Racing Transalp is like no other mountain bike stage race experience. While some are harder, some are ‘cooler’ and others pride themselves on their trails, event vibe or services – you just cannot beat Transalp for the mountain experience, and the point-to-point nature of the race.
And just like the modern day Crocodile Trophy has little in common with the first versions, you could say the same about Transalp. While Transalp might still be spoken of with disdain by some, suggesting it’s just a ‘gravel road race’, the truth couldn’t be more different. Transalp traces many historical routes across the Alps from Germany (or in 2016, Austria) through to Italy. And while you will pass along gravel roads, you will also ride high alpine singletrack, fast forest descents, tight and rocky trails and along small roads in alpine towns.
The 2017 route will be announced in just a few days. We know it will move from north to south, and that it will likely skip Scuol and Switzerland after passing through this year – more than likely staying further east and perhaps spending longer in the Dolomites.
But the experience of Transalp transcends the precise route. It is about doing battle with other teams day in and day out, across high mountain passes and down descents where your focus is so tight you barely notice the vistas around you.
Transalp is about forging a friendship with your team mate, that will take you through the whole week of racing, allowing you to support them, and in turn they will support you.
Transalp is about crossing the finish line, and leaving any racing behind you, as you’re greeted into the town, sharing stories with other competitors, before getting cleaned up and to a bar to watch the last hour of the day’s Tour de France stage.
Transalp is about crossing a mountain range on your bicycle – as fast as you can if that’s what you want – but it’s a crossing you’ll never forget.