Moving most of the time from 1000 metres up to almost 2000 of altitude, this is a true mountain stage that provides character to TRANSPYR GRAN RAID MTB. To begin with, right after leaving Camprodon you will have to face the iconic Collada Verda pass with its long ascent and rough descent. Mind that this first 20 ks are a timed sector where you will have to take a lot of care in the beginning, as you will be almost 300 riders looking for their place following narrow trails and crossing many junctions. You will pass by a couple of small villages and, after reaching the pass, please make sure you keep an extra attention to safety in case an unexpected vehicle would have joined the track, since the descent is narrow and quite steep, therefore fast.
Stay at the right on the road down to Ribes de Freser -where the first food station is located- avoiding getting too much relaxed after crossing the finish line of the timed sector.
Almost with no time to rest your legs, the second important climb is awaiting right after leaving Ribes de Freser. In this part of the stage you will ride up to 1900 metres on a open mountain scenery, sometimes facing the difficulty of keeping moving on grassy trails and very steep slopes. A second timed sector takes place in this environment, before joining an asphalt road that brings you to the second food station in the ski resort of La Molina .
From that point, you will have the chance to enjoy what is considered one of the best downhill of TRANSPYR GRAN RAID MTB: not very technical, mostly fluent, without the stress of a timed sector, it leads you down the awesome wide valley of La Cerdanya, where a long transition to the west combining wide tracks, some nice small trails and even roads will make you reach La Seu d’Urgell, host town for the end of Stage 2.
Collada Verda, 19 km ; 700 + ; 400 –
You will be convoyed in the beginning for a couple ok kilometres. Afterwards, a combination of different kind of up and down trails will bring you to the beginning of a very long ascent. First on tarmac where you will have to pass through a couple of tiny villages, then on gravel trails where the landscape opens around you with spectacular views while you proceed to the pass. There is no forest shadow but the weather should still be fresh at that point of the day. Although quite rough, this type of terrain does not bother in the climb as you normally will circulate at quite low speed. It is a though ascent, and since it is located at the beginning of the stage, you better take it as easy as possible and try to enjoy the surroundings!
Right from the top of the pass, above 1600 meters of altitude, you will have to keep extremely concentrated and fully attentive to your riding as the narrow, normally quite rough and very steep descent might be potentially very dangerous. There are no cliffs nor exposed bends, but since it is not twisty but straight, the speed could be frightening and you have to keep a complete control of your bike and your riding at every moment. Moreover, and although some marshals will control the end of the timed sector, it is better if you keep an eye on a far sight in case unattended vehicles would have by mistake entered the sector.
Montgrony, 19 km ; 700 + ; 250 –
After having been able to get a well deserved food and beverage provisioning in the village called Ribes de Freser, you will have a few kilometres to get ready and warm again for the second test of the stage. It does begin right after leaving the ascending tarmac road and again the first part consists of a long climb with a lot of accumulated elevation. In this occasion, most of the trails are on good terrain, even some inside the forest. Just in the last part of the climb, you must go forward on sometimes uncomfortable meadows with even some orientation difficulties, plus a very steep –on foot- slope right to the awesome pass at almost 1900 meters high. Crossing to the other side of the mountain on typically alpine terrain, the descent is short but very fast punctuated with some important junctions; Therefore, it is very important that without neglecting your riding, you are able to often give an eye to your GPS. Before you are able to reach the finish line of this timed sector, you still will have to gain again a few meters up, this time on a rolling forest track.
¡Make sure you start this timed sector with complete provisioning of beverage and with some energetic food as well!
(consider them as approximated)
Overall stage distance: 119 km
Timed Sectors distance: 38 km
Liaisons distance: 81 km
Stage elevation: 2700 m
Stage descent: 3000 m
KEEP IN MIND:
The potentially dangerous start of the first timed sector, following a combination of trails and many junctions.
The downhill of the first pass Collada Verda where it is difficult to guarantee that no vehicle or animal will be encountered on the fast way down, still inside the timed sector.
Not to relax your attention to traffic and riding right after the timed sectors: some liaisons sectors can be very dangerous.
Some wires settled on place to control the animals on their pastures. Always leave them as encountered.
Some fallen trees might be encountered in the downhill right after La Molina (second food station); you can pass through, but you better think of it.
The last part of the stage on liaison where the combination of tiredness and the potentially crowded roads, with major crossroads and even some last kilometres on the road, might be potentially dangerous. ¡Keep riding on a line, one after the other, when on big roads!