It starts at La Colmiane ski resort, at 1500 msl. On race day they make go down the ski track and then up to about 1700m so the groups spread a little. When you get off the ski track you start a nice single, then a jeep road and then, after walking a little, you get to the crest line and you find yourself riding around 2000m surrounded by snowy peaks.
The trail is technical enough that you have to keep something to ride up a lot of steps. Little by little you get to the first big downhill where you cross the road coming down from the Granges de la Brasque. It is the first sample of whats to come, narrow, rocky and plenty of switchbacks. It is great if you're used to that kind of trail, but it can be a nightmare if you're scared of rocky steep singletracks. On race day there are people that walk down most of this trails!Just when you see on your GPS that you're going down to Utelle you have to carry your bike up a climb that would be tricky going down, imagine going up!
We are now at the top of the most famous downhill in the race, the Brec d'Utelle, some 5km and 800m of altitude loss with all the rocks in the world. This is what we came here for.
La Roue Libre Nice has a nice video of it, check it out: Brec d'Utelle