Special Stage 9, the first Special Stage of the day, was a variant of a Trans-Provence classic. Riders were uplifted to the Col Du Champs (2100m) before a combination of traversing through high alpine pasture before starting the timed stage proper.

Black and green. Dark loam and green deciduous woodland drops steeply along a side of the mountain. Interspersed with with roots and wet rocks. The scent of wild garlic and thyme hit riders slid through corners and slip from root to rock. Then they were suddenly exiting on to a very slippery bridge. It was a memorable stage.

The liaison between Special Stages 9 and 10 combined a vertiginous drop on one side with sliding around on ball bearing shaped rocks into tinder dry forest. Finally riders dropped on to the road (1100m) before winding their way back up to 1400m.

Special Stage 10 is similar in many ways to 9. Dark forests and loam with occasional complex rock "jigsaw puzzles" to negotiate. The stage has some longer "straightaways" for even more speed.

After the feed station there was a trail - well more of a set of potential lines to ride really - that needed little introduction to anyone that has followed the Trans-Provence since its early days: Grey Earth. The grippiest yet slipperiest trail in the world. Once out of the top section good luck trying to pick a go-faster line. The trail then opened on to the side of a huge mountain that looked like a frozen grey sand dune. If you weree having a good day you could have ridden it with very little braking, hitting natural jumps along the way and hitting some of the fastest speeds of the week.

To gain access to Special Stage 12 required a bike-hike that felt like penance. From the bottom of a wooded trail, riders pushed or carried their bikes for the next 45 minutes to an hour. Once riders topped out, they then traversed along the valley before the final special stage of the day.

Special Stage 12 started at full-tilt through a wood that has quickly become one of the favourite trails of the Trans-Provence team. Steep, but not so steep that riders were constantly on the brakes, with flattering rutted corners that act as mini-berms as riders threw the bike into the next corner. It was very easy to keep speed.

Once out of wood and across a pasture field, riders hit the original start of this Special Stage. It neatly bolted together the rest of the day's trails into one package. Slidey roots, rocky switchbacks that seem reminiscent of desert trails, short but vicious climbs not the mention the occasional rock garden to negotiate if riders thought it was all a bit too straightforward.

Check out the video (opens in new tab) from Day 3.

Full Results

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Elite men day 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nicolas Lau (Cube Action Team)0:20:07
2Jérôme Clementz (Cannondale Overmountain / Mavic)0:00:03
3Fabien Barel (Canyon Factory Enduro Team / Mavic)0:00:04
4François Bailly-Maitre (BMC Trailcrew)0:00:41
5Florian Golay (BMC Trailcrew)0:01:02
6Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing)0:01:05
7Mark Weir (Cannondale Overmountain / WTB)0:01:10
8Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing)0:01:11
9Jamie Nicoll (Santa Cruz Bicycles)Row 8 - Cell 2
10Anton Cooper (Cannondale Factory Racing)0:01:15
11Ben Cruz (Cannondale Overmountain / WTB)0:01:20
12Adam Craig (Giant Factory Off-Road Team)0:01:46
13Alex Stock (Kona)0:02:01
14Maxi Dickerhoff (Canyon Factory Enduro Team)0:02:04
15Nico Prudencio (Team Giant Chile)0:02:47
16Guillaume Farin (BMC Trailcrew)0:03:13
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Elite women day 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anka Martin (Juliana Bicycles)0:24:24
2Emily Horridge (Transition Bikes)0:01:03
3Kelli Emmett (Giant Factory Off-Road Team)0:01:27
4Pauline Dieffenthaler (Cannondale / Mavic)0:02:51
5Mary-Anne Hunter (Juliana Bicycles)0:05:40
6Nadine Sapin (la Roue Libre/Scott Contessa)0:05:53
7Catherine West0:12:49
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Amateur men day 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chris Ball0:21:44
2Oliver Munnik0:00:26
3Stu Thomson (MTB Cut / Orange)Row 2 - Cell 2
4Nick Gibson0:01:02
5Tom Haukom0:01:21
6Tilmann Schwab0:01:30
7Mikko Kupiainen0:01:33
8Afonso Ferreira0:01:36
9Simo Sohkanen0:02:00
10Ole Christian Fagerli0:02:03
11Joe Bowman0:02:11
12Johannes Riebl (Orbea Enduro Crew)0:02:27
13Paul Angus0:02:31
14Matt Patterson0:02:51
15Paul Smail0:03:05
16Kevin MoranRow 15 - Cell 2
17Tim Kelton0:03:16
18Gaute Reitan0:03:38
19Jon Cancellier (SRAM)0:03:43
20Lester Perry0:04:04
21Øyvind Aas0:04:05
22Jeff CalamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Mickey Fan0:04:17
24Andy WatermanRow 23 - Cell 2
25Rodrigo Cabello0:04:21
26Vadim Savelyev0:04:44
27Jon Stevens0:04:55
28Will Ockelton (Santa Cruz Bicycles)0:05:35
29Tony Gjessvag0:06:19
30Helmar Jungfer0:06:48
31Ben Macinnis0:07:20
32Lee Jordan0:07:32
33Todd Seplavy0:09:12
34Guti Martin0:09:18
35Paul Tiffin0:10:44
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Masters men day 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sven Martin (Santa Cruz Bicycles)0:22:41
2François Dola (la Roue Libre)Row 1 - Cell 2
3Seb Ramsay0:01:56
4Othmar Kuenzli0:02:02
5Plons Racing0:02:11
6Jonny Waghorn0:02:21
7Raphael Imbs (TannenBike)0:02:24
8Luke Harrison0:03:36
9Björn Becker0:05:15
10Jörg Schueller0:05:45
11Tomas Ljungdahl0:06:02
12Cooper Fowler0:11:50
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Elite men general classification after day 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jérôme Clementz (Cannondale Overmountain / Mavic)1:18:51
2Nicolas Lau (Cube Action Team)0:00:22
3Fabien Barel (Canyon Factory Enduro Team / Mavic)0:01:29
4François Bailly-Maitre (BMC Trailcrew)0:02:47
5Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing)0:02:50
6Jamie Nicoll (Santa Cruz Bicycles)0:03:52
7Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing)0:05:33
8Florian Golay (BMC Trailcrew)0:06:02
9Mark Weir (Cannondale Overmountain / WTB)0:06:07
10Anton Cooper (Cannondale Factory Racing)0:06:16
11Ben Cruz (Cannondale Overmountain / WTB)0:06:29
12Adam Craig (Giant Factory Off-Road Team)Row 11 - Cell 2
13Alex Stock (Kona)0:10:01
14Maxi Dickerhoff (Canyon Factory Enduro Team)0:10:14
15Guillaume Farin (BMC Trailcrew)0:12:48
16Nico Prudencio (Team Giant Chile)0:13:56
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Elite women general classification after day 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anka Martin (Juliana Bicycles)1:39:21
2Kelli Emmett (Giant Factory Off-Road Team)0:01:52
3Emily Horridge (Transition Bikes)0:03:41
4Pauline Dieffenthaler (Cannondale / Mavic)0:11:12
5Nadine Sapin (la Roue Libre/Scott Contessa)0:19:58
6Mary-Anne Hunter (Juliana Bicycles)0:31:51
7Catherine West0:57:25
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Amateur men general classification after day 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chris Ball1:25:08
2Oliver Munnik0:03:58
3Stu Thomson (MTB Cut / Orange)0:06:40
4Nick Gibson0:07:02
5Tom Haukom0:07:45
6Mikko Kupiainen0:09:03
7Ole Christian Fagerli0:09:28
8Matt Patterson0:10:41
9Paul Smail0:11:15
10Paul Angus0:11:51
11Gaute Reitan0:12:34
12Tilmann Schwab0:12:48
13Joe Bowman0:13:44
14Afonso Ferreira0:14:17
15Øyvind Aas0:14:40
16Kevin Moran0:14:48
17Simo Sohkanen0:14:49
18Jon Cancellier (SRAM)0:17:29
19Lester Perry0:17:40
20Will Ockelton (Santa Cruz Bicycles)0:18:45
21Jeff Calam0:18:48
22Mickey Fan0:19:11
23Jon Stevens0:20:42
24Tim Kelton0:21:43
25Andy Waterman0:23:25
26Rodrigo Cabello0:24:08
27Vadim Savelyev0:24:57
28Tony Gjessvag0:29:52
29Lee Jordan0:39:30
30Helmar Jungfer0:41:12
31Guti Martin0:42:30
32Ben Macinnis0:45:35
33Johannes Riebl (Orbea Enduro Crew)0:47:24
34Todd Seplavy0:57:21
35Paul Tiffin0:57:26
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Masters men general classification after day 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sven Martin (Santa Cruz Bicycles)1:31:34
2François Dola (la Roue Libre)0:01:16
3Othmar Kuenzli0:08:26
4Jonny Waghorn0:08:27
5Seb Ramsay0:09:18
6Plons Racing0:09:19
7Raphael Imbs (TannenBike)0:11:07
8Luke Harrison0:16:25
9Björn Becker0:22:47
10Jörg Schueller0:25:10
11Tomas Ljungdahl0:28:21
12Cooper Fowler0:52:53

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