A Constantly Steep Grade
July 2002 — Imst to Ischgl
We wake up refreshed and ready to start another climb. The hard lesson learned today is that some of the ascents may never waiver in their steep-stated grade. The first climb was steep and constant with no waves in the grade, just up all the way to the top, 1800 meters away.
By the time we reached the top my eyeballs were floating in lactic acid. I never stopped to let my heart and leg recover. No complaints though as the view was beautiful and the farm fields smelled alive.
Donning our windbreakers, we followed the other riders and rapidly descended to the valley floor. More rollers, paved and dirt, giving way to a XC trail and a descent on very difficult trails that have safety netting, similar to ski area stuff, to keep us on the right side of the trail.
Kurt and I hop for a for few short pieces that are not XC worthy. (I hop, he hikes.)
After 20 yards of gliding and hopping we are back on the bike squeezing by hiking cyclists on the way to base. We ride carefully within our limits. We see a few damaged riders being worked by the emergency crew. We know it is an endurance race and ride well within control. Then we start our painful and demoralizing gradual climb on a rolling old Roman-influenced road back to Ischgl.
Unfortunately I detonated the body on the first climb so all I could do was crawl to the finish line.
— Brett Wolfe, MountainZone.com Correspondent