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Trans-Savoie ::: The Evolution of All-Mountain MTB Multi-Day Enduro Racing

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ESSENTIAL COMPETITOR JOINING INSTRUCTIONS available in this document –  TRANS-SAVOIE PRE-EVENT JOINING INSTRUCTIONS

On-Bike

The riding takes place over 6 full days from Sunday to Friday inclusive. The event officially starts with registration on the Saturday afternoon (latest arrival 19:30) and officially ends after breakfast on the following Saturday. All meals and camp accommodation will be provided within this period. It is possible to complete the event and leave camp early on the Friday evening, if you need to (and arrange your own travel).

Breakfast is served from 07:00 with first riders departing around 08:00 to 08:30. (Some days start with an uplift, others with a liason stage followed by an uplift, and some are liaison directly into a special stage.) Lunch is served in the form of a feed-station en-route. Participants should make it back to base camp between 16:30 and 18:30 each day.

Our advised approach and preparation to all participants should be that of one preparing to undertake a significant mountain trek / expedition that will be very physically demanding. Fitness in the endurance / strength conditioning sense, as well as mental focus and determination is more relevant than outright pace and / or climbing ability. That said, entrants will face very big, long days in the saddle (50Km+, 7-9 hrs a day) on very physical trails, in potentially hot conditions and at altitudes up to 3000m. All entrants are strongly advised to consider their physical capacity to cope with these conditions for 6 consecutive days, before applying.

First of all, don’t ONLY ride trail centres and man-made trails. They aren’t going to help you much with this event, except perhaps your fitness and general bike handling awareness. If you are considering entering this event then you should already be at this level of competence, as a minimum. We’d therefore advise taking in as much natural terrain as you can, and ride in places you have not been to before. Practise riding challenging sections on sight, and as you would do against the clock. If you are not an experienced racer, practise at your “comfortable 70% pace”. (Where 100% would be the pace you would ride in a normal, pre-sighted Enduro race event). This is the pace that will certainly give you the best overall result at the Trans-Savoie. Get out for some big epic rides and take note of your personal needs for nutrition and hydration. For those serious about competing to place highly, a week or long-weekend riding in big mountains on natural terrain would prove invaluable, as well as offer great strength and fitness conditioning. Altitude acclimatisation would also be useful since the first special stage of Day 1 starts at 2800m Altitude! Check out our guided trips with trailAddiction if this is an option you are considering.

The Trans-Savoie route has been carefully selected to provide a variety of trail styles and technicality in order to open up the event to a wide range of riding styles and professional disciplines. However, ALL terrain is natural and “real-mountain” and therefore should be considered at all times as significantly more challenging and inherently unsafe (especially in the event of rider error). A high proportion (50% or more) of the special stages can be described as “extremely difficult”: that is double-black-diamond-technicality or harder as defined by the IMBA; with the remainder being classified as at least single-black-diamond level. In comparison to the course setup typically found at the Enduro World Series (EWS), Trans-Savoie stages can broadly be considered at least as technically difficult to navigate, but with the added complexity of racing blind, and usually without course tape in place to help show you where the trail leads to next. Physically speaking, also expect a broad equivalence to a typical day at the Enduro World Series, but unlike those events, Trans-Savoie is 6 days back-to-back without rest.

This is really a matter of opinion, but there are a few essentials: Not too heavy (a hinderance on tight technical descents as well as the sometimes long liaison stages), strong enough build to be very reliable (the route will probably be the most arduous and demanding terrain you have ever seen, no joke), a confidence-inspiring set-up (slack angles, very good brakes that don’t overheat on long descents, short stem, wide bars), a remote-height adjustable seatpost would be handy, but we note this also poses an additional reliability risk compared to a fixed-post. (There only perhaps two or three special stages where you will want to have the seat anywhere other than its down position for the duration). Strong wheels and thick side-walled tyres are probably the highest priority, followed by bigger brakes (you simply cannot go to big for our 20 min+ descents!)

Off-Bike During the Event

Unfortunately we cannot specifically cater for all kinds of dietary requirement and catering will be provided on a ‘take out the bits you don’t like’ basis. All menus will be prepared with this in mind to allow as much ‘DIY flexibility’ as possible whilst providing exceptional quality and adequate high-energy nutrition, specifically planned to replenish all the right nutrients your body needs after a hard day in the saddle.

• Breakfast is buffet-style with a full range of cereals to choose from, bread and jam, juices, and of course tea and coffee.

• Lunch is packed to be taken with you on the trails by each competitor, consisting of a substantial baguette sandwich and an energy bar.

• A feeding station is located at a suitable point en route, each day. Fruit, snacks, energy foods, liquids etc are provided.

• A very hearty dinner is provided daily at approx 19:30.

• Water-stops en route are readily available in the form of public-use fountains and trail-side natural springs.

The route, whilst mostly remote, will pass through Alpine villages & towns between special stages….and base camps are mostly located near to basic amenities eg local supermarket, for competitors to purchase additional personal supplies as required.

From and to base camp, we transport all bikes as bagged/boxed for travel. During the event we use various bike trailer set-ups. You may be asked to loosen & turn your bars sideways to fit securely on the largest of these trailers. There is an unsecured storage area at each camp every night, within eye-shot and ear-shot of your tent. Additionally, there is indoor secure storage at the nearby catering hall each day.

We have a basic workshop area and common tools available to use at camp each day. We also have full event support from Shimano mechanics (supporting all riders of all brands!) on site each day. We carry a stock of common parts camp-to-camp, but we strongly advise packing bike-specific spares such as a rear mech hanger, a few spokes, & brake pads since it is highly unlikely you will source these en-route. Trail-side mechanical support is not offered during the event….except of course by friendly fellow competitors! If your bike completely fails an is irreparable, Trans-Savoie cannot offer guaranteed provision to provide you with a temporary / hire replacement. That said, in 2013 despite several catastrophic bike failures, we managed to keep everyone racing with suitable replacement bikes as needed.

We have several dedicated doctors on our team who will provide first-aid and further treatment / advice should you need it. If emergency hospital treatment is required, we will arrange to transport you to the nearest hospital or liase with emergency services as required. For non-urgent cases or treatments outside of racing hours, you may need to make your own arrangements should you wish to travel to a hospital (e.g. taxi). If you are hospitalised we will take care of, and deliver your bike to camp in Chamonix at the end of the week.

We can provide a list of the planned campsites and villages en route on request, as well as a list of local tourist board contacts to source alternative accommodation. There is limited space on all campsites so visiting supporters should plan to find accommodation elsewhere, e.g. local hotels or similar.   Non-participants will not be allowed into the camp area during briefings or mealtimes.

Note that our Self-supported race entry package includes an extra space on camp for one person to accompany the rider for the whole week.

 

A number of volunteer spaces are available in race-support roles, as an alternative option, but please be aware this is not simply an opportunity for an easy race-side seat – volunteering at Trans-Savoie is great fun, but very full-on! Check out our volunteering page for info.

Yes. A comprehensive medical and rescue emergency cover is mandatory for all competitors. In particular, the organisers have no provision for accommodation and/or ownard support for any competitor needing to remain in hospital overnight. If the camp has moved on before you are well enough to travel, you will be responsible for any costs incurred in order to catch us up or make your way home, and therefore we strongly advise you have accident insurance in place to cover this in full (eg onward travel and repatriation costs). Due to the individual requirements of each competitor, we are not able to recommend any one general insurance provider for this event.   Note that European Citizens can receive free medical emergency treatment with an EHIC card, but this does not cover incidental costs such as rescue and medical travel.

Yes indeed – and there several good-fun / working holiday-type roles available including on-bike marshall / sweeper, camp-team and logistics, etc. Check out our volunteering page if you are interested to find out more. –

Pre-trip and Post-Event

Each entrant can bring a total of THREE items of luggage (you’ll need to pack efficiently):

• 1 x large sports bag or rucksack – for your clothing, sleeping bag and any bike spares

• 1 x trail/day-pack

• 1 x bike bag

• Note – bike bag is NOT transported via daily base camps eg it cannot be used for daily kit / spares storage during the event

Rather obviously, you’ll need a bike & helmet, essential spares, a hydration pack (3L recommended) with first aid kit (compulsory), on and off-bike clothing (prepare for all weathers and potential temps between -5 and +35 DegC). You’ll also need a towel and toiletries, and a 4-season sleeping bag.

Once we recieve your entry application, we first check that we still have space for you and that all else is good-to-go, and then we’ll allocate you a place/number and confirm this by email to you. Only then do we ask for payment – at which point we will send an invoice requesting payment along with full payment details. Payment options are the usual credit & debit cards (via paypal) or direct bank transfer.

A 249 GBP / 299 Euro deposit is payable immediately (within 5 days), upon receipt of our email confirming your successful entry. The remaining balance must be paid by latest 1st April. All participants will receive a payment reminder by email in advance of this due date. The entry deposit is non-refundable in the event of your cancellation, for any reason including unforeseen circumstances such as injury, illness or family bereavement..

For administrative & logistical reasons, and in the interest of fairness for wait-listed riders; we cannot accept transferal of your entry to a rider of your nomination. We may attempt to reallocate your cancelled place to a wait-listed entrant of our choice. (These riders have all passed the entry pre-screening process).

CANCELLATION BEFORE 1st MARCH: The entry fee deposit is non-refundable in the event of your cancellation, for any reason including unforeseen circumstances such as injury, illness or bereavement. We therefore strongly recommend you have cancellation insurance in place as soon as your entry is confirmed. For administrative & logistical reasons, and in the interest of fairness for wait-listed riders, we cannot accept transferal of your own entry to a replacement entrant of your nomination.

CANCELLATION 1ST March to 1st JUNE: We will attempt to re-allocate your cancelled place to a wait-listed entrant of our choice. (These riders have all passed the entry pre-screening process). Once your replacement has been confirmed we will refund your entry fee, minus the non-refundable entry deposit.

CANCELLATION AFTER 1ST JUNE: For logistical and administrative reasons, cancellations after 1st June are not usually eligible for place re-allocation. We will consider each case on an individual basis but in most cases we will be unable to re-allocate your entry to a wait-listed rider and therefore we will be unable to refund any part of your entry fee. We will of course assist with all admin required to process a suitable cancellation claim with your insurance policy.

Yes. A comprehensive medical and rescue emergency cover is mandatory for all competitors. In particular, the organisers have no provision for accommodation and/or ownard support for any competitor needing to remain in hospital overnight. If the camp has moved on before you are well enough to travel, you will be responsible for any costs incurred in order to catch us up or make your way home, and therefore we strongly advise you have accident insurance in place to cover this in full (eg onward travel and repatriation costs). Due to the individual requirements of each competitor, we are not able to recommend any one general insurance provider for this event.   Note that European Citizens can receive free medical emergency treatment with an EHIC card, but this does not cover incidental costs such as rescue and medical travel.

Yes indeed – and there several good-fun / working holiday-type roles available including on-bike marshall / sweeper, camp-team and logistics, etc. Check out our volunteering page if you are interested to find out more. –

The Trans-Savoie is a solo-only event in terms of finishing position and the racing itself. However group entries are welcomed.  An individual entry form from each applicant is required.   Please email all of your team’s entry forms together, in one entry application email.   If you enter as a group in this manner, then we will consider you on a “all-in-or-none-of-us-in” basis.

The only airport which we organise transfers from is GENEVA (GVA), Switzerland (on Saturday only). The transfer departs the airport at 15:00 subject to airport disasters! The latest possible flight arrival you should book is 14:30. We’ll have one small minibus on standby for unplanned delayed arrivals. On the following Saturday after the race, we drop back at Geneva at 11:00.

Later arrivals into Gevena are simple not practical to be able to participate. If you arrive early, a private transfer from Geneva to Val d’Isere would cost 500-600 Euros and sadly there are no public transport links. Homebound from Chamonix is 1 hour transfer to Geneva and private transfer companies offer this service for 50 to 100 Euros per head.

If you wish to take an airport transfer in either direction from Geneva, this MUST be pre-booked before the deadline (well in advance of the race) as detailed in your rider inscription information.

Parking will be available for the duration of the event, close to base camp in Val d’Isere, and driving directions will be provided in your race entry information. A return shuttle to collect your vehicle will be provided from final day’s camp, on the Saturday morning after the race. (Must be pre-booked via your rider’s travel form)

A 249 GBP / 299 Euro deposit is payable immediately (within 5 days), upon receipt of our email confirming your successful entry. The remaining balance must be paid by latest 1st April. All participants will receive a payment reminder by email in advance of this due date. The entry deposit is non-refundable in the event of your cancellation, for any reason including unforeseen circumstances such as injury, illness or family bereavement..

For administrative & logistical reasons, and in the interest of fairness for wait-listed riders; we cannot accept transferal of your entry to a rider of your nomination. We may attempt to reallocate your cancelled place to a wait-listed entrant of our choice. (These riders have all passed the entry pre-screening process).

CANCELLATION BEFORE 1st MARCH: The entry fee deposit is non-refundable in the event of your cancellation, for any reason including unforeseen circumstances such as injury, illness or bereavement. We therefore strongly recommend you have cancellation insurance in place as soon as your entry is confirmed. For administrative & logistical reasons, and in the interest of fairness for wait-listed riders, we cannot accept transferal of your own entry to a replacement entrant of your nomination.

CANCELLATION 1ST March to 1st JUNE: We will attempt to re-allocate your cancelled place to a wait-listed entrant of our choice. (These riders have all passed the entry pre-screening process). Once your replacement has been confirmed we will refund your entry fee, minus the non-refundable entry deposit.

CANCELLATION AFTER 1ST JUNE: For logistical and administrative reasons, cancellations after 1st June are not usually eligible for place re-allocation. We will consider each case on an individual basis but in most cases we will be unable to re-allocate your entry to a wait-listed rider and therefore we will be unable to refund any part of your entry fee. We will of course assist with all admin required to process a suitable cancellation claim with your insurance policy.

Yes. A comprehensive medical and rescue emergency cover is mandatory for all competitors. In particular, the organisers have no provision for accommodation and/or ownard support for any competitor needing to remain in hospital overnight. If the camp has moved on before you are well enough to travel, you will be responsible for any costs incurred in order to catch us up or make your way home, and therefore we strongly advise you have accident insurance in place to cover this in full (eg onward travel and repatriation costs). Due to the individual requirements of each competitor, we are not able to recommend any one general insurance provider for this event.   Note that European Citizens can receive free medical emergency treatment with an EHIC card, but this does not cover incidental costs such as rescue and medical travel.

Yes indeed – and there several good-fun / working holiday-type roles available including on-bike marshall / sweeper, camp-team and logistics, etc. Check out our volunteering page if you are interested to find out more. –

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