..........Living the dream

World Famous Team Salty Balls 

 TRANSALP CHALLENGE 2006
Transalp Challenge 

Transalp 2006 video

 

 

Since 1998 the BIKE Transalp Challenge has been the hardest, best known and most impressive long distance mountain bike race in the world. Starting in Fussen, Bavaria at the foot of the famous kings castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, the race crosses the Alps in 8 days through Austria, Switzerland and Italy to eventually come to a spectacular finish directly in Limone on the shores of scenic Lake Garda.A total of 660km and 73,342ft of climbs. 571 teams of 2 athletes from all over the world faced that huge challenge. To challenge the Alps and to reach the status of a finisher is a dream many mountain-bikers around the world want to make at least once in a lifetime. In 2006 we -Team Salty Balls- successfully completed the race in a time of 71hrs. Overall we finished 489th out og 571 teams. In the masters class we finished 142nd out of 163 teams. The main aim of most teams was to finish. Many did not due to injury, mechanical breakdown or exhaustion/dehydration as temperatures soared to over 40 C.

Highlights

Cycling through snow on day 3                                                            

finishing day 4 after a tyre blow out 4km from the finish (which allowed those Germans to overtake!)                                             

 finishing day 5 after an 11hr, 118km, 9,500ft epic                                                                                                                 

Germany's struggling to pronounce "Team Salty Balls"                                                                                                           

Finishing day 6 after another 11hr, 11,300ft epic. This was definitely the toughest day-we used 6,100cals and 16 litres of fluid. After reaching checkpoint 2 in 7.5hrs and with 3,500ft, 40km remaining we were told that we (and the teams behind us) would not be allowed to continue due to limited remaining daylight. Re-enacting the scene from the 'Great Escape' and before any suspicions were aroused had sneaked passed our guards. The 2 balding Brits were free again to roam the mountains!                                                                   Start of day 8 and the1.5hrs of non-stop downhill at speeds of upto 45mph. Inevitablt there were some crashes. One lad we knew in the Irish team had his bike wrecked after someone ran into him. The other chap came off worst and could not continue. Not only did the Irish lad continue using the injured man's bike but was seen removing his shoes as he was carried into the ambulance.                       Finishing day 8 on the beach in Limone after the final descent of 4,500ft in 5km. Some people with v-brakes had inner tubes blow after their rims overheated. Party on the beach until the early hours.

Lowlights                                                                                                                                                                                            Cold showers, queing, sleeping on hard floors, pasta, more pasta, another mountain to climb, Steve asking yet again "how many tablets should I take", swollen legs and fingers, energy bars, witnessing 3 people being airlifted on day 4 following accidents..................etc

For anyone considering this challenge be afaid, be very afraid......IT'S BRUTAL.

 

STAGE 1 -Saturday 15th July 2006 

FUSSEN(Bavaria) TO IMST(Austria)

Distance 85.84km

Altitude  7776ft

 

 

 STAGE 2 -Sunday 16th July 2006 

IMST TO ISCHGL

Distance 76.1km

Altitude  10,653ft

 

 

STAGE 3 -Monday 17th July 2006 

ISCHGL TO SCUOL

Distance 73.78km

Altitude  8,596ft

 

 

STAGE 4 -Tuesday 18th July 2006 

SCUOL TO LIVIGNO

Distance 78.1km

Altitude  8,914ft

 

 

  

STAGE 5 -Wednesday 18th July 2006 

LIVIGNO TO NATURNS

Distance 118.85km

Altitude  9,543ft

 

 

  

STAGE 6 -Thursday 19th July 2006 

NATURNS TO MALE

Distance 85,2km

Altitude  11,243ft

 

 

  

STAGE 7 -Friday 20th July 2006 

MALE TO MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO

Distance 45.55km

Altitude  7,910ft

 

 

   

STAGE 8 -Saturday 21st July 2006 

MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO TO LIMONE SUL GARDA

Distance 96.38km

Altitude  8,707ft

 

 

Start in Fussen

Start

Steve

Accident recovery

Winners

Steve's speech!