Mayrhofen – Brixen
The 20th BIKE Transalp kicks off things with the queen's stage right away and everything a Transalp needs. The first part from Mayrhofen to Sterzing is not only a prominent one but also a reminiscence to the inaugural edition of the event as racers have to conquer the Pfitscherjoch which also attracts the 'normal' MTB tourists every year.
More than 1,700 metres of climbing have to be mastered, a tough warm-up which starts on tarmac before the route then leads over a small forest path up to the Schlegeisspeicher (More information here) . From there, an energy-sapping rock and root path brings the field to Lavizalpe and on a newly renovated road which leads up to the ridge itself.
Over the past years, riders had to push their bikes here on a rough former cart path – so this is definitely a much nicer way to reach the top of the Pfitscherjoch.
The field then swiftly descends on Pfitsch valley on a forest path which offers plenty of neat views into the South Tyrolean alpine world. Down in the valley, racers will get some time to relax their legs on normal roads and forest paths to Sterzing – and the second mountain.
Right behind of Brixen the field will start climbing to Valser ridge. While it might look like a vicious add-on to the well-known Mayrhofen-Brixen route by Race Director Marc Schneider, the supplementary mountain avoids the long bike path through the Eisack valley racers had to pedal in earlier event editions in order to make it to Brixen.
As a result, the first stage of the anniversary event consists of 50% of well-established Transalp racing and 50% of brand new Transalp experiences making the stage race opener one worth racing – and more than 3,000 metres of climbing less painful.