This Thursday 2nd June marks the first stage of the 2011 Alpentour Trophy. Having grown again since last year, in 2011 it is a four stage race, based out of the Austrian town of Schladming.
Unlike the Craft Bike Trans Germany, the Alpentour allows for an easier logistical set up for teams and individual riders. By not traveling to a different town each day, riders are able to base themselves in the one place, and enjoy the extra time for recovery that this can allow.
There are 262 confirmed entries across various classes. Of interest is the UCI S1 ranking, which denotes the status of the race. Being the year before the Olympics, many Elite racers and nations are chasing UCI points, so they can qualify for more starting positions in the XCO Olympic event in London. As such, riders such as Mary McConneloug, Daphny van den Brand, Karin Leumann, Jukka Vastaranta, Bart Brentjens and a host of other top Europeans will be present.
MarathonMTB.com racers Josh Keep and Mike Blewitt will be keeping an eye on things from the tail end of the Elite bell curve, so check back for daily updates.
Stage 1: 73km, 2900m
Stage 2: 56km, 2400m
Stage 3: 15km, 1100m (TT)
Stage 4: 56km, 2000m
More information can be seen on the event website