Even the most beautiful race comes to an end one day. Today the last stage of the MAXXIS BIKE Transalp 2022 led the participants from Lavarone to Riva del Garda, where the mood after the race was gigantic. Among the fastest riders, there was a new roll of the dice today. In the Masters team category there was a leader swap and in the men’s teams the winning streak of team 7C-ECONOMY-WILIER was broken.
Joy, relief, pride, but also melancholy were the companions of the participants today, who were eagerly waiting for the starting signal for the last time at the MAXXIS BIKE Transalp 2022 on the sunny morning. The final stage led over 79 kilometres and with 2,120 metres of altitude difference from Lavarona to Riva del Garda and was thus once again a challenging BIKE Transalp stage. At Lake Garda, the finishers were visibly happy.
The last stage not only led to the longed-for destination, but also through a piece of history. 100 years ago, World War I raged over the Folgaria, Luserna and Lavarone plateaus. Today’s route also passed by these fortresses. From Carbonare to Serrada, 1,000 metres of altitude were covered on the military roads. The reward was the fantastic panoramic views from the mountain tops. The military history tour ended with a technically challenging trail down to Serrada. This was followed by a steep descent on trails, forest paths, cart tracks and roads down to the Adige valley. In this downhill, 1,000 deep metres were reeled off in no time. Finally, a few kilometres followed on the cycle path to Rovereto. Here the climb up to the pass at Monte Faé began, which required maximum effort at the end with a 17% ramp. In Nomesino, the route crossed the Val di Gresta and led to Maso Naranch, where the Naranch Trail started: a last treat of this MAXXIS BIKE Transalp. Further on to Marmitte dei Giganti, a gravel path finally followed to Arco. Now the route continued flat on roads to Riva del Garda, where the finish arch awaited all finishers.
For the fastest riders, today was a real challenge. On the last day the cards were reshuffled – especially because on the last day the defect witch mingled in the starting field.
After winning six days in a row, the 7C-ECONOMY-WILIER team seemed invincible. On the last day, however, the winning streak of the two riders was broken – also because of their defect. With a gap of more than 15 minutes to today’s winners Teus Ruijter and Tim Smeenge from Team KMC, Carlos Arroyo Herrera and Luis Snachez Mejia reached the finish line today in an unusual fourth place. The runners-up Michael Wohlgemuth and Philip Handl from Team Texpa Simplon/MC Racing by Casa also crossed the finish line today more than 19 minutes behind the winners and thus had to relinquish their second place in the overall standings, which they had taken over in the previous days with a rapid race to catch up, to Team KMC on the last day. “I had a flat tire, which we were able to fix quickly,” Handl reported. “Then I wrecked my rim, which caused us to lose a lot of time. I then got a spare wheel from the helpers of the leading Master team. Without this help we certainly wouldn’t have reached the finish yet,” Handl continues with thanks. Frustration, however, is not in the least noticeable in the two young riders. Wohlgemuth is beaming: “It was a great race. We are very happy with third place. And the KMC team rode incredibly well today.”
In the Master teams, there was a leader’s jersey swap after the last stage after all. After their stage win yesterday, Team BULLS of Michael Anthes and Karl Platt started the race just 1:18 minutes behind the overall leader. They had already emphasised it yesterday: they would give everything today to perhaps still be able to take home the overall victory. They did not promise too much. They were able to gain more than five minutes on the 7C-WILIER team today and were thus allowed to take home the blue leader’s jersey after the seventh stage. Both teams were not accompanied by the best conditions. The 7C-Willier team had to struggle with defects and a stage that was not tailored to the two riders. Two punctures also interfered with the BULLS riders. “Our nerves were on edge today. We already thought we hadn’t made it,” reported Platt at the finish. “I pulled out my mobile phone after the timing and immediately looked to see if we had the jersey.” The joy was naturally great when the two BULLS riders had the confirmation in black and white.
The fastest of the day
- 1. Teus Ruijter und Tim Smeenge (KMC) time: 2:51.40,8h
- Joep van den Eijnden und Juul van Loon (ThijsHendriks-Bikesight Coaching)
- Philipp Bertsch und Michael Stieglbauer (SRT Protective Factoryteam)
- Irina Krenn und Martina Deubler (Bikeworld Bad Goisern / Salzkammergut) time: 3:48.44,8h
- Lorenza Menapace und Evelyn Sulzer (Team Val di Sole Bike Land) time: 3:57.03,4h
- Theresa Gassner und Lea Kremsreiter (SRT Protective Factoryteam Women)
- Helge Nesse und Beate Nesse (Team Nesse) time: 3:28.15,2h
- Chiara Mandelli und Fabio Belotti (Team Spacebikes) time: 3:42.02,3h
- Marc Böttger und Andrea Böttger (r2-bike.com MTN CREW) time: 3:42.51,2h
- Michael Anthes und Karl Platt (BULLS) time: 3:09.28,4h
- Jonathan Ramirez Carballo und Dax Arce Jaikel (7C-WILIER) time: 3:14.33,5h
- Francesco Grandelis und Michele Purlan Festini (Semplicemente Inseguendo un Sogno)
The winners of the MAXXIS BIKE Transalp 2022
Teams men: Carlos Arroyo Herrera und Luis Snachez Mejia (7C-ECONOMY- WILIER)
Teams women: Lorenza Menapace und Evelyn Sulzer (Team Val di Sole Bike Land)
Teams mixed: Helge Nesse und Beate Nesse (Team Nesse) Teams masters: Michael Anthes und Karl Platt (BULLS)
The MAXXIS BIKE Transalp 2022 was a complete success. The great atmosphere in Riva del Garda is testimony to this. More than 500 finishers celebrate their strong performance here today and let a week of Transalp adventure come to an end together. And some of them are already looking forward to the next BIKE Transalp. The date has already been set: the 25th edition of the seven-day mountain bike race across the Alps will take place from 9th to 15th July 2023.
All information about the race and the detailed course description including altitude profiles can be found at https://bike-transalp.de/en/