Starting at the Mediterranean Sea, a historically multiple civilization arrival site, the launching of TRANSPYR GRAN RAID MTB by TRESSIS A LA PAR will certainly be spectacular, linking three stages that will test the physical and mental strength of the brave Pyrenees explorers.
This first stage consists of a transition between the nice slightly hilly landscape of Alt Empordà and La Garrotxa counties and the first mountainous location. We leave the sea and the Mediterranean culture riding on very rolling terrain and progressively gain altitude until we reach Camprodon, already a reputed Pyrenean location skimming the 1000 metres altitude.
Technically has no major test apart from a couple or three very short spots, where it may be better even to get off the bike.
It is a stage whose difficulty is due to the start at sea level and the finish at almost 1.000 metres of altitude, having to cope additionally with quite high humidity and temperatures. As well, sometime riders may miss the right rhythm for them because of the starting easy terrain and profile, going too fast and therefore missing the required energy for the very tough last part.
Serra de Malforat
Approx. 19 km ; 600 + ; 150 –
Located in the last part of the stage, only a couple of kilometres away from the third –and last- food station, it is an almost completely uphill sector without technical stress.
It starts having to cross a small stream several times which in good weather conditions does not bother, but you must know you will get food-wet and consider the effects on your bike as well.
Then it starts to go upwards steadily but almost without a rest for about 4 km. It really is a very tough ascent. You will afterwards reach a kind of plateau where heartbeat can somehow recover. In the following kilometres you must circulate with care and better keep on your right side of the track, as even with all the efforts of the organization, there are several houses and farms and it is impossible to guarantee that no car or vehicle will be encountered.
After a narrower trail and the crossing of a house with its farm, again you will join a wide rolling track with some shadow, still gaining altitude steadily. The very last part –for about 2 or 3 2 km- usually remains quite wet because it is a small trail inside a closed forest, to finish with a short, narrow steep “wall” where the finish line of the timed sector is located.
General advice when on timed sectors: mind that, even doing our best in terms of traffic and safety control, the nature of the linear itinerary and crossed areas does not allow to fully guaranteeing that nobody with any kind of vehicle will enter the sector from whatever point. Therefore the key attitude is, as always in marathon mtb, to remain permanently alert, keeping on your right on wide ways whenever possible, and checking that there is free way at all junctions and crossroads.
(consider them as approximated)
Stage distance: 105 km
Timed Sectors: 19 km
Liaisons: 86 km
Stage elevation: 1700 m
Stage descent: 700 m
KEEP IN MIND:
Please take it easy, it is a stage designed to progressively get into what TRANSPYR GRAN RAID MTB by TRESSIS A LA PAR will be in terms of difficulty.
In the very rolling tracks of the beginning, do not get engaged with other riders pace if you feel it is not yours. It is very easy to rapidly waste your energy and have trouble for the rest of the stage. Additionally, the mixed terrain at mid stage can as well be a kind of trap, as the trails are quick but you never stop going up and down, and perhaps it is better to shift a gear down and progress slightly slower.
Humidity and very high temperatures play here an important role as well. Stop to hydrate and have a rest as much as necessary, keeping just an eye on your minimum speed average which should not be difficult to match in this type of terrain.
Please follow at all time the marshals instructions. You will be allowed to cross a very smart old town right after the first food station, called Besalú. As a tourist site, in good weather there might be quite a lot of people around and on the tiny streets. You may even be invited to go on food for a short sector. Be kind and enjoy this visit yourself as well!
Enjoy the transition landscapes up to the Pyrenees, and for the competition minded, save energy for the timed sector which is located in the very last part of the day, and it is a serious first test for everybody.