02 July 2009

Transalp Chronicles - Day 4

On the Timmelsjoch:

Stage 4 in the books, and we went over our first BIG alpine pass - Timmelsjoch, at 2509 meters elevation - and into Italy/delightful Sud-Tirol with apple orchards and vineyards, ending up at the delightful town of Naturns. Why is everything written in German here? Is this where MOB's relatives live?

The Positivo Espresso UK team finished 71 out of 90 mixed teams in 4:13. The leading Mixed team, Lightweight Wheels' sponsored team #4 of Jorg Ludewig and Claudia Frank (known to their fans as Siegfried and Brunhilda) seems to be in some trouble, with the #2 team closing in. Some of you may remember Ludewig from his career with Team Telecom and many pro appearances.

The main Japan team finished 165 out of 179 "Masters" teams, and first among teams appearing from Japan in this year's Transalp. The French still lead the Masters category. As usual, Jerome started slow but passed David 85% of the way up the climb, and pulled the team (and other hangers on) on the flat stretch near the finish. One of the hangers on, a German woman, sat on our wheel for 3 km and then zipped around us to finish ahead. Jerome was not happy -- despite a "thank you" in our general direction.
Jerome cools off at the finish and one of the aid stations:

Tomorrow and Friday separate the men from the boys (and the women from the girls). Real mammoth stages -- we start 800 meters lower than this morning and climb 250 higher. Then down and up more passes.

By the way, the other couple in this photo are a brazilian man and his german wife. She was not happy the first day, said he was riding too fast ... but seems to have recovered. Their team time today was close to 3:30.

We had a very nice after dinner stroll up the hillside to the Falkenstein for "second dinner" -- or in my case a simple dessert of vanilla ice cream with raspberry sauce (and some extra chocolate sauce also) ... that translates from the German as "hot love."

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