The many components of the third stage from Bormio to Aprica resembled a gigantic puzzle - a puzzle of steep gravel climbs and long asphalt ascents, of slippery descents and fast flow trails, of stony paths and bumpy root passages, of shallow alpine paths and tricky hairpin bends, of countless meters of altitude and several kilometers. Put together, the parts resulted in a challenging stage before tomorrow's queen stage.
Especially the La Grosina trail with its tricky hairpin turns, the partly loose ground and the enormous steepness, demanded particularly good technique and nerves of steel today. And a shovel of courage on top of it.
"The trail was already very demanding. The hairpin bends in particular were very steep and there was little grip. For some riders, that was certainly a big challenge," revealed Lennard Heidenreich, one of the two third-place finishers in the men's team classification. He himself had enough fun in this demanding downhill.
Carina Mohr and Conny Bucher, our enduro specialists, also really flourished in this trail. "What I found exhausting was not the hairpin bends, but the stony slope beforehand, where my hands almost fell off from the vibrations," explained Carina, not without losing her smile.
However, not everyone came down as smoothly as the aforementioned. Most of them had to prove today that they love their bike and finally push it. Here and there you could hear some moaning and grumbling, but this was forgotten at the latest when looking at the panoramic views of the Alps.
Today, body and mind are certainly looking forward to the hotel bed. Tomorrow they will be challenged anew, but also rewarded.