Racing mountain bikes in 2019 looks really, really exellent
Watch parts 1, 2 and 3 of Iterology; the story behind the postponement and the return of the legendary enduro event called Trans-Provence 2019.
The Trans-Provence didn’t happen in 2018 and there were many who feared that we’d seen the last of the ‘TP’ and that the limelight had been stolen by the Enduro World Series.
In truth though, the Trans-Provence and the EWS are two very different things. Each are the pinnacle of their chosen format of enduro racing. EWS is international and has practice days. TP is all about the French Maritime Alps and on-sight ‘blind racing’.
We can’t wait to hear more about Ash’s plans for 2019. Welcome back TP!
Official blurb from Trans-Provence’s Ash Smith…
“In talking of “networks” of trails in the Alps, people conjour up imagery of an endless, consistent web of prime singletracks linking effortlessly into one another.
“If such a thing existed, then the creation of long-distance, multi-day MTB itineraries would be so easy as to hardly be worthy of discussion.
“The reality, of course, is that the trails of our mountains are utilitarian entities of infrastructure which generally came about because of a specific activity in a very specific place. Valley-to-valley trails often became highways (today’s Col roads) because, again, utility.
“This has left behind pockets of singletrack-rich areas with often very little good stuff in between.
“Herein lies my main challenge in putting together the route for Mavic Trans-Provence from year-to-year. Many thanks to Bry Watt and his expert narration for helping me to expand on the story in Episode 2 of ITINEROLOGY.”
Ash Smith, the guy behind Trans-Provence, revealed via Instagram (see below) back in May that the legendary 7-day enduro event in the Maritime Alps is set to return in 2019.
Caption: ashingtonio “The point was simply to compile days which represented what I believed mountain biking should be all about, in the only region I knew how, the Western and Southwestern Alps of Europe. Discovery was a central theme and hence, by derivation, so was variety.
“I (armed with the organisational genius of @melissa.transprovence) was extremely fortunate to be able to do it for 9 years. But in 2018, I could no longer. Not because of “getting sick of it” as such, but there simply wasn’t enough time for me, in my circumstances, to reach into genuinely new territory from one year’s edition to the next. The only way I, a quite uncompromising person, could deal with this fact was to put a halt to the event.
“Dave from Leicestershire was pissed off because it was OK for me getting bored of a route, but he hadn’t got to experience Trans-Provence and that was unfair! But I didn’t owe Dave anything and I’m sure with a bit of digging or a quality guide (I know a few guides… hit me up and I’ll put you in touch) he’d be able to find pretty sick trails akin to T-P or indeed even a similar event. There’s more to life than Trans-Provence, Dave.
“However, the time that I’ve bought myself, sorry, the time that I’ve been given thanks to excellent support and understanding from various parties, has allowed my gut feeling to be confirmed: that there is still more out there that I want to bring into the mix and send people through. Not just “new trails” but new zones with particular 3D layouts which might help us iterate closer to that perfect journey by singletrack.
“It’s worth a try anyway. So Mavic Trans-Provence is coming back for 2019. Thank you @maviccycling @mavic_mtb @santacruzbicycles & @melissa.transprovence for continuing to push it into the realm of possible. You keep the dream alive”