European stage races set

Two of Europe's most popular stage races have set their place on the 2009 calendar. The granddaddy...

Two of Europe's most popular stage races have set their place on the 2009 calendar. The granddaddy of mountain bike stage racing, the Jeantex Bike TransAlp will take place July 18-25 while the Craft Bike Trans Germany is set for June 21-27.

The TransAlp again expects to draw more than 1,000 racers and will cross the main ridge of the Alps from the north to the south over eight stages. The race will start in Mittenwald, Germany, and head via Austria's Reith im Alpbachtal and Mayrhofen towards South Tyrol.

It will stop in Italy in Brixen, S. Cristina, Sarntheim, Kaltern and Andalo before the traditional Lake Garda finish in Riva del Garda. Registration opens on December 7, when the first 250 race entries will become available online. The remaining 250 places will be awarded by lottery.

In its third year, the Trans Germany will host 800 racers crossing Germany from west to east in 660km with 15,300m of elevation change. An updated route will take racers through Central Germany. For the first time, the race will be held with solo and a four-person team categories rather than the previous years' two-person team format.

For more information, visit www.bike-transalp.de and www.bike-transgermany.de.

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