The longest stage of TRANSPYR GRAN RAID MTB 2018 is however not the one with the highest elevation, as we tried to design the most easy first part of it. Starting from the iconic Citadel of Jaca, the route heads the northwest to avoid the mountains of the Pyrenees in the first part, accumulating kilometres on rolling terrain in order to increase the average speed without much effort. After the second food station located in the smart village of Burgui, the profile changes and there is no way to avoid having to ascend some small mountains, up to 1300 metres high, jumping to the side of the Pyrenees of Navarra, where you soon will be able to realize the different landscape and climate. A quick look at the altimetry profile will show how different are the first and second part of the stage. Once the top of the long climb reached, slighltly further the pk 100, he track will gently descent and pass through several small villages mixing roads, tarmac paths and fast gravel ways, until finally arrives at Burguete.
Progressing in the stage will make you experience the natural and cultural landscape transition from the rough Pyrenees of Aragon and the more Atlantic shaped ones of Navarra.
Overall the technical difficulty is low as we assume that distance and elevation are quite a good challenge for the TRANSPYR survivors at this point.
6.2 Valle de Salazar 30 km ; 1000 + ; 700 – (approx. PK 78 to 108)
The organization sets a short timed sector for this stage since, due to the very long itinerary to cover, the tracks must find somehow the easy way to progress forward, having to cross several villages and small road sections quite often along the stage.
The chosen timed sector consists of having to ascend and descend twice, being the first one steep but short, in fact a narrow trail inside the forest with likely some wet and rocky challenging conditions, plus a transition on forest track right before getting down again, first on a short forest singletrack, and afterwards on an open, fast and rolling track until the route has to cross an important road and go forward on a secondary small one, before getting to the third food station in Izal. Even being inside the timed sector, we advise to have a rest and carry drink before continuing your way further, as right after it does begin the second climb, longer and tougher than the previous one, but with low technical challenge. The final descent to the finish line might be fast and therefore dangerous considering how tired you may be at that point of the stage.
(consider them as approximated)
Stage distance: 132 km
Timed Sectors: 30 km
Liaisons: 102 km
Stage elevation: 2600 m
Stage descent: 2500 m
KEEP IN MIND:
Finding the good rhythm is paramount in this stage: get it too high and you may falter. Get it too much cautious and you may reach the host town at night!
Attention with the fountains! This is a very long stage where you may feel as drinking in places besides the food stations displayed by the organization. But before doing so, make sure the water is safe and healthy, as in previous editions of TRANSPYR some participants had problems with the fountain water in this stage. If the four food stations along the way are not enough for you, we rather recommend taking advantage of the several villages that the track crosses to buy safe water, drinks or food.
The stage has no remarkable technical difficulty. However, and especially because of this, focus must be put on keeping completely concentrated and skilful in both the two mountain descents, and the travelling on the several road or tarmac sections that you will encounter.
In particular, it is important to keep in mind the section between pk 85 and pk 91, inside the timed sector, and where there is the crossing of the main road and right afterwards the circulation on the connecting small and narrow road that leads you to the third food station, in Izal.