8 June, 2017

Trans-Nomad 2017: the most nomadic enduro adventure

Pedaling through unparalleled landscapes, unforgettable experiences, sensations never felt before, singletracks that dreams are made of, strangers that the mountain turns into lifelong friends… If all of these characteristics come together in the Aragonese Pyrenees for four days in September, we can only be talking about the Trans-Nomad: a race that after only one edition is already considered to be one of the top ten enduro stage events in the world.

A true MTB stage adventure reserved for a small community of 70 bikers who will discover in depth the secret corners of the Benasque Valley: 5,900 m of positive elevation change, involving lifts, bike carries and actual pedaling on the bike itself, along with more than 7,000 m of negative elevation change to go with the flow along completely natural paths, peaks like Aneto, areas with meadows and trails and, of course, lush beech and pine forests.

In 2017, this race with an unprecedented format is holding its second edition on September 13-17 (for weather reasons, the best month for a race of these characteristics), and which Orbea joins as a premium sponsor. Four days and four stages of adventure where riders fight against the clock, the terrain and changing weather conditions. It’s also where the geometries of the toughest enduro bikes are pushed to the limit.

Riding the course sight unseen

12 timed segments along a route that is as special as it is magic. The participants in this challenge do not know the tracks of the stages, so they will have to map out each challenge over the terrain on the spot. In this sense, Javier García González of Inizia Turismo, the co-organizer of the event with Sherpa Project, has it clear.“We don't want to reveal them because it is something that balances out the level of the competitors. There’s no chance for training beforehand, and the rider faces a completely natural route where they can demonstrate their bike technique,” says the designer of the Trans-Nomad routes.

For Markel Uriarte, Orbea Factory Team rider who already participated in the first edition of the Trans-Nomad, this is the purest form of MTB and his favorite way of competing. “When you’re riding sight unseen, it’s obvious that whoever descends quickly does it because they have technique, and not because they’ve gone by there 50 times and know every nook and cranny.” For Markel, the best thing is that “you have to improvise; sometimes it seems like you going too fast and the fun part is to see how you recover…”. For this reason, he always recommends “going one notch below your limit.”

The only news we can reveal about the route this year is that one of the four days will be held in the French Pyrenees. Each stage will have three timed segments, with a distance between 30 and 50 km, in which the riders will have to cover around 1,500 meters of positive elevation change. This way, including the connections and lifts, the adventurers will spend around 6-7 hours per day on their bikes.

Total adventure, family style

While the Trans-Nomad is a timed race, this is not the essence of it (as a matter of fact, there is no time limit to complete the stages), rather it is found in the spirit of adventure and camaraderie that is generated among the participants: living in the same base camp, sharing tips and advice while cleaning up their MTB for the following day… doing this for four days straight creates special, long-lasting bonds.

“If something sets the Trans-Nomad apart from any other event, it is the tremendous fellowship among the entire family of riders, the organization and the rest,” Javier confesses. “The riders help one another, they wait for each other and have lunch and dinner together…that is the philosophy that we want to promote; there are many other races in which to compete,” comments Javier.

25 people – 12 of whom are Bike Patrols to make sure no one gets left behind – work to organize the Trans-Nomad: logistics related to materials, the transport of the bikers’ equipment and setting up individual tents, provisions, race administration, mechanical assistance service… Everything so that Trans-Nomad participants only need to worry about resting after the battle.

The setting is king

Markel Uriarte himself confesses how he fell in love with the route and the setting, the reason why he will repeat the Trans-Nomad this year.“My favorite stage last year was the first one, the Sierra Negra stage; it was really cool, with very complete, fun segments. But this year the routes are completely different. The Pyrenees offer a ton of alternatives, and ultimately, it will be like participating for the first time.”

Javier García also points out how the area is becoming established as one of the most beautiful international destinations for pedaling. “We try to find diversity in the landscape, especially at high elevations, with mountain passes very close to glacier areas or meadows and Pyrenean forests. An event like this has to have everything… and it does.”

Ready for the most nomadic enduro adventure?

Orbea will be at the Trans-Nomad, along with two of its ambassadors: Markel Uriarte, of Orbea Factory Team, and César Gairín, resident of Whistler, but native of the Benasque Valley. Both will compete on the Rallon, Orbea’s toughest enduro bike.

…¡ Y recuerda que puedes ganar una inscripción gratuita para Trans-Nomad!