Monday, November 30, 2009

2010 TRANSALP CHALLENGE Registration Opens Tomorrow

There is conflicting information about when the registration for the spectacular Transalp Challenge MTB stage race starts so let's go with the earlier published date of tomorrow, 1 December, at noon (German local time) at The event takes place from 27 June to 3 July, 2010

Registration is for 550 race admissions for teams of two participants each.

The preliminary course, 6 stages in Italy:
Stage 1: Mittenwald - Sölden
Stage 2: Sölden - Brixen
Stage 3: Brixen - St. Vigil
Stage 4: St. Vigil - Alleghe
Stage 5: Alleghe - Kaltern
Stage 6: Kaltern - Trento
Stage 7: Trento - Arco
Total: 776 km in length with 19,928 meters of climbing

2010 course description by Race Director Uli Stanciu:
Question: Uli, what is special about JTT’s new course in 2010?
Uli Stanciu: Let’s start at the beginning – our new location of Mittenwald. Bike Transalp’s tried and tested location will get a chance next year, since Oberammergau is hosting the passion plays in 2010 with tens of thousands of visitors expected to pour in.

Question: What does that mean for the course?
Uli Stanciu: Well, as a matter of fact, I’m glad that – after seven consecutive years – we’re not starting across the Hahntennjoch this time. From Mittenwald the course will lead right through beautiful Leutasch, then down to Inn Valey into Telfs and eventually across the first difficult pass, the so‐called Kühtai in Ötztal at 2,000 meters of altitude, and then to Sölden on the route of the famous Ötztal Marathon.

Question: To Sölden we have been several times, a great and well‐established stage host…
Uli Stanciu: … That’s right, and it is the gateway to the highest pass of the tour, Timmelsjoch with an altitude of 2,509 meters. Then – just as in the years before – we’ll go across Jaufenpass to Sterzing and on via the old Brenner highway into Brixen. Before that, though, we’ll take a little side trip across Schabs. That means a short but steep uphill section. I know many participants will be groaning here.But it’s the only way to get to the beautiful cathedral square in the city center of Brixen without having to take the very busy main highway.

Question: And then it’ll be the Dolomites…?
Uli Stanciu: Oh yes, it is a fabulous course. First we’ll ride across Würzjoch with its incredible panorama to the Geislerspitzen and Peitlerkofel. This time around we will take a slightly different route via Lüsen to Würzjoch. It will be a very solitary and narrow asphalt road, a bit shorter, but also somewhat steeper. By any means, this is going to be the stage of the steep climbs – later we will ride around Kronplatz and across Furkelpass into St.Vigil. The Furkelpass has a couple of mean slopes with up to 16% climb. At this point you’ll need at least a 30‐tooth front sprocket. The downhill portion into St.Vigil isn’t half bad, either – there’ll be some very narrow serpentines. At the briefing on this section I’ll be sure to say my bit on safety and responsible biking.

Question: St.Vigil has always been one of the most popular stage hosts,right?
Uli Stanciu: Yes, this small, charming town has been on board from the start and its hospitality and food are first rate. On the following day we’ll get to the king’s stage toward Alleghe – right through the heart of the beautiful Dolomites…

Question: King’s stage, what does that mean?
Uli Stanciu: It is the longest and most demanding stage of this Jeantex Tour Transalp: It may be just short of 130 kilometers – we’ve had much longer stages in the past – but there’ll be five passes and a difference in altitude totaling 3,449 meters – that is going to be really hard work. But participants will be compensated for that with the most beautiful panorama imaginable. Pure Dolomites, gigantic rock massifs, a feast for the eyes. This time we’ll ride three quarters of the famous Sella Ronda, first Grödnerjoch, then Sellajoch, and finally Passo Pordoi. And then we’ll top it off – first Falzarego toward Cortina and finally the most beautiful Passo Giau. More Dolomites in one day? Impossible!

Question: Then we’ll reach Alleghe…
Uli Stanciu: … Yes, a very pretty town at a lake below the majestic Civetta, an unbelievably beautiful Dolomite massif. Here, too, we’ll get a fantastic welcome. On the following day we‘ll continue to Kaltern – across Passo San Pellegrino and Karerpass. Finally, we’ll take on the Kreither Sattel, which Southern Tyrol’s racing bikers have also called the Coyote Pass…

Question: Why is that?
Uli Stanciu: Everyone having to ride up the mere 150 meter of height, but at a climb of almost 19% at the end of such a difficult stage will be howling like a coyote…

Question: From Kaltern the course will lead to Trento for the first time?
Uli Stanciu: Kaltern, too, is a top stage host; the atmosphere in the evening at the winery is always fantastic. Yes, then we’ll continue on the new course toward Neumarkt and up into Truden. That, too, is a steep section. That’s when you realize that while this year’s Tour Transalp course may be relatively short with 776 kilometern, it will also have a difference in altitude totaling 19,928 meters – more than any Tour Transalp in the past. Then we’ll ride to Molina in Fleimstal and across solitary Manghenpass and through Val Sugana into Trento.

Question: That’s new, we’ve never been to Trento…
Uli Stanciu: … and so much greater the surprise will be, I think. Piazza Duomo in Trento is just fantastic. That is Italy; wonderful, medieval atmosphere. That will sure be a great night at those charming street cafes. But the last stage toward Arco has something special in store, too: we’ll ride across Monte Bondone, this landmark mountain with its transmitter at the top, which is clearly visible from as far away as the autobahn at Trento. On exactly this Saturday, the great auto race “Trento – Bondone” will be taking pace. Therefore this mountain road will be closed for traffic all day. Since the race starts at 11 o’clock, we’ll be able to cross those 1,400 meters in height in time on the closed off roads. There’ll probably be already many spectators cheering us on. That means, however, that we’re going to have to leave Trento at 8:15 in the morning, so the auto race won’t catch up with any trailing Transalp riders.

Question: Wow, that is early…
Uli Stanciu: Well yes, but it also means that we’ll arrive in Arco early and have even more time for our huge victory celebrations.

Photos: from 2009 edition; more stories and photos can be found by using the SEARCH feature to the right for TRANSALP

Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal welcome; contact me at There are more than 1,000 stories in this blog; the search feature to the right works best for finding things in the blog.

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