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Covering 38km through snow, mud and dust, from peaks to valleys and comprising over 2,500 metres of descending and nearly 1,700m of climbing, Day 1 of the 2016 Mavic Trans-Provence certainly got things rolling in the true spirit of the event. Waking to a fresh coating of snow on the mountains, racers left Camp Zero knowing the day was not going to be easy. But with four special stages that took in just about every trail condition possible and one or two classic Ash Smith (race organiser) obstacles – including a battle across a raging mountain stream – and ending with a high speed ridgeline blast into loamy fresh turns to wrap things up for the day, the effort was more than worth it.

Racing this event is all about playing the long game, and sometimes those who are leading early in the week won’t necessarily be at the top of the results sheet at the end of it… however, you’d be hard pressed to bet against class act and race leaders after Day 1 Nico Lau (Cube Action Team) and Ines Thoma (Canyon Factory Racing).

Things are tight at the top though, and Nico’s early lead will be hunted hard by second-place Francois Bailly-Maitre (BMC Factory Trailcrew), who took a dive into the river yet trails Lau’s time by only 12 seconds. The USA’s Marco Osborne (WTB/Cannondale) races the event for his first time and was looking absolutely on fire on course; he sits in third after Day 1.

Ines Thoma is racing ‘for the adventure’, but it doesn’t seem to have affected the German rider’s speed. Carolin Gehrig (Ibis) sits in 2nd, 15 seconds back from Thoma after Day 1. Her sister Anita Gehrig (Ibis) has a further deficit of 30 seconds, finishing third after the first day.

Day Two kicks off with a shuttle to 2,200m altitude before heading into another four stages and 45km of TP mayhem. It’s going to be wild! Follow proceedings on the Mavic© Trans-Provence race feed at

2016 Mavic Trans-Provence Day Results (full results)

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