Today we roll from Topas Ecolodge which, at 18km from Sapa town, is as remote as many people get in this region. For you however, this is is just the beginning of today’s adventure.
After a neutral 2km warm up you’ll begin racing on rough tarmac before the riding hits some gravel climbing then some fast rocky downhill double track. This brings you to a small Red Dao village which until very recently was accessible only by an all day hike.
Here you’ll grab the brakes and make an abrupt turn onto a narrow trail through the village’s traditional houses before a mammoth section of single track plunges for kilometres down to the valley floor. If we’re lucky with the weather, this trail can be a lot of fun… if it’s been wet, be prepared for some slippy mud and a cautious descent.
After a river crossing you’ll hit tarmac for 10km before arriving at the Killer rising 1,000m back out of the valley. From here you will hit some tarmac road which cuts right through the middle of rice terraces. Some added climbing will test what’s left of your legs before you are rewarded with 10km of downhill single track to the finish line at Thanh Phu village.
Thanh Phu village is home to many of the staff involved in our race series, so you can expect a warm welcome for the drinks, food and awards presentation.