Bavarian Alps- Alpen Tour

4912917-Funny-snail-trying-alternative-transport-on-a-bike-Stock-PhotoThis trip over to Europe hasn’t gone to plan racing wise so I’ve put that on the back burner for now and have been trying to soak in the great European culture and landscapes. There’s been a lot of good times with friends and everyday is a learning curve over here in the European racing scene.    Times like these require some patience as the body will come around eventually but sometimes it takes longer then you wish!

The German World Cup was followed by a great 9 days staying with Manuel Weissenbacher and his family in there Austrian home just south of Salzburg. It felt like home and was a perfect place to enjoy some good company, eat fresh garden salads and relax.  We also had a solid training week in the surrounding IMG_3871Bavarian Alps with Anderl and Manuel giving a great tour of there training grounds.  These guys know how to enjoy there rides and can rip up the single track.  I’ll be looking forward to the next time our self proclaimed “Maple leaf crew” meets up for some rides, hopefully on the other side of the pond.

This past weekend was spent in the rugged Schladming-Dachstein region for the 4 day Alpen Tour Trophy.  It’s one of the toughest races I’ve ever done as it’s Marathons version of a World Cup  and is a pure climbers race.  The scenery is awesome as every day we race high up into the Alpine below towering mountains and clear mountain lakes. CRO_9520-19 It sounds nice but if you don’t have your A game it’s a fight just to stay in the top 60.

My mind and body are still uncoordinated as I battle through a rough patch so I had to take in the scenery this time and use it as a solid 4 day building block as I still have my fingers crossed for a turnaround before Marathon Worlds  in a couple weeks.


A race report from last years Alpen Tour in which I raced properly and finished 16th overall can be found here IMG_0976

Racing in Europe is tough at the best of times.  It’s a different style over here as most the races are purely built around fitness, while bike riding skills aren’t generally that important.  The fields are insanely deep as well with often 30+ guys legitimacy fighting for a podium pot.  In North America our racing is generally a bit more relaxed with loads of single track and shorter races.  I figure if a guy can gather some European fitness and combine it with North American trail riding skills it should make for a pretty deadly combo.IMG_3935

Off to the high Austrian Alps to hideout in a small valley and soak in some thin alpine air before heading off to the Italian Dolomites for some final preps before Marathon Worlds!



Leave a Reply