19 July 2011

More photos from Transalp 2011

Here are some more photos from David's collection about the Transalp 201 tour.
Andreas and Matthias from Bremen Team Wiegtritt and mob
Gerd, our hero of this year Transalp. Rarely without Klaus.


View from the Oberjoch. This was the first climb of many to follow. Taken two days before the race.
 
One way steet - except for bikes in Sonthofen. Nice picture composition.

The Hahntennjoch - the first climb I had to walk up partly since years. Matches well with the pedestrian sign.


Juliane and David J. in Imst
David L. in Imst

David and mob at the start in Sonthofen

The approach on the Silvretta road to the Biehlerhöhe Pass

Stephen and mob, the surprise visitor in Ischgl.

Not sure, but perhaps view from Arlberg pass. Gives the idea of the mountains ahead.

David J. and MOB at the start in Livigno.

David L. at curve #22 of 42 on the climb up the Stelvio


Mountains.  Somewhere in the alps -- taken from the Passo di Foscagna.
At the Stelvio Pass.
Climbing the road to the Stelvio

More mountains somewhere in the Alps, from Passo di Foscagna. You get the general idea.

David J. at the start in Livigno

Done. David and MOB, presenting the Transalp finisher medals and jersey.

4 comments:

Manfred von Holstein said...

Fantastic photos, thanks for posting! I would be curious to hear your overall impressions of the event. No detailed stories (unless very interesting!), just what you are taking away, whether you would do it again, etc.

TOM said...

Every picture tells a story. My impression is that these guys and that gal are in for a repeat!

mob said...

My feeling today is still that I am not inclined to repeat the Transalp. On the other hand I am very glad that I did the 2011 edition.

There are also some good (personal) reason for this decision:

I have proven myself that I can do that. I checked my old Japan cycling data and so far I did only one ride with more than 3.000 elevation meter (Matsuhime and Ootoge plus some minor). No need to prove this again.

There are many events similar to the Transalp. I would like to try some of them, however I would prefer shorter ones.

I live in Bremen now. There are no mountains here. I have to accept that. I cannot pretend to be still a good climber nor do I have time to do training in the Harz mountains on a regular basis. Learning French or Spanish makes sense when you travel in your holidays to such countries. Learning Latin doesn't.

During the Transalp everything was focused on cycling. And in particular living in the "camp", one was constantly under time pressure to prepare everything for the next day: Coming back, taking a shower (like 300 other guys), wash clothes (like 300), prepare sleeping place (like 300), go to the massage, go to the pasta party (like 1.200 at the same time). There was always time pressure. No time for much else. Didn't even saw the landscape.

Compared to the Mallorca training camp it was considerably less cycling fun. There we could ride when and as long as we liked.

I had expected more of a social touch of the event. Actually most of the people I spoke to during or after the race where not from Germany: Australia, US, Israel.... Some people look at you and think "Why is he here? He will never make it over the alps!".

On the other hand I really liked riding together with David, david and Juliane. This is more important for me than the where and how to ride.

We were also very lucky with the weather. No rain during the whole week.

When travelling later with David in Ravenna and Urbino I thought that this are really ice places for cycling and perhaps I should travel there next summer.

This is not a comment to convince somebody that it is either good or bad to do the Transalp. This is a comment to be read by myself if I am asked next year to attend again.

David L. said...

Well, I think you probably already know my answer to the question "would you do it again?", since when I finished the first time in 2009, my immediate reaction was "I want to do this again!"

I still would like to do it again. Probably not in 2012, but sometime.

It is true that Transalp does not leave much time or energy for social and non-cycling parts of a vacation, but on my second time I found the logistical issues and the "race every day" routine easier to handle than the first time, and the full week much less exhausting even if I am not materially faster in 2011 than I was in 2009. I even got to enjoy the scenery a bit more.

One reason was that I went to Germany a few days early, and I did not need to race back to Munich airport from the finish, so there were not any frantic "can I get my bike apart and back in the box quickly enough to catch the [plane/train/bus]" routines, many of which I witnessed after the Etape.

I guess I would not want to do Transalp every year at the exclusion of other more social and relaxed, or at least non-race cycling vacations -- maybe some rides in the U.S.A., or out of Jerome's suggested "base camp" location near Pau in the Pyrenees, or his suggested gastronomic tour of the French Alps starting from his brother's house in Colombe outside of Grenoble, in the direction toward Lyon.

And I would be interested in alternatives, maybe 3- or 5-day events, since a full week (with the added time at beginning and end) is a major commitment.

Also, Transalp requires a willing and relatively evenly matched partner, so even if I do want to try it again sometime, if I cannot persuade MOB, Jerome or someone else who rides at roughly comparable speed to me, to make a major commitment some year on December 1 for June/July of the following year, then I may not actually be able to do it. Then again, having a teammate is significant part of what makes it different and more memorable than a mass event like the Etape.

... back online and hope to give more posts about Etape and the Positivo Espresso France chapter in the next 24 hours.