FAQ / INFO
Last Updated: 12 August 2022
Travel – Arrival – Logistics
In 2022, the 50/50 starts just outside of Bourg Saint Maurice. Free parking nearby is available all week.
This year, we’ll finish in the Meribel / 3-Valleys area (camp location Day 6 = Brides Les Bains), see below.
We will arrange return transport to Bourg St Maurice at the end of the event for all participants who need it (eg, to collect their car).
The exact location of the dormitory (Auberge) accommodation for Day 0 is:
La Verdache, Longefoy, 73700 Séez.
(On the main road towards Val d’isere, turn right about 5 km outside of Bourg St Maurice, and cross the river).
We had almost zero demand to arrange airport transfers for 2022, so we will not be arranging an airport transfer service. Transfer providers “Cool Runnings”, “Whiterides” and “Coolbus” offer taxi-transfers (google them), but they can be expensive if travelling alone (unless they can fit you in with another group – contact them and explain you are coming here for the Trans-Savoie).
It’s possible to take the train from Geneva Airport to Bourg St Maurice, with a few changes. It takes 3 to 5 hours and costs around 35 Euros. Use www.thetrainline.com for live timetables and to book a ticket.
It’s a short taxi ride from the station to base camp, or we might even be able to send a minibus to pick you up, depending on your arrival time (if you need this, please email Gabi ASAP – don’t simply call us when you arrive!)
Please arrive between 14h00 and 18h00 on Saturday 20th August – arriving too late means you won’t have time to register, properly enjoy your first meal, unpack, build bikes and get a decent rest before your first day on the trails!
For the new format 50/50 event we have created a clover-leaf-style itinerary which maximises the terrain covered and the different regions within Savoie you will visit – but without inconvenience of moving camp every night.
You will move camp twice during the week, (Tuesday, and Wednesday) and stay in 3 different base locations.
For 2022 we have added the experience of spending one night in a genuine Mountain Refuge at the border of the Vanoise National Park, complete with traditional Savoyard dinner!
Rooms are dormitory-style and all bedding is provided. (If you are a light sleeper, our tip is to bring some ear plugs, just in case!).
There is a large locked bike store on-site, but please also bring your own bike lock for extra security since it is not guarded, during the times when it is open. The bike store will be locked between 21h30 and 7h00 each day and its not possible to access your bike inside this time (for any reason!).
There is a small bar on site and breakfast and dinner is included
You can contact Olivier at the reception (in English or French) on email@example.com or tél. : Tél : 33 (0)4 79 41 01 93 after 17h00 for more info about the Hostel-based accommodation itself, or the catering provided on-site:
The exact location of the dormitory (Auberge/Hostel) accommodation is:
La Verdache, Longefoy, 73700 Séez
We will move our base for the last 3 nights / 2 days of riding (Days 5 & 6) to a beautiful location in the Spa Town of Brides-Les-Bains. (32 Av. du Comte Greyfié de Bellecombe, 73570 Brides Les Bains – France)
Individual tents will be provided, plus a comfortable inflatable mattress and camping pillow.
Bring your own sleeping bag for your nights on camp. (Unless you paid for us to provide one for you when you signed up).
Dinner is served at local restaurants a short walking distance from camp. Breakfast is self-service-style each morning directly at the campsite.
If you plan to arrive early and want to add an extra night accommodation, contact the Auberge directly to arrange this (see info above – “Dormitory accommodation”)
On the final night, we will stay at Camping Le Piat in Brides Les Bains (see above) – but our campsite will be packed down and removed on Saturday morning 27th August. If you wish to extend your stay you will need to arrange your own accommodation in Brides Les Bains. There are a number of local hotels within close walking distance from the campsite available to book online via booking.com or similar.
Switzerland is in the Schengen Zone which means that passport-free travel is a right for all citizens, within this zone.
At the time of writing, there are no border restrictions that we are are aware of, between Switzerland and France. (In practical terms, you can simply cruise across the border unchecked as per normal, although spot checks are always a possibility).
Parking on-site (Day 0) in is available all week, at no extra charge. This is a quiet out-of-town public space but please note that it is not patrolled or guarded / monitored
We’ll shuttle you back to your car on Saturday morning (27th August 2022), this is about a 1 hour transfer and we aim to return you to your vehicle at approximately 10h30.
You will need to return to Brides Les Bains in your car to pick up your bike, luggage, and any other passengers, before continuing on your homeward journey.
(For most people, Brides Les Bains is only a small detour on the main route out of the valley. If you plan to drive over the Col d’Iseran to return home, please contact us urgently so that we can try to make arrangements to take your bike and luggage with you, back to your car).
We do not have unlimited luggage space for transport between camp locations.
Each participant will be loaned a 120 Litre waterproof cargo-bag (75 x 44 x 44mm) for the event, and we will transport this for you between locations.
You therefore must pack ALL of your luggage into this special bag on arrival day – this includes your riding and casual clothes, and any MTB spares you wish to carry**.
The only thing you don’t need to fit inside your allocated cargo-bag, is your sleeping bag. (We recommend that you attach / connect this to the outside of your cargo-bag so that its easy to find it again at the next camp location).
If you arrive by plane (eg via Geneva) then we will arrange to transport your empty bike bag to camp on Day 6. You will not have access to your bike bag between Day 1 and Day 6 of the event (your bike bag must be empty for us to transport it for you – it this cannot be used to transfer excess luggage that you cannot fit into your 120L cargo bag!).
**we will try our best to transport any extra MTB spares that you cannot fit into your bag, for example spare wheels or tyres. BUT – this will be on the condition that you are prepared to share (or sell!) these spares with your fellow riders, in the event that they really need your help. (This is the spirit of Trans-Savoie – over this long, epic week, you will be sure to need some help of some kind, from your fellow riders too!)
- Bike – We generally use bikes that have around 5-7″ (125 – 170mm) of travel, although some of our hardier guides prefer to use solidly-build hard-tails. Its really a matter of personal preference. Strength over lightness and a relaxed (slack head-angle) is ideal. Super-long enduro style bikes are great for straight line stability, but you will lose out in our very tight alpine switchbacks.
- Tyres – at least 2.3″, (2.5″ or more is recommended) DUAL-PLY / DH / DOUBLE-DOWN / ENDURO+ reinforced sidewalls & casing are absolutely essential otherwise we guarantee you will be fixing flats every run. Better still, if possible, tubeless with some kind of rim-protection-insert, at least for the rear wheel if you are a heavier rider.
- Brakes – 5000m+ a day is hard on the brakes! No brake is “too much”, and your screaming forearms will thank you for a decent investment in your braking setup. Most importantly, make sure your brakes are freshly-bled with new fluid, and new pads, before your trip. Large brake rotors are a superb upgrade (min 200mm front and rear).
- Spare Brake Pads – At least 1 complete (front and rear) set, but be safe and bring two complete sets if you can! And ALWAYS go for sintered pads since they handle the heat of long descents so much better.
- Spare Tubes – DH tubes for our lift accessed weeks, please bring at least “all mountain” tubes for backcountry weeks – we still do a lot of decending!
- Spare Mech Hanger – if it breaks during your stay, your bike will be effectively useless without a replacement
- CamelBak / BackPack with usual riding spares (pump, multitool etc), large enough to carry a jacket, water, and packed lunch.
- Packable Waterproof jacket.
- Usual summer riding clothes and shoes (i.e. shorts, short or mid-sleeved jersey).
- Helmet – either a full-face or a half-lid is fine, its really a case of what you feel comfortable in using, but we’d certainly recommend upgrading to a removeable-chin-bar model if you don’t have one already. For our backcountry weeks if you are bringing a full-face please also bring a half-lid as well for the days where we pedal – you’ll overheat quickly on the climbs, if you don’t!
- Gloves and any desired body armour – at least knee pads for both backcountry or lift accessed weeks.
- Riding sunglasses or Goggles for protection against both the sun and foreign objects – absolutely essential!
- Some kind of splash-guard or front mini–mud-guard is very useful if you want to keep mud and water out of your face and eyes.
- Electrolytes to put in your water are a worthwhile investment over a long, hot, and thirsty week.
- Chain-lube often forgotten, always needed by everyone!
See this email we sent recently for other recommendations
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 accommodation will be provided within this period. It is possible to complete the event and leave camp early on the Friday evening (earliest 18h00), if you need to, but you will miss the end of week celebration!
In this case, you will need to make your own travel arrangements to return to pick up your car from Seez (Bourg St Maurice). We suggest contacting Coolbus or Cool Runnings airport transfer providers, and posting in the car-share forum to see if others wish to do the same.
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.)
On the days starting with a minibus shuttle, riders will depart in 2 waves, approx 8h15 and 9h30, however exact arrangements will vary each day.
Lunch is served in the form of a feed-station or stop at a mountain restaurant en-route. Participants should make it back to base camp between 15:30 and 18:00 each day.
If you are comparing this to the original Trans-Savoie with trepidation – don’t worry! We’re all ten years older now and our priorities have changed. You’ll need to be fairly used to big days out, but the week will be do-able, especially with an e-bike, so long as you are of reasonable fitness. 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.
Clearly, extensive uplifts will help, and those on e-bikes will surely enjoy the assistance. But certainly this is no tour-de-bike-park.
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 disciplines. However, most of the terrain is natural and “real-mountain” and therefore should be considered at all times as -at least potentially – more challenging and inherently unsafe (especially in the event of rider error).
Riders who suffer from vertigo may suffer at times, although if you are of a stern disposition, with a little encouragement from your comrades we feel confident you’ll get through and be very glad you did!
There is zero shame in walking the odd section if you find yourself out of your depth – better that that put yourself out on the first day due to a silly mistake.
The below “rules” are no longer strict rules, since as stated, The Trans-Savoie 50/50 is not a race!
However, we still strongly recommend the same level of equipment – our experience tells us that over 6 Days and 35-40 hours or technical riding, you’re going to hit the ground hard, at least once. At this moment, you’ll be very glad you chose to be protected to the max!
All riders should wear a FULL FACE helmet at all times whilst on descent-biased stages. A non-DH approved helmet is accepted (eg Enduro Style such as Fox ProFrame). Helmets with a removable chin-guard are also accepted (Bell Super 3R, Giro Switchblade etc). During Liaison stages it is acceptable to wear a Half-Lid helmet (for example if you wish to carry a second helmet in your pack for use on the Liaison stages).
In addition to the helmet, all riders should wear:
- CE approved back protector, or a cycle bag with integrated back protection
- Full Finger Gloves
- Knee protection
The following requirements are mandatory:
Riders must also carry at all times during the event
- A Charged, Mobile Phone with data roaming enabled if necessary (emergency use only), and list of emergency contact numbers provided by the organisers
- A waterproof / windproof jacket
- Water (min 1.5 litre bladder, 2 litres is much better!) and emergency trail snacks
Honestly, almost none at all. If you’re on an e-bike then 95% of the ascents are rideable and the rest are short steep push, rather than a carry.
All course information, stats, and navigation info will be provided via the FATMAP app.
This is a superb bit of software – quite frankly, we think it is the best mapping software we have ever come across in our 25 years of guiding and organising events.
It is essential that you install the app to your phone before the event – see instructions below.
The Trans-Savoie 50/50 route will be marked with yellow arrows throughout the special stages, eg no self-navigation will be required during these sections. (However, in the event that you miss a turning, having your phone and FATMAP as a backup could prove useful!).
During the Liaison sections, there is NO COURSE MARKING and therefore you will be required to self-navigate using the FATMAP app (or if you prefer, you can export gpx files from FATMAP to your own navigation device, eg Garmin or Suunto). We’d recommend using FATMAP though, because its honestly really good!
Depending on the size of your phone battery, you may have problems with battery life over the long days. We’d strongly recommend carrying a power bank and topping up your phone’s power during our shuttle transfers / on the ski-lifts / during lunch break.
Each rider is also supplied with a QUAD-LOCK mobile phone case and handlebar mount – these things are certified indestructible and crash proof by Ali after 2 full seasons of testing as a guide both here in NZ – this allows you to keep an eye on your FATMAP app during liaisons without needing to stop to take your phone out of your pocket.
All Trans-Savoie participants get a 3-month “explorer” (premium) FATMAP license – and this is essential for your participation in the Trans-Savoie.
There are some critical, data-hungry steps that you need to complete BEFORE you come to France (you can do it here on arrival day, but it will cost you a lot of extra data / roaming charges – there is no reliable wifi at our base camp!)
- Please activate your pre-paid premium license by completing the online form here.
- Follow the activation steps sent to you via email (You’ll need to register using the same email as is linked to your Apple Account / AppleID / Google Android account)
- Download and Install the FATMAP app on your phone via the regular App Store.
- Download all the Base Maps to your phone. (This will save you a LOT of data and battery power during the week. Plus it means you have guaranteed access to full mapping and navigation, even if you are out-of-signal:
- Open the Map View in the App
- Click the icon in the top right next to the search bar, to download a map (if you don’t see this option, check that you have correctly activated your EXPLORER / premium account)
- Select the map area/region to download by navigating to each area in turn. You should select to download 2 types of basemap at each location:
- “Summer” map
- “France – IGN” map.
- You will need to download 7 separate regions in order to cover the full geographical area of the Trans-Savoie. Centre the map (via the search bar) on the following locations, then download each one separately:
- Val d’Isere
- Bourg St Maurice
- La Plagne
- Les Menuires
We will release detailed Trans-Savoie route maps and gpx traces on a daily basis, via FATMAP, as part of your daily briefing during the event. You can download and save this route info & guidance to your phone each evening, at the daily briefing.
In the meantime, you can explore FATMAP app and functions by using our example route-map here (this was the route of Day 2 of the Enduro2 in Meribel event, this July).
All Trans-Savoie mapping and GPX data is proprietary and is strictly confidential.
There are a whole number of reasons why this is very important!
In summary, you might well imagine that gaining access for MTB to these hiking trails is an increasingly difficult negotiation each year. The Trans-Savoie event takes place under strictly controlled conditions, with an extensive support staff, and only after years of ongoing negotiation with local councils and forestry commission. A lot of thought goes into minimising the impact on trails, and to potential conflict with other trail users and local land owners!
A primary concern is that publication of Trans-Savoie route will promote excessive, uncontrolled access by the general MTB public and MTB tourists – and this is something both the local council – and us – wants to happen!
In summary, publishing or sharing the Trans-Savoie itinerary outside of the strictly controlled, 50-rider group, could very easily cause a chain-reaction that could potentially result in MTB being banned from these trails in future – or at worse, from all trails outside of the bike park.
For this reason, the following policy is STRICT and 100% non-negotiable:
- FATMAP routes, GPX files, and physical / pdf maps are FOR YOUR EYES ONLY and must not be shared with anyone outside of the event, for any reason, at any time.
- If you record your daily ride during the event (eg Strava or similar) you MUST set your share settings to PRIVATE before the event.
- You must not share (or set to “public”) your Strava / Activity Tracker during the Trans-Savoie , or at any time after you have completed the Trans-Savoie.
If you are not happy to agree with this strict policy, please contact us urgently and we will be happy to cancel your registration and refund your registration fee in full.
Please be aware that we are able to monitor adherence to this policy both during and after the event, and we will take the necessary action to strictly enforce this policy at all time.
A superb professional sports massage service is available on-site every day of the event by Massage Me. This is an on-demand service – the mobile massage team will come to visit us on demand.
We strongly recommend booking in advance – this is a popular service and after the long days on the bike, you will deserve it!
We suggest you pick 2 or 3 days in advance and book in a slot now.
Its also possible to book on-the-day from your mobile phone (for a massage service the same evening) subject to availability.
Click Below to book directly with Massage Me
or request a massage via SMS or WhatsApp +33(0)612653452.
If your luggage is lost during your travel, you can arrange for onward delivery direct to our base camp location (see Auberge – Dormitory accommodation for full address). We will leave this location at 9am on Tuesday 23rd August.
After this, you should arrange delivery to the Campsite in Brides Les Bains (see above for address).
Should you need to hire an emergency hire bike – this is difficult, but not impossible!
Two reliable bike stores that are fairly close to our Day 0 camp location are listed below.
You will need to request that they deliver the hire bike to you at our base camp – see above for details – unless you have access to a car to pick them up – we do not have the resources available to arrange to collect or return your hire bike for you.
You will need to arrange to hire the bike for the whole week, because once the event has started, it will be impossible to get back to the bike store to return your hire bike until Saturday 27th August at the earliest.
For UK riders please remember that you will need to swap the brake levers (SRAM) or brake hoses (SHIMANO) – in France, the LEFT lever is the FRONT brake.
Hire Shop Suggestions in Bourg St Maurice:
+33 (0)4 79 40 05 54
Intersport Départ Funiculaire, Funiculaire Arc-en-ciel,
+33 (0) 4 79 04 12 45
E-bike charging stations are provided at each camp location. We do not provide charging stations or battery-swap facilities during the day.
These are long days in the saddle – often with 1000 to 1500m climbing over the day.
You will need to manage your battery consumption accordingly – eg going out on full-boost all day is definitely not our recommended strategy! We recommend the slow and steady approach – ECO / LOW power for the liaisons and perhaps MEDIUM power during the special stages….as a special treat to yourself 🙂
Note that it is YOUR responsibility to complete the day and manage your power usage – we will not come to pick you up from the mountain because you burned through your battery! (this would draw our limited resources from safety-critical functions)
Registration – COVID-19 – Uncertainties Unique to 2022
Yes! Just try and stop us! Trans-Savoie is Ali’s passion-project of a lifetime, and the new 50/50 event really is the one we’ve been waiting for – for too long already! If you are in any doubt of our commitment to this event, you might feel confident that the little-sister event of the Trans-Savoie – Enduro2 – has gone ahead successfully both in 2020 and 2021 in spite of huge uncertainty and numerous challenges. Whilst of course, government or external intervention may yet still prevent the event from going ahead…we can’t imagine what would, short of a return to full and unlimited lockdown situation in France.. (which does not seem in any way likely, at this time).
These are changing on a daily basis – so much so that its not prudent to update them here – the below is unchanged since 2021, at this stage. However, it now looks like travel, testing and COVID-Passport regulations will be further relaxed by August 2022.
The official French government website offers all the info you need, in English.
If you are fully vaccinated, our current assumption is that you will not need a COVID-19 test or any special reason to enter France from within the EU, from the UK, of from the USA and Canada (but PLEASE check the site above before you travel).
You will however need to fill in the the two forms available at the link above, and most importantly, have all your documentation and electronic registration up to date to prove your vaccinated status.
It is likely that France may impose restrictions for events and to access public facilities, that will require you to register for a “Pass Sanitaire” – an electronic App which proves your status as vaccinated or Covid-recovered.
Our strong recommendation would be to download the app and register your credentials now – including scanning-in your vaccine records – just in case.
Search for “Tous Anti Covid” on your smartphone.
Aside from the above, a mask is mandatory in lift queues, whilst on the lift, and in all shuttles used at the event. A mask is required to access bars and restaurants, until seated.
Here are the local test centres offering PCR or rapid-antigen testing at the starting location:
We will update this list to be relevant for the 2022 itinerary at the appropriate time.
Phie Centrale De Bourg St Maurice
Dépistage COVID – LBM ORIADE NOVIALE
12 R de la Liberation 73700 SEEZ
This is a legal requirement only for sporting competitions, in France. The Trans-Savoie 50/50 is not a race, there is no ranking or element of competition.
Therefore, it is acceptable that you self-certify instead.
Alternatively, if you have a valid UCI race licence then you don’t need a medical certificate, but you still need to provide evidence of a valid licence before you race.
All riders must follow these instructions and BRING A PAPER COPY OF YOUR CERTIFICATE OR SELF-CERTIFICATION TO REGISTRATION ON 20 AUGUST 2022
ALL RIDERS PLEASE BRING A PAPER COPY OF YOUR MEDICAL CERTIFICATE / SELF-CERTIFICATION TO REGISTRATION.
Check out These PDF Instructions to access your existing registration online.
If you have lost your registration details, you can find them by going to our race registration web-page, click the link to engage-sport, then click the “Find My Registration” button in the top right of the event registration page.
Yes….although this is not strictly mandatory. A comprehensive medical and rescue emergency cover is strongly recommended for all participants. 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).
Similarly, if you are not able to participate due to accident or injury (or indeed any other reason that is beyond the control of the organisers), we will not be able to refund your entry (unless you can find a suitable stand-in to take your place) – but a good insurance policy will!
Due to the individual requirements of each participant, 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. Those from the UK can apply for a GHIC card which we understand would cover you – however the details are hazy and we cannot guarantee that it would be accepted in France, at this time.