BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma
The original alpine crossing by mountain bike
2017 heralds the race's 20th birthday from 16th to 22nd July.
BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma is probably the world's most famous mountain bike stage race for teams of two. Since its premiere in 1998, the route has comprised of eight stages. From 2014, it is completed in seven days over the main Alpine ridge to Italy.
The anniversary race starts in Mayrhofen and leads through Brixen, St. Vigil, St. Christina, Kaltern, Trento and Lavarone to Riva del Garda, where this classic race ends for the 17th time on the shores of Lake Garda.
After starting from Mayrhofen, you will cross the famous Pfitscherjoch
... one of Transalp's classic alpine crossings, which was also part of the first BIKE Transalp in 1998. From Sterzing, the route leads on to Brixen, where we find out whether it is possible to negotiate the Valser Jöchl alpine crossing instead of the myriad of cycle trails in the Eisacktal Valley. This depends on a number of factors, but if it is possible, it would form the high point of the tour - and not only because of the cracking ascent.
The route continues from Brixen via Plose to St. Vigil. Up there, "special category" trails await with a 16:9 wide view to the peaks of Peitlerkofel and Geislerspitzen. From St. Vigil, the Transalp leads into the heart of the Dolomites. The route weaves past the massive Sellastock and Steinernen Stadt below the Langkofel. After the downhill section to Sellaronda Hero, we speed on down to St. Christina.
The route leads from the Grödnertal Valley, past Seiseralm and Schlern, where views over Rosengarten and into the Eggental Valley open up. From here we descend into the Etschtal Valley, cross the river and begin our ascent to Kaltern am See. The Kaltern-Trento stage is similar to that of 2014. Many interesting and sometimes hidden trails lead through Etschtal, Salurn and on to Lavis. A thrilling ride through unknown landscapes along many small forest trails and ancient paths. Once in Trentino, an ascent takes you in the direction of Monte Calisio, where secret trails meander down to Trento, where you can enjoy a coffee in the historic old town.
The next day, you head from here up to Rifugio Maranza, from where you will negotiate some great trails to Vigolo Vattaro. The route now climbs up through the forest to Passo della Fricca, and later joins "100 KM DEI FORTI", the famous marathon route along military trails from the First World War, and then on to the top of the "Alpe Cimbra". The final leg, which also promises some racy mountain bike sections, leads on to Riva del Garda.
WE WILL NEVER GROW UP | BIKE Transalp 2017 Trailer
Mayrhofen - Brixen
A key stage on the very first section, with a little bit of everything that you could hope to expect from a Transalp event: The first half from Mayrhofen to Sterzing is outstanding in itself, not just because of the race. Every year, the legendary Pfitscherjoch is negotiated by thousands of tourist "trans-alpers" and since the first Transalp Challenge in 1988, has provided a gritty test of endurance to race participants. Over 1,700 metres in altitude must be surmounted from Mayrhofen, along an easier asphalt road to start with, before heading over forest trails up to the Schlegeis Reservoir. From thereon, the trail is rocky and strewn with tree roots - the ride up to Lavizalpe is somewhat arduous. The final ascent over 200 metres in altitude to the mountain yoke lead over a renovated trail. The previously bumpy mule track where riders used to have to push their bikes up the steep incline was replaced a few years ago with a new path that leads up a less arduous incline to the highest point. A rapid descent into the Pfitschertal Valley heads over forest trails with fabulous views of the mountains of South Tyrol. The route to Sterzing is then somewhat lengthy, although you can swap from the forest trails to riding along the road, to spare your legs a bit. Now for the second mountain. According to plan, the ascent begins just after Brixen and leads to Valser Jöchl, which adds another 800 metres in altitude to the old Mayrhofen-Brixen route. Ouch!! In exchange, a great mountain bike route with sweeping views and a thrilling downhill section to Brixen can replace the long bike ride in the narrow Eisacktal Valley, which is also home to several hidden trails. The last few metres takes you through vineyards, with views of the cathedral and city in the heart of Brixen. 50 percent Transalp history and 50 percent of new bike experiences combine to form the very best stage, which also happens to be great fun. The best way to soften the pain of the previous climbs of at least 3,000 metres in altitude.