Eight of the nine stage towns have been named for the 14th edition of the TransAlp race across the Alpine divide. The classic European mountain bike stage race will kick off in Mittenwald, Germany, on July 16, 2011, and wrap up eight stages later on July 23 in Riva del Garda, Italy.
From Mittenwald, the route will go through Mayrhofen. Then, it will cross the Italian border. In South Tyrol, Brixen and St. Vigil will welcome the maximum of 550 participating teams of two. Thereafter, the mountain bikers will pedal to Alleghe, TransAlp new host town San Martino di Castrozza and Trento before going on to their final destination at Lake Garda.
The 2011 course features a total of 670km and 21,504m of climbing, making it the longest TransAlp in history although there have been previous editions with more total climbing. One climb in particular stands out for 2011 - with 1400m of elevation gain from Brixen to Wuerzjoch.
"Five stages are brand new, including some epic trails. Take the 'Strada de la Vena' on the course from Brixen to Alleghe. It's a 15km long singletrack - super nice to ride," said Race Director Uli Stanciu.
Thinking of the Dolomites, he said, "It's the best mountain range in the world. The third, fourth and fifth stage will be a panorama dream come true. In addition, we have superb stage towns. So, I guess 2011 will see the most beautiful TransAlp we have ever had."
Germans Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm (Team Bulls) and Danes Kristine Norgaard and Anna-Sofie Norgaard (Rothaus-Cube) won the 2010 edition of the race.
Registation opens on December 14 at noon. For more information or to register, visit www.bike-transalp.de. Traditionally, the race's 550 entries sell out within minutes.