Update: June 27, 9:00pm
I added a few more pics to yesterday’s blog at the top of the page – one of Joerg at the hotel before the start of the stage, and one of us riding through town.
Last night I had a horrible sleep. I kept rolling over onto my bruised hip, and would wake up from the aching pain. I had at least 3 hours of decent sleep, so plenty for a 110km ride with 3 challenging mountain passes!
Our hotel, the Gruner Baum, had the most extensive and impressive breakfast spread that I have seen in Europe thus far. Once I began digging into muesli, fresh bread, whole milk, and prosciutto I felt I would have the energy needed to conquer the day.
Today’s stage was perfect for Joerg and I – we are both strong climbers and the 3 passes today would test our ability. We had a short 8km neutral start out of Brixen, and then the first climb began and thinned out the pack right away with sections up to 15% grade.
The forecast for the day was dry, and the weather held up for the entire day. We had cloud cover for a lot of the day, and cool (8 degree) temperatures at the top of the highest passes. It was a bit chilly on the descents, but they were short and we quickly warmed up on the next climb. Joerg and I rode most of the stage together, although we split up somewhere on the last descent, but managed to cross the finish line as a team. We finished with a time of 4:42, and managed to move up 25 spots to 144 overall.
Pages will be updated with photos and a recap at the end of each stage
From the organizers (translated from German):
Already at the second day the TOUR Transalp 2016 goes all out. This stage leads to the heart of the Dolomites on a breathtaking “Stellaronda” against the clockwise direction. To reach the Sellastock you have to ride the same, fascinating side roads at the edges of the Eisacktal, which have been part of the stage for the first time in 2014. After an even, neutralized start in the Eisacktal, a small road leads from the entrance of the Villnößtal over to Val Gardena via Gufidaun and Lajen. The stage continues through St. Ulrich, home of mountain-legend Luis Trenker, St. Christina and Wolkenstein and then passes the broad north flank of the Langkofel up to the Sellajoch (2.234 meters), the first pass of the stage, which applies for the classification “most beautiful Transalp pass” with its spectacular panorama of the Dolomites.
But he had not reckoned with the Pordoijoch which comes the awing mountain flanks even significantly closer. The great thing about these passes is, you can really enjoy those one after another. Since after the 24 kilometer long ride through the Grödnertal with 1200 meters difference in altitude, you only ride 400 meters downhill after the Sellajoch before the climb of the Pordoijoch (2.238 meters) starts. After the short descent to Arabba the stage leads once more 300 meters uphill to the Passo Campolongo and ends the “Sellaronda” after another short downhill in Corvara. With Sassongher to the left and the Kreuzkofel on the right it goes downhill in the Gardertal. Finally in Zwischenwasser the final spurt (200 meters difference in altitude) to St. Vigil starts.
Mountain passes: Sellajoch, Pordoijoch, Passo Campolongo