In 2009 a group of 32 friends (and friends of friends) from across the planet rode the inaugural Trans-Provence. Ash Smith was a man with a plan, and it was plan he wanted to share.


An addiction to maps and love of adventure, and the urge to join those dots together, and to share that trail journey with others led to the inaugural incarnation of the event we now know.


Racing was important but adventure more so, the rally style format of riding together between stages and sharing the climbs and the linking trails, and the appreciation of being in the high mountains.


Sometimes pedalling, sometimes carrying, new vistas at the top of the next col as important as the timed special stage on the other side. The code of the high mountain, where you help your fellow travellers in time of need, even if it ends that days racing for you – to know whether you’re first or last at the end of day, you’ve all been on the same mountain and ridden the same trails.


6 years later and it’s all a bit leaner and faster – wheel sizes have changed, and there’s a lot more carbon around, the rally style format of racing has morphed into a World series, and there’s a whole genre of bikes and packs, helmets and a hundred and one other must haves, designed for what we do.


Outwardly Mavic Trans-Provence has changed a little as well from that first event five years ago. There’s a day’s less racing and there’s a pro category, and we are fortunate enough to be supported by our amazing sponsors… but essentially the spirit of that first year is still as strong.


Just like in year one, whilst for some racing is the main draw to be here, for just as many the chance to share a week’s riding with new friends is an equally strong pull. To experience new terrain, to ride all day for days, to leave behind the humdrum of everyday life – For adventure.

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Words & Pictures: PR Mavic Trans-Provence

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