Sunday, July 18, 2010

TransALPs Stage 2 Race Report: Imst to Ischgl, Austria.

Race Report Day 2
by Drew
Day 2 was a tough start with a major climb just 4 km in to the race. Unfortunately David was having some serious lower back pain today and it really took a toll on his ability to climb. The day was a bit longer than we would have hoped for, but we limped across the finish line and tended to David’s needs. Hopefully with the Shimanno crew working on his bike, a good night's sleep, food in his belly, and a few Aleve pills to help his back a bit he will be back on his game for day three.

by Lucy
After rain and thundershowers most of the evening, Sunday dawned partly cloudy and cool. Perfect riding weather for the guys and they were in high spirits as they rolled out at 9 AM. We packed up the truck and were set to go immediately after we saw them off at the start line so as to try to avoid the traffic, if there was to be any. It worked and we were to the town of Landeck with enough time to take a look around and spot these ruins on the mountain above the village

We calculated we had just enough time to get in a good hike up to these ruins and still make it back to a spot where we could see the guys ride by, so we scrabbled up the very steep trail.

We hurried down the mountain to make our way to the other side of the valley to Schloss Landeck, or Landeck Castle, where we waited for the guys to come by.

Unfortunately David was having a bit of a bad day with pain in his lower back, so they wanted to carry on quickly. After they went off, Tracey and I took a look around the castle museum where we learned that riding today they were traveling via Claudia Augusta, the path used in Roman times to travel through the Alps. You can’t do that in America!

The castle was much different than Neustwanstein in that it was very old and much simpler. Construction started in 1293 and continued in phases through the 1500s.

Much of the castle was original, including frescoes on the ceiling of the small chapel

and this wooden carved ceiling.

We also had a bit of fun with an interactive hat display.

We could go all the way up in the keep (tower) where we could see the route the riders were taking and magnificent views of the valley.

After our castle museum tour, which was all written in German so we didn’t get too much history into our brains, we passed by a most well kept cemetery.

And hit the road again. Because the mountains are so steep, the GPS has a hard time keeping a lock on our location.  Many times when we would come to a hairpin turn, the GPS would tell us to "turn left" or "turn right", as if any normal road would not take such a drastic turn unless it was, in fact, an intersection.  I guess summertime is road construction season all around the world.  Because of road construction, we missed a sign and entered a round about from which we did not know where to exit.  We ended up going around and around three times, just like Chevy Chase in the movie European Vacation!  We had a good laugh at that.  Another wrong turn fortunately took us into the village of See, where the riders happened to be riding by. Here is an aqueduct, probably swollen with yesterday’s rain, the riders crossed.

We didn’t have time to wait for Drew and David, but instead made our way to Ischgl (Austria) just in time to see them cross the finish line.

Our Hotel Yscla provided a bike wash, bike lockup, dirty bike clothes laundry service, and a 6-course gourmet meal in the price of the room, although a couple of the courses of the meal were a bit too Austrian for Tracey's liking (beefy noodle broth, cold fish with mashed peas, quail, and sauerkraut). A bit of supper (Drew had 3 actually), time to work on bikes and relax a bit and we’re ready for tomorrow and Switzerland.

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