Update: July 3, 5:00pm
I haven’t had time to update this blog until now!
Here are a few photos I found from the beginning and end of Stage 5. The first one is of the Rock Tape I had on my neck every day. It helped support my neck to that I was not sore day after day. I also had quite a bit of tape on my right hamstring and quad which enabled me to ride without any cramping whatsoever. It was like having a few extra muscles handy. The second photo is of the drying rack I had set up at Hotel Villa Scalabrini, which apparently was a WWI war hospital and was most definitely haunted.
Stage 6 was and incredibly challenging ride. We would be going over two massive mountain passes – Monte Grappa with it’s 1500m of elevation over 24km, and Clima del Campo with it’s 1300m of climbing over 20km. The forecast was calling for a possibility of thunderstorms later in the day, and they hit us just after the summit of Monte Grappa. The rain was welcome, as it was quite warm, however the thought of lightning while riding up an exposed mountain peak is a bit unnerving. Luckily there was just one clap of thunder, and a bit of rain before the sun was back. The descents on this ride were crazy as usual, with a few tunnels that we were not warned about (it’s safe to assume that if you’re on a mountain road in Italy, there will be some sort of tunnel). Joerg and I were on our own rides again for most of the day, and he was unfortunate to not to join a group for the last 30km of the ride. I ended up having to descend the second peak quite fast to keep up with a group in front of me, and we managed to piece together 6 riders for a nice rotating paceline into Levico Terme. Part of this ride was on a narrow bike path, which was nice for not having to deal with cars, but a bit crazy having to deal with oncoming cyclists. We had a few close calls. After the bike path our group amalgamated with several other groups, and we ended up with a large group moving at about 40km/h on the slight uphill ride to end stage 6.
Joerg and I finished with a time of 5:51, keeping us exactly where we were overall yesterday in 121st place.
We’re staying at the Grand Imperial hotel, which is a former residence of the Austrian Royal family. It is a massive compound, and they make a mean tuna sandwich! We had dinner in the hotel restaurant, and the main course was a “mixed poultry” dish. Apparently port is considered poultry here??
Pages will be updated with photos and a recap at the end of each stage
From the organizers (translated from German):
The sporting highlight of the Transalp 2016 is waiting on day six of the tour. The queen’s stage, which on the one hand demands everything from the participants, on the other hand develops clandestinely to one of the best stages of the Transalp passing kilometer after kilometer. One reason is after having crossed the Monte Grappa two times from north to south (2012 and 2014), this time the mountain is crossed from south to north, which leads to an infinite advantage. The permanent panorama – at good weather even until the Adriatic Sea – can be enjoyed far more intense compared to the downhill ride, which would require full attention. Furthermore a small, inconsiderable pass, the Cima del Campo, is part of the route in 2016, which has the potential to advance to everybody’s favorite.
From Arsie on 1.100 meters difference in altitude have to be managed to reach the next point on 1.400 meters height. After having arrived at the top, a fun downhill ride is waiting with a spectacular wide view back to the Pale di San Martino. At Castello Tesino the route directs through the rock faces, a squiggled and impressive way, downwards to the bottom of the valley. After a few kilometers on the bike lane the route continues on the side road via Borgo Valsugana to the shore of Lago di Levico. Here the public bathing beach, directly located at the finish line, promises the well-deserved refreshment.
Mountain Passes: Monte Grappa, Cima del Campo