The Black Forest in Germany’s south west corner offers an incredibly vast array of riding options that are all accompanied by beautiful vistas of classic German hamlets and rolling hills. Offering participants a guided tour through the region between 10 and 14 August is the Vaude Trans Schwarzwald MTB Stage race. Although less ‘guided tour’ and more ‘flat out racing’ the Trans Schwarzwald takes participants through many great sections of the Black Forest.
Starting in the beautiful city of Offenburg in the north, the route heads in a clockwise direction that travels across and then down the east side of the region in five stages. The southernmost point will be the town of Murg on the Swiss–German border that is reached on the fourth day with the final stage climbing up to the highest village in Germany, Feldberg.
The stages vary from a minimum of 60km to a maximum of 114km on the Queen stage to Donaueschingen. Lacking large alpine passes has meant previous editions have seen stages won with average speeds of 26km/h and up! The fast speeds have led to tactical and exciting racing with the sport’s big names fighting it out for line honours. As well as top teams and athletes, the race also attracts many hobby riders that are looking to test themselves over the course, and of course, explore the Black Forest’s many single trails and roads.
I will be giving it a go to complement my XC racing schedule, and I’m looking forward to seeing how I fair in this type of racing. Having raced the Trans Germany in 2012 (Now called Bike Four Peaks), I have some idea of how things are run but hopefully I can be fighting for a few positions higher than 100th this time around! Make sure you keep an eye on Marathon MTB and social media for my reports and behind the scenes content!
- Stage 1 – Offenburg > Sasbachwalden
73 km / 2.100 vm
- Stage 2 – Sasbachwalden > Bad Rippoldsau-Schapbach
66 km / 2.400 vm
- Stage 3 – Bad Rippoldsau-Schapbach > Donaueschingen
114 km / 2.600 vm
- Stage 4 – Donaueschingen > Murg
99 km / 1.500 vm
- Stage 5 – Murg > Feldberg
60 km / 2.200 vm