A beautiful and Harsh… Transjurassienne
After the strange cancellation of the 2016, each of us wondered what would happen to the 2017 edition?
Especially since the beginning of winter the snow has been scarce in the Jura massif. And the mild weather during the first days of February complicated the situation:
Thanks to la Transju organizers who reacted promptly and offered us an original, superb race and perfectly snow-covered, obviously as difficult as the normal course.
The Technic director, Pierrot Vandel, made it a point of honor to extend this folding race to 50 km…at the price of many loops in the Massacre forest and the Combe du Lac. At one point there was false joy when nearing Premanon and hearing the commentator at the finish line, when a new loop was to be seen… we are definitely beating around the bush, groaned a skier by my side, impatient to be finished…
Identical race for the 50 km Transju’Classic, la Transju’Marathon and la Transjurassienne skating.
Departure near Switzerland, in the village of Bois d’Amont, with a release of skiers in several groups, like Marcialonga, skis at hands. There was no jostling either in classic or skating despite the 2 500 participants racing on a track just wide enough.
Fortunately, it was sunny with mild temperatures because there were hardly any places to find shelter on the starting area.
It takes only a few small bumps and about 10 km to reach Les Rousses and its incredible popular success: a stretch in the village full of enthusiastic spectators, like we have not seen in a long time. Better than la Marcialonga and Moena, which speaks for itself! (and the same at Premanon…where it was at last possible to finish La Transju… with a beer in the hand…)
Then for 40 km it was a succession of harsh climbs, rather easy downhills and rare flat areas near Le Fort des Rousses and la Darbella near Premanon, the climb in the Massacre Forest to the chalet de la Frasse (not as long, neither as hard than the traditional climb of Chalet des Ministres from the original course), then the beautiful downhill back to Lamoura and an eventful return to Premanon…
The 25-km left from La Darbella, went straight to Lamoura and then took same tracks as the 50 km race all the way to Premanon: undoubtedly a demanding itinerary for the unskilled skiers launching themselves for the first time on a long distance cross-country ski race…
A course of absolute beauty which did not lack many km to return to the departure stadium. I know, La Transjurassienne is a linear course…and personally I regret it. It is so much simpler to go back to the starting point! No unnecessary transfers (and probably costly). One day maybe la Transju will, like la Finlandia, opt for a loop?
Exceptional feeding stations
With an experienced racer memory (more than 340 long distance Nordic ski events to my record) I have never seen such delight. Dry fruits, cakes, Comté, meringues, dry sausage, energy bars etc, etc And of course tea, energetic drink and fresh water. Really at the top! Next time I’ll bring a backpack…
What else to say about the 2017 Transju
A beautiful sports and commercial village in Morez for the bib distribution, no waiting line.
A hat… hum Phrygian or Andean,,, more aesthetic than convenient as a gift, a beautiful 2016 recycled into 2017 medal, a friendly and multilingual Worldloppet welcome, an organized Team despite the 2 strenuous weeks of intense labour. Thanks to Gaelle and everyone else.
A Worldloppet reception which was, I was told, exceptional with La Polka du Jura dance. Unfortunately, with accommodations scattered far from Morez and The lunettes museum, the hosts of the reception, didn’t have as many participants as they deserved.
Sufficient shuttles were organized to the start and to go back home after the arrival… but heavy traffic to reach La Darbella and Premanon.
Certainly, at the arrival site in Premanon, it was sometimes necessary to wait about half hour to recover locker bags and eat. And the dining room, although large, seemed quite small at certain peak hours.
But at least the Bolognese on Saturday and the cooked ham on Sunday were good and the cheese mirrored our love for the Jura.
On the sport side, the best have won (even the winner of La Transjurassienne, Alexis Jeannerod, waxed his skis: a long time since we’ve seen that, just proves the difficulty of the course).
Others suffered at times: for the classic style, it was hard to find the perfect wax (snow at 0 degrees, cold and dry at some places, hot and humid at others), for the skating style (especially for the afternoon departure on the 25 km) a melting snow rendered a bit slippery.
And new performances by Hannes Larsson and Lioudmila Kolobanova who double the two short events!
On Sunday about 40 skiers wore most elegant kilts to promote the donation of bone marrow.
Total happiness for this 2017 Transjurassienne which promises a 2018 jubilee: the 40th Jurassian winter for this French Worldloppet Event, created in 1979…