MountainZone.combike transalp 

Stage 5
'I'm Cooked'
July 2002 — Naturns to Meran
Preview  Intro  Stages: [1]  [2]  [3]  [4]  [5]  [6]  [7]  [8]  [Wrap]

Trans Alp
Stage 5 Photos
Need to recover, I am cooked. I break the news to my racing partner. We need to spin so we can attack Stage 6. Stage 5 is an easy day, only 2100 meters of climbing, but supposedly a very demanding skill day on the descent — a Colorado style descent. The racers stay focused on the smoother narrow beaten path while Kurt and I hang out in the loose debris to pass; nobody seems to want to deviate from the beaten path. Kurt and I have to dodge some cows, talking quietly to keep them calm. We fly by more old farm-style villas keeping our eyes on the lookout for hikers, vehicles and livestock. We drop into another ski area and then a rapid drop, missing dump trucks, down to the main road crossing at Tull. Back to a blistering hot, humid paved climb. My northern blood is boiling.

We see churches and castles with waterfalls. At the top of the paved climb we are back on the trail racing through a restaurant (?!). We begin to see familiar faces, people are polite and let us pass on the technical descent. We notice that the Brits, Dan & Dominic, are moving smoothly and rapidly on the descents. We tell them to be vocal if they need us out of their way as we don't want to slow their progress or fun. We now are negotiating some rocky tight singletrack, with staircases and switchbacks.

We traverse on singletrack across the mountain high above Meran and then we are blitzing down the promenade in front of scores of people Whoa.... Trying to keep speed in check and hope everybody holds position. More short uphills through villas drop into a switchback trail and then on to a full-tilt on flat dirt road/path to the finish line in Meran.

Brett Wolfe, Correspondent