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Team Bulls ready to defend TransAlp title

By:
Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor
Published:
July 19, 2008, 0:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 19:28 BST
Edition:
MTB news & racing round-up for July 19, 2008
The TransAlp race

The TransAlp race

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The 11th Jeantex Bike Transalp will kick off on Saturday, July 19 in Fuessen, Kemptenerstraße corner...

The 11th Jeantex Bike Transalp will kick off on Saturday, July 19 in Fuessen, Kemptenerstraße corner of Gluecksstraße in Germany. In eight days, 550 teams of two including pros as well as amateurs will pedal 665.40 kilometres and face 21,691 metres in elevation gain across the Alps. On their way to the traditional finish in Riva del Garda on July 26, the participants will stop also in Austria and Switzerland.

Last year's winners are among the starters. At the 10th anniversary race in 2007, Germany's Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm took home an impressive victory. This year their mission will be to keep the title. "When I show up at the Transalp there is only one goal for me! I want to win the race," said Platt, who will be contesting his eighth edition of the race.

The start list features a colourful mix from 46 nations and includes some well known top guns who may be able to play a major role. Besides Austria's Martin Kraler and Heinz Verbnjak from Craft & Friends, the Fiat-Rotwild pairing with Austrian Silvio Wieltschnig and German Thomas Nicke and Vaude-Simplon 1's Andreas Strobel and Markus Kaufmann of Germany may be able to jump onto the podium. In addition, last year's third place Alexander Pscheidl and Christian Schneidawind from the German Team Texpa-Simplon and their fellow countrymen Carsten Bresser and Daniel Gathof from Rocky Mountain are on the list.

But for the most of the 1,100 starters who range from 16 to 70 years-old, there is one major goal: to finish at Lake Garda. On their way from Fuessen to Riva del Garda, the Transalp circus will stop in Imst and Ischgl in Austria, Scuol in Switzerland and Italian stage towns Livigno, Kaltern, Naturns and Andalo. The route will cross 20 saddles including the highest, the Bocchetta di Forcola (2,769 m) with its climb of 700m.

Racers from countries like Australia, Brazil, Columbia, Libya, Costa Rica, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Singapore and the USA will take off at 10:00 am Saturday to the sound of AC/DC's "Highway to Hell".

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