Update: June 30, 5:45pm
There are so many words I could use to describe today’s ride including the following: Wow! I think that just about sums it up. Today’s 130km stage had just about everything:
- A long 14k neutral with lots of bottlenecks, stops, starts, and dark, scary, downhill tunnels
- Three mountain passes with a ton of hill climbs in between
- Giant 100+ rider pelotons that cut through the false flats between climbs
- A set of incredible switchback tunnels on the descent of Passo San Boldo
- Hot, sunny weather that made for an incredibly sweaty ride
- A climb up Monte Tomba just before the end of the day in the height of the heat
- A breezy, slightly uphill finish that I had to time trial for 4 km as I had no one to draft
I felt incredibly strong today, and had a great ride. Joerg and I decided that we would ride on our own if we split up, and we were in our own groups for the entire day. We finished with a time of 4:50, and have moved up to 121 overall!
Unfortunately I was racing with my head down for most of the day and only stopped once for a nature break. Therefore, I took zero photos, but I will take some shots of town,and post them a bit later. I did, however, find this awesome shot that Matt took from yesterday at the top of Passo Giau:
Update: July 1, 6:00am
Pulled a few of Matt’s shots from the Magic Places Facebook site – first one is Joerg at the finish, and second is the switchback tunnels.
Pages will be updated with photos and a recap at the end of each stage
From the organizers (translated from German):
What an imposing change of landscape and culture? Stage 5 shows impressively the changeableness of the TOUR Transalp. At the bottom of the Dolomites this stage leads to the land of the Prosecco-vines alongside the south-flanks of the Alps. With the remarkable peaks of Pale di San Martino in the back the route goes flatly through the Primiero Valley into the canyon of the Val Schener. Soon the climb via little mountain villages starts in order to reach Passo Croce d’Aune on 1.011 meters height. From here the route guides downwards passing Pedavena until Feltre. Here the bike can be easily rolled a few kilometers along the south side of the Dolomiti Bellunesi (300 meters height) with direction Belluno.
Now you ride over the kilometer-wide, natural brook bed of the river Piave, which marked the border at which the Austrian-Hungarian army could not get any further in the First World War. Yet there is little time for thoughts about the unpleasant chapters in history of the province Belluno, because only the little Passo San Boldo (708 meters) lies between the Alps and the Apline foothills, crested with wine grapes. As unspectacular this pass seems to be with its gentle climb on the north side, as extravagant emerges the downhill ride on the southern side. In the first serpentines, which could not be narrower, the curves are wrapped in tunnels and only the straight parts are outdoors. Looking back this reveals a comical view. After the arrival in Val Marino the route leads alongside the southern hills to the prosecco-capital Valdobbiadine in order to cross the Piave once again at the east side of the Monte Grappa. Now on Monte Grappa’s west side the climb up to the Monte Tomba is waiting on small, enchanted side roads, followed by a serpentined downhill ride to Possagno. Only few kilometers are left until the finish line in Crespano is reached.
Mountain passes: Passo Croce d’Aune, Passo San Boldo, Monte Tomba