Summit To Sea | An Epic E-Bike Ride With Steve Jones, Fabien Barel, & Scott Sharples
– Do not ask how we’ve got here. Let’s just say, we are here. We have arrived at the
last and final mountain of the Alpes Maritimes
and we are joined by two-times World downhill Champion, Fabian Barel.
– Hello, guys. – Now, our destination today is the Mediterranean down over there. We have no idea of how far it is, how much climbing and
descending we’ve got to do, so our goal, our achievement today is summit to sea, but you know what? We’ve got no idea whether
we’re going to make it or not. (upbeat rock music) (electronic zapping) Canyon have brought us here to the South of France for this challenge. Today, we are joined by
a motley crew of riders, us along with Fabian Barel, Adrian Nash from Riviera Bike, who has ridden parts of the trail, but not all of it, so he’s got no idea. – That’s the scary part, by the way. (laughing)
– Yeah. Scott Sharples from Canyon, who is a former World Cup downhill racer, and Fabian.
– And Nico Antonio. One of my friends.
– Nico Antonio, yeah. – Crazy skiier, five-time winner of the Derby de la Meije in a row. Skiier, epic skiing. If you guys never seen
it, pretty impressive, and not too bad on the bike, not too bad. – Can you tell me about this Derby race? – Top summit to the bottom,
similar to what we do, except that there is no sea at the bottom. – Yeah, 2,700 meters. – Exactly, and no gates, nothing. – Right. – You take whatever line you want. It’s all in one go all the way down and this guy doesn’t brake much. (laughing) – We’re in good company. A good bunch of free riders
and racers and a guide who’s got no idea if
we can make it or not. The bikes we’re going to be
riding on this epic adventure from the summit down to the sea are Canyon Spectral:ONs. 150 mm travel front and rear, front wheel is 29 inch
and the rear is 27.5, 2.8 tyre on the rear for those
big gnarly technical climbs, Shimano Steps E8000 motor
with a 500-watt battery, but there’s no doubt that
we’ll be taking some spares. Okay, so here we go, the first descent, got no idea what’s ahead
of us, but then again, that’s probably going to be
the story for the whole day. – Oh, hang on, got us a vague idea. – Ha, Fabian Barel,
are you ready for this? – I’m born ready, buddy. – Come on, let’s go.
– Let’s go! (upbeat rock music) – [Steve] There was no time for a warm-up and soon we were chasing
down high-speed single track, led out by one of the fastest people ever to have ridden a
mountain bike downhill. Charging hard on trails
we had never seen before, we rolled out of the
woods and onto Alta Via, unveiling an incredible landscape, but at the same time exposin’ us to some perilous cliff faces. (gravel crunching)
(upbeat rock music) – Whoa!
– Oh, look at that! Did you actually just see that? Oh, it’s been like this for ages. Do you reckon?
– Outside. Then stay in the center
in the groove on the left, just to be in line. – Back along that rock?
– Yeah. Just this rock, second rock on
the outside and then inside. Yeah, go, go, go, go, go, go! Let’s go, buddy! (grunting) Yeah! (laughing)
(whistling) No place to fall off, gringos, watch out! – [Steve] As if the danger
wasn’t close enough, we were soon pickin’ our way through some incredibly technical
limestone terrain with absolutely no room for error. – [Fabian] Ah, come on! Get the cable. (upbeat rock music) (gravel crunching) (grunting) (heavy breathing) Aw, man! That was brilliant. Ayee! (laughing) – We’ve just come from that
cliff in the clouds over there. (upbeat rock music) It was like being in the jungle and soon we were riding
custom-made mountain bike trails, slashing through some mighty fine dirt. The refuge at Colle
Melosa was a welcome stop, a punchy coffee and some of
the most amazing lemon cake I’ve ever experienced. But A.D.’s just hit me
with some alarming news. We’re 15% into the trip and time-wise? – Oof, we used up about 40%. – It’s not looking good. It’s not looking good. There’s no way we’re going to
hit that coast by before dark. I reckon we’ve totally
underestimated this one. – For you, maybe. We’re a bit lighter, so
we’ve got a bit more battery and a bit more in the turbo. You might be pushin’ again like last time. (ominous electronic music) – [Steve] After rapid coffee, a punchy climb to reach some
beautifully arcing turns and then some natural hunter tracks. It had to be fast as we were
now perilously behind on time. (shouting) (gravel crunching) (gravel crunching)
(grass rustling) Lunch, finally, and the whole of Italy and France spread out below us. At this point, we were
met by the support vehicle to swap batteries as there was no way this trip could be done on one battery. – We’ve so far taken
three hours and 30 minutes to do (chuckling) 22K.
– All right. – Flying.
– But we’ve climbed 800 and descended 1,270.
– Right. – Judging on what we’ve done so far, we’re going to arrive in San Remo. We’re going to ride
the streets of San Remo sometime at night.
– At night. – Yeah.
– In the dark. – It’s going to be dark for sure. (heavy rock music) – [Steve] The climb up to Monte
Ceppo was incredibly tough, amazing trees, amazing
trails, super technical. Having dropped thousands of feet, we were now stacking them back up. This was meant to be all downhill. (gravel crunching)
(heavy rock music) (shouting) (gravel crunching) In the rush to make up time, we’d not even reached halfway point and we were still behind on
schedule when disaster struck. (gravel crunching)
(shouting and laughing) – I think that’ll be a
bent crank (chuckling). We got to a colle a minute ago and we’d clocked about 5,000
descent and 4,000 ascent. Started droppin’ down off a mountain and an all mighty clatter
from Fabian in front of me. Didn’t look too good, Fabian. You all right?
– Yeah. Apparently, we had a bit of a impact on my right crank (chuckling). Completely bent on the outside, but hell, it was a good time,
super fun track and stuff. We still should be able to ride down. It’d be a bit challenging
if I have to pedal up. You guys can see it’s all (whistling). – A.D., that couldn’t have happened at a better and worse time. It’s literally all downhill from here. Well, A.D. says it’s
all downhill from here. – I mean in literal sense
as it was all downhill, as in oh, God (chuckling). What’s going to happen next?
(chuckling) (upbeat rock music) (gravel crunching) – Whoa. That was intense. Oh, (beep)-ing hell, that was mental. (gravel crunching) Whoa! (shouting)
(laughing) Finally, Bajardo, one of the
most stunning mountain villages in the whole of Italy. The guides seem to havin’
a bit of a discussion about the route. – Yeah, I have to say that
I’m kind of starting to worry when it’s 4:30
(chuckling) and that they are still arguing about the way to the sea (chuckling). – And we’ve got 3,000
feet of descending to go. (bouncy instrumental music) The guides are still arguing
and the light is dying and we’ve got 3,000 feet to go of probably the hardest
terrain in the world. After Bajardo, we were faced a decision, an uplift van to save time or to press on and risk not making San Remo by dark. For this team, it wasn’t even a question. (heavy rock music) (gravel crunching) The final descent was all-time
and with weary bodies, we plunged into some ridiculously
technical rocky terrain. It was totally unforgettable. (gravel crunching) With an hour of daylight left, we were now well into the
toughest part of the trip as the track relentlessly kept dropping towards the Mediterranean. (upbeat electronic music) (gravel crunching) (shouting) The final rock sections pounded
us almost into submission, but we knew that we were very, very close. That was a challenging day. Here we are.
(vocalizing) We’re rolling into San Remo. Everyone’s singin’ behind. What are you singing for?
(vocalizing) You really singing back there? – Yeah. (singing in foreign language) – With the Mediterranean and casino lights of San Remo in view, we raced down to the beach. (wheels rumbling and gears whirring) There you go. Summit to sea firmly achieved. Now, considering we didn’t know
how long it was going to be or how much climbing or
descending we were going to do, I think we’ve done rather well, guys. A.D., give us the numbers. – Well, in 9.5 hours,
– Yeah. (chuckling)
– 9.5 hours. I’m sore, damn ya. We’ve done 57K, 1,762 meters of climbing, and 3,329 meters of descending. – It actually took us quite some time. It was long. It was epic.
– Yeah. – But one thing is sure. I don’t know what you think, guys, but the diversity of the terrain. – Yeah.
– Oh, yeah. – From the very top,
massive alpine, no trees, all the way at the bottom
coming down to San Romolo, the sandy beach was absolutely– – Sharples, what have you
got to say about it all? – Those last bits were amazing, just the bumpy, rolly, the
boulders, tight bermy corners, just the constant surprises. It was amazing. – Sharples, I think this beer is now getting
– It’s calling. – Precariously close.
– Yeah. – Is it cold one, though?
(laughing) – Yeah.
– Let’s get it cold. – Luca.
(claps) – Let’s go get the beers. – Whoa, whoa.
(claps) Hold fire.
– Aw, come on. There we go.
– Now, guys. If you want to get involved
in a summit to sea adventure, check out Riviera Bike
or Atypical Adventures in Molini di Triora and go
to bike hires with guiding. They do uplifts to help you
around some of these trails. I’ll leave a link down below for that. In the meantime, give us a
thumbs up if you like this video, any questions of how we
accomplished this mega trip, and give us a thumbs up if you like it. Guys, thanks so much a great day. (chattering and clapping)
– Thanks, guys, for making it happen.
– Nice one. (laughing)