Raid in France day 3 was centered around the Transition 4/5 where teams were either arriving or leaving from stage D of the expedition, a 37km trek through the spectacular Gorges de la Caranca and then up and over high altitude Pyrenees – reaching close on the altitude of Day 1 in a single climb. Team Seagate entered the gorge at dusk last night so traversed much of the stage in the dark, to emerge mid morning still with a strong lead over French team 400 Team Naturex. Seagate Team leader, Nathan Fa’avae, commented on the irony of visiting such a beautiful location and racing through it completely in the dark.
Later in the day, once the two leading teams were well on their way into the 70km cycle stage E, the transition area transformed into a hub of regeneration activity. The trek section closed at 9 in the morning to ensure all teams were through today, resulting in all teams arriving later in the day being “impounded” with a ten hour penalty and not permitted to leave the transition until 7pm. The day was extremely hot and teams arriving from the mountain welcomed a short wash in the icy mountain waters of the Caranca river and then some food from the local bar, some messages from home and supporters and a few hours of rest in the shade. There were wounds to tend to and bicycle repairs to do and some general hours of recuperation all round.