The Transalp Challenge 2004

the organisers Some of us here at Plumz towers have looked at the Transalp challenge and considered making an attempt.
For mere mortals, the numbers make sobering reading; Eight days, three countries, 570km and 19,000 metres of vertical climbing. That's over twice the height of Everest. There are marathons, and then there is the Transalp.

Consider the 2003 route as an indication of what's to come
Total distance 652.19 Km total altitude 21,521 vertical m

The pain, suffering and glorious terrain began on Saturday 20th of July, in the Bavarian town of Mittenwald. 20,000 spectators turned out to wave off the competitors, on the 79.74km first stage to Imst.
With 2400 vertical metres of climbing, stage one was a rude awakening for many riders (the Brits will have had their jaws on the ground no doubt). In addition to the elevation and distance, the high-altitude heat became a factor.

Even the easy day Stage 5 has more climbing than any UK 6 hour Enduro or Kona event ever has !!!
  • 1st stage Mittenwald - Reith im Alpbachtal 82.67 km, 1,991 v.m
  • 2nd stage Reith - Kirchberg bei Kitzbühl 85.84 km, 3,225 v.m
  • 3rd stage Kirchberg bei Kitzbühl - Neukirchen 51.60 km, 2,547 v.m
  • 4th stage - bad boy 11 hrs for some here, time out of 14 hrs Neukirchen - Brixen 147.33 km, 3,526 v.m
  • 5th stage Brixen - Val Gardena / Gröden 47,59 km, 2,493 Hm
  • 6th stage Val Gardena / Gröden - Kaltern am See 103.63 km, 3,288 v.m
  • 7th stage Kaltern am See - Andalo 70.94 km, 2,976 v.m 8th stage Andalo - Riva del Garda 61.71 km, 1,445 v.m
Now Gary Hill from Cats has had an entry accepted for 2004. He is obviously a very brave guy, or just plain madder than us. Getting an entry alone is no mean feat on its own, as its always heavily over subscribed, and costs a huge wedge to enter.

We are watching with Interest how he progresses and hopefully he can report back on the experience for us as the event looms.

In preparation Gary is getting as many long distance events in as he can. Sensibly in Wales, the Lakes and the Peaks, as well as racing the Friday night series. The Iron Lemming is also on the cards in June. Give him moral support when you see him.

He's written a report on one such ride hopefully he'll keep us in touch as months go by, and if still capable, a story on the race too.
Garys Log:
  1. Tour of Flanders - A preparation ride for the Transalp 2004
  2. Merida 100Km Ryhader - A dry run for a typical Transalp days stage distance
Gary is aiming to raise money for the MS Society, having already previously ridden the John O'Groats to Lands End ride in aid of the Charity.
It's a cause close to his heart as his Mother has MS).
UK transalp teams 2004 tot look out for

No: 448 Mixed - Martine Verweij & Brian Tear
No: 403 Master 40+ Gary Hill & Pete Brown
No: 326 Senior - Jon Cawley & (place vacant at present)

A full list of 2004 competitors is available at the Transalp site