The Craft BIKE Transalp is a weeklong mountain bike stage race that as the name suggests, traverses parts of the Alps and the Dolomites on its way from Germany through Austria and finishing in Italy. The 18th edition of the event starts this Sunday (July 19) in Rupholding, Germany and will finish 7 days later in Riva Del Garda, Italy. During the race participants will cover 611 km which includes a breathtaking 19,000 meters of ascent making for a mountainous race to say the least.
In 2012 I completed my first Trans Alp alongside Aurelie Halbwachs and for my second attempt at the race I’ll be teaming up with Ben Melt Swanepoel. We’ve been fortunate enough to travel together and participate at many events all over the world but have never ridden together as a team. It won’t be completely unfamiliar territory for us as we train together regularly. Racing together will surely be different and we both look forward to the new and exciting challenge, although we might report differently afterwards J.
From the outset our European campaign didn’t go quite as planned. I crashed in training dislocating my shoulder while Ben Melt crashed on stage 1 of the Bike Four Peaks cutting open his forearm which required a trip to the hospital and 10 stitches. This meant both of us missed out on racing the Bike4Peaks stage race and the MTB Marathon World Championships as was originally scheduled.
As the saying goes: “When life hands you lemons, best you make lemonade”. Instead of wallowing in a well of self pity we decided the lighter racing schedule would leave us fresher going into the race and we used the time to train in the beautiful Austrian mountains preparing ourselves for the long climbs of the Transalp.
Melt and I will be writing an article about our experience at the 2015 Craft BIKE Transalp and you’ll be able to read all out it in the in the Mountain Bike Magazine (http://www.electricink.co.za/mag/mountain-bike ). Make sure not to miss out!
We are in the final throws of our preparation and this week is all about resting up, dialling in equipment and finalizing arrangements making sure we get to the start as fresh and fit as possible. Whatever happens thereafter is sure to be quite a unique adventure and we are intent on making the most of every moment.