The tenth annual TransAlp race starts Saturday in Mittenwald, Germany. As one of the races that helped define the genre of multi-day mountain bike stage events, the TransAlp will draw 600 teams, all headed for Riva del Garda, Italy. Racers will cover 628km and 20,836m of climbing.
Favorites going into the race are the so far unbeaten German-Austrian duo Team Bulls including Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm. If they win this one, they will make it three so far this year, adding to wins at the Cape Epic and Trans Germany.
Platt and Sahm will be challenged by another GermanAustrian pair Andi Strobel and Silvio Wieltschnig from Team Fiat-Rotwild. "Since we didn't start last year, we really want to bring it once more this year," said Strobel.
On the women's side, reigning champions Sandra and Peggy Klose of team Zwilingscraft are the favorites for the victory. Their strongest opponents could be the Germany's Kerstin Brachtendorf with her French teammate Danièle Troesch, racing as Team Fiat-Rotwild. They led TransGermany until Brachtendorf had to quit the race due to stomach problems.
In the mixed category, look for Germany's Carsten Bresser who is again teamed up with Canadian teammate and three-time World Champion Alison Sydor on Rocky Mountain/Haywood.
This year's route is identical to the track used in 1998. The race will visit Reith im Alpbachtal, Mayrhofen, Brixen, San Vigilio Marebbe-Enneberg, Arabba, Predazzo/Val di Fiemme, and Folgaria along the way.