What a drive to Barcelonnette and the ski site of Parloup where the event is being held. The roads whine like snakes and are as narrow as the waists of the pretty French girls. The cool thing is there are none of those obnoxious Bot dots. One corner was so tight to the overhanging cliff I thought I was spelunking. The short 70k drive from Gap on this labyrinth, took 90 minutes. All fun, nothing flat, up and down, with views to paint.
The little town of Barcelonnette is right out of Mexico with hip-wide streets and humming with folks, so I elected that was not the place to stay and went back towards Gap 25k, to a place I spotted on the way. This is the Ubaye river gorge, and a summer hangout for families and rafting this section of river. Kids are running around everywhere, loud disco music, foosball, a swimming pool and a cool summer breeze…. Oh, not to mention me, sitting alone tapping away, nerd like. The rooms are euro standard small, but not here for the accommodations.
No dude, you’re here to race your mtb bike, so whats’ up with the track at Praloup for the worlds? Well I was worried going into this that it would be nasty technical like last year in Canada, so trained to up those skills…. The start list alone for my wheezer group is over a page.. the Canok , said his 35+ group has 120 starters, ouch . But these Frenchies couldn’t even get us on the ski hill for this event, guess those wired DHers really rate. The track is really cool and very hard and tricky, but it reminds me more of riding Skegg’s. there are some nasty switchbacks, both climbing and dropping. Tons of fast single track through the forest.
Technically, natz were harder, but the climbing is steeper with one section that is too tricky to ride, but that only lasts 10 meters
Gosh, glad I got here a couple days early, cause the moved the race day up. That may leave time for that side trip.
Did some good laps today, a couple extra, to see where the tired takes effect, tomorrow with have to be easy for Saturday race. Should get the front line with last years third. Don’t know if the ruler of the class is here, the Ity, but last years winner and a lot of other talent, you can bet, is here for the fun.