The 12th edition of the TransAlp stage race, from July 18 to 25, will see two new towns hosting stages. For the first time ever, the South Tyrol villages St. Christina and Sarnthein will welcome the pros and amateurs on their way south in direction of Lake Garda. The 1,100 participants can look forward to experiencing a brand new route setting in many places.
In 2009, 550 teams of two will tackle the 630 kilometres and more than 22,000 metres of elevation gain from Mittenwald, Germany via Austria to Riva del Garda which marks the traditional finish in Italy.
A new course will run from Brixen via St. Christina im Groednertal and thereafter via Sarnthein to Kaltern. According to race director Uli Stanciu, it is a "mix of dreamlike mountain panorama and super trails." On day four, the racers will cross the Kreuzkofeljoch and Groednerjoch on the stage from Brixen to St. Christina on as well as the Seiseralm and the Gasteigersattel the day after in direction to Sarnthein. The sixth stage to Kaltern when the Transalp circus will pedal the Eppaner Hoehenweg and provide provides a "fantastic view on the whole lowlands of South Tyrol".
In addition, the new stage challenges also bring some other highlights for which the Transalp is famous and well-known for. On the leg St. Christina – Sarnthein, "We will have to manage the longest-ever ascent in the Transalp history – 1,679 metres of elevation gain straight from Waidbruck up to Rittner Horn and Gasteigersattel. I hope everyone will be able to enjoy the trail descent thereafter down to Sarnthein."
There will be one walking section in this year's route. It will happen on day six shortly before the Eppaner Hoehenweg, as "there is no other possible connection. It's only about one kilometre, but the path is peppered with a lot of boulders and gravel and turns very steep at the end." After the Kreuzjoch, racers will take a long trail through Alpine pastures to the Auener Joechl, up to the "Stoanane Mandl" and down to the Moeltener Kaser via singletrack.