MountainZone.combike transalp 

Stage 7
Harder than Expected
July 2002 — Malè to Andalo
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Trans Alp
Stage 7 Photos
Everybody was expecting an easy day. It wasn't horrible, just harder than expected. First was a demoralizing climb over wet roots and clay which sucked the life from our legs, or leg in my case. More hike-a-bikes led finally to the alpine meadows where the flowers were blooming in purple and blues. The path/Jeep road parallels a sedentary rock ridge formation, another shot of visual morphine to put a smile on riders' faces.

Next a loose descent with concrete interruptions. We had to watch the different surface textures to avoid trouble. At the base we start riding some steep transitions in the farm country, more rollers followed be dirt trail/road ascents with steep wall-like sections. Loose soil. Hard to keep traction. We have to hike some sections. Are my eyes playing tricks? Little toads/frogs move across the road, it looks like pebbles are running.

People blow by us as we hit a flatter section. We must be getting close. I dig in as my racing partner accelerates towards Andalo. Moving rapidly across the slight downgrade I glimpse some young girls giving racers flowers. We are constantly being cheered on by the locals along the way and they seem to be supporting everybody who is turning the pedals.

Brett Wolfe, Correspondent