For years, the TransAlp has offered teams a chance to race among beautiful Alpine scenery with varying routes. Starting this weekend, 1,100 racers will have that chance again for eight days from July 17-24, although during the second half of the race, the course will travel on trails new to the race.
The change comes mainly due to the debut of Ponte di Legno, Italy, as a stage town. It's given race director Uli Stanciu a variety of possible new routes from the fifth race day onward.
"For the first time ever, the TransAlp goes from Livigno across the Passo di Verva and the notorious Mortirolo saddle to Ponte di Legno." This happens during stage five.
Stage six also will bring some different trails. "The participants can look forward to experiencing 11 kilometres along super trails between Forcellina di Montozzo and Passo Tonale before entering Malé on a technical downhill section."
In the second last stage racers will pedal for Madonna di Campiglio, the shortest stage of the race, but the field will have to master a tough climb over 1,300 metres of altitude to Rifugio Orso Bruno. The final day's leg to Riva del Garda will provide a steep, hike-a-bike passage to Passo Bregn d'Ors as well as a traditionally challenging Lake Garda trail.
In contrast, the first half of the race is characterised by several classic stages. On the first stage from Füssen to Imst, mountain bikers will pass the famous Neuschwanstein Castle and have to conquer the Marienbergjoch. On the sole Austrian leg to Ischgl, the Venetalm comes first, then the Idjoch is the main hurdle to clear for everyone on the way to Scuol in Switzerland. The field will be able to celebrate the middle of the race in Livigno after having raced through the Val Mora.
Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for TransAlp coverage.
July 17: Stage 1 - Füssen - Imst, 78km
July 18: Stage 2 - Imst - Ischgl, 77km
July 19: Stage 3 - Ischgl - Scuol, 75km
July 20: Stage 4 - Scuol - Livigno, 74km
July 21: Stage 5 - Livigno - Ponte Di Legno, 107km
July 22: Stage 6 - Ponte Di Legnol - Male, 73km
July 23: Stage 7 - Male - Madonna, 48km
July 24: Stage 8 - Madonna - Riva, 67km