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Join Manon Carpenter and long-time riding buddy Emily Horridge on a multi-day MTB tour up and around Mont Thabor, a 3000m peak nestled deep within the French Alps, with respective partners, Christian Stenvall and David Billings. Tough climbs, big views, and brilliant descents.

The French Alps aren’t that far from home for those of us in the UK, and even closer for Emily and David who have been living in the French town of Les Arcs for the last 8 years, but they host incredible terrain and mountain refuges for people to overnight in. All you need is a bike and a backpack to find yourself on rarely ridden singletrack, surrounded by amazing scenery and with some big ole’ mountains to challenge the legs and lungs. The presence of ‘guarded’ refuges in the Alps means you can experience big mountains without having to carry sleeping equipment and food, making bike-packing in the Alps the perfect combination of adventure and real alpine riding, without compromise.

Manon – “None of us had ridden this route before, and Emily had heard mixed reviews of the descent from the summit of Mont Thabor. As it turned out, every descent was amazing with prime singletrack made even better by the effort we had put in to get there. Being out all day in the mountains, with nothing to do but make your way to the top, enjoy the views and the descent back down, in the presence of great company was brilliant.”

Emily and David have long been fans of outdoor adventures, with Manon also beginning to branch out more and more over the years with Christian. The idea to combine passions and set out on a multi-day, hike-a-bike, bike-packing trip on trails that none of us – and few others – have ridden before has been on the cards for a while, and has ultimately lead to this: The Tour du Mont Thabor. A three-day route, with an extra day added in for a jaunt close to the Italian border. 112km distance covered, and 5052m elevation gain all in all, starting at 1800m elevation in Valmeinier and with a mixture of riding, pushing and hike-a-bike to get us up the climbs by good old-fashioned leg power, creating a whole lot of new experiences and memories.

Emily – “This trip was even better than I had imagined. I had wanted to ride in that area for a while, so to finally get to put a trip together on trails that would be new for all of us was really cool. A proper voyage of discovery into a new area with a rad crew of friends. The mountain views and vistas were off the chart, and the brilliant trails made us very happy mountain bikers!”

Special thank yous go to adidas TERREX for making it possible to document this trip, to Emily for the route planning and guiding, David and Christian for the great company as ever, and definitely not least to Laurence CE who shouldered his camera bag for the entire trip to make this film happen and keeping good humour while at it!

Thu 9th Jan, 2020 @ 6:30 pm

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