Transvésubienne: Getting ready

The transvesubienne is without any doubt the best mountain bike race in France and probably one of the best in the world.
It starts in the Alps 80kms north of Nice near the Italian border and finishes in the Mediterranean Sea in downtown Nice.
It is about 90km long with over 2500m of altitude gain and 4000m of altitude lost.
It takes place every year at the end of May.
It takes the best riders 6h30 to complete the race but to end it under the maximum allowed time of 12h30 is already a challenge.

I don't like races but I love technical trails and they don't get any more challenging than these, so when my friends in the North of France ask me to go with them to do the recos the weekend before the race I didn't hesitate.

If, like I do, you're always searching for scary and technical singletracks you have to come ride these trails.

I rode my Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc. You need full suspension and you need travel, at least 130mm for my 29 wheels. You also need big wheels, there are thousands of rocky steps and you need to clear them even when you're dead tired. And of course I think it is impossible to do without a telescopic seatpost.
I rode strong wheels with 2.3 Maxxis Highrollers Exo TR. I only had one flat puncture but I consider myself lucky. Most of the downhills are really rocky and filled with loose slate. If it's also wet, as it usually is early morning facing north, the rocks are waiting to cut the sides of your tires.

We booked a hotel near the start of the race in the sky station of La Colmiane, but to do the recos it would be better to have your basecamp in the valley near Lantosque so you can do the whole trails in a couple of loops starting from your hotel. It will take you around 6h of mountain biking every day.

You need to take a lot of water with you as there is hardly any throughout the track and it can get very hot at this time of the year. And it better be hot, because if it rains the trails get very slippery.

Don't forget good gloves, the downhills are very long and demanding and it is easy to get blisters if your hands rub inside your gloves.

You also need good shoes, you'll be walking a lot uphill no matter how fit you are!

I don't wear protections for knees and elbows, it is not an Enduro race and I prefer to take it easy and (relatively) safe going downhill rather than carrying all the stuff uphill.

Now that we're ready let's go for the trails!

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