Trans Vesubienne Nice, FRA

Date: 18.05.2013 – 19.05.2013

Description: Enduro Endurance

85kms, 3900m of climbing, 5400m of descending, 6.33hrs, 13km/h average speed!!
3rd Place, 3.28min behind winner Chenevier Alexis

My bike:
Specialized Camber 29er, 110mm of travel front and rear
Tire front: Purgatory 2.2, control casing, 25psi
Tire rear: Fast Track 2.1, control casing, 27psi
Fox Shock front and rear (Rock Shocks arrived in France only the day before the race, so I did not wanted to change my suspension setup any more)
Look S-Track Pedal with Rib Cage
XX1 with Rotor Chainring 33 (29 would have been much better!)
FRM seatpost and full carbon chain guide
Roval Carbon Rims

For the downhill sections I would loved to have a real downhill bike and for the uphills my Epic. So you can imagine it was all about the best compromise, and my Camber was definitely the right and best setup for it. Such a cool overall trail bike with a low bottom bracket, stiff and light. I can not wait to hit my home trails with it!

Something different, loved it!

I flew from Zürich to Nice, visited a Specialized concept store, tanked the last sunshine and then headed up with my mechanic Sandy 50km into the mountains of Nice. What a scene change! From the coast glamour into the rural mountains with small pretty towns. Unfortunately it was more and less the last time I have seen the sun until the finish of the race in Nice again… it was miserable for days, but never less we had very good fun and made the best out of it. Unfortunately Saturdays prologue had to be cancelled. That day it rained only once and up at the start it was snowing. It was quite a cozy day, staying in bed, coffee shops, bakeries but I also rode my bike for 45min up the hill and then got a drive down with the van. I did not feel to get cold and muddy again like the days before riding the course.

After we had our pre race gnocchi dinner at our fave restaurant it was was still raining “cats & dogs” and I could not imagine that we are going to race the next day, since I knew it must be snowing up at the start, but luckily the weather forecast was good for race day.

It was surreal scene, starting at 6.30 with fresh snow and temperatures around freezing point plus some riders dressed in short pants and short jerseys only! Weather looked good but not a 100% fine so I made my shoes seriously water proof with shoe covers and duct tape. I also had knee warmers plus a rain jacket on.

I was really excited to start but my excitement blew into the air after 5min when I rode into a piece of glass up a ski slope. The piece still stuck in my side wall. While I swearing for myself and trying to fix it the whole first heat of 300 rider passed me plus the second heat was rolling up towards me. I was off again in the middle of the second heat. One advantage of all this misfortune has been that the leading riders nicely walked a path into the snow. We had to walk and run through calf and ankle deep snow for at least 45min. Luckily the frenchies always gave me good space to pass so I was moving well. Suddenly it started to snow again and when we got into the forest it turned into heavy rainfall. At some points rivers of melting water ran down the trails. It was seriously cold, wet and dirty. After more then 3.5hrs I was in second place around 4min down to the leader. I’ve really seen the chance of winning this race again, but I had to do an other longer stop, since my tube bobbled out of my side cut. I had to patch the side wall in the pissing rain. I still had small sparks of hope since my legs and motivation gave me healthy signs into me head. A spectator suddenly told me I am only 2min behind the leader and a few minutes later he appeared in front of me! I had no idea who he was and I was wondering how he looks like, what team he is riding for and from where he is coming from. My phantom was a frechy and just started to fix a puncture right there. I thought this is my guaranteed win, but when I was just about to pass him I punctured as well. We had our own puncture fixing competition and while we were fixing our problems in the wilderness I found out that he’s name is Pierre and that he is actually living in Germany next to the Specialized office in Munich. Avery nice guy! Unfortunately when I took off my co2 bomb of the valve I broke the the tread and I had to add an other tube. I definitely lost the fixing puncture competition and during that process a few more riders passed me. I finally ended up third. It was a really cool adventure race and as you can see my whole diary entry is longer then usual. Lots of stories to tell means lots of excitement.

My whole body is sore now especially my calfs from running, but the memories live for ever. I like to be back again next year!

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