Distance: 68.22 km and 2691 m of climbing
According to the route description for this stage, it appeared to included what would be the hardest climb. In retrospect that wasn't quite true, it was challenging though. The stage had a whooping 1km flat section and then went up 1400m to the crossing of the Alps at Idjoch (2732m). It had snowed the night before and we saw some of the last remains of the powder coating. The views from the top were spectacular, Andi had a blast :). The downhill was a lot of fun again and got us ready for the next climb. We were crossing the borders between Austria and Italy a few times. Towards the end of the stage we had another short climb on gravel roads and more fun downhill to Nauders on single tracks. Right along with our team theme, we had pizza at the finish line! The town of Nauders was certainly one of the best host towns, all 5* hotels were open for all athletes to take showers and use the wellness facilities. We stayed at the bottom of the mountain and took the gondola up for the pasta party. Pasta parties/dinners were hosted by the stage towns every evening, along with the award ceremonies, pictures and video of the day. Andi had some issues with his rear break on this stage and had to convince the Shimano folks who had already started drinking for the night to work on his bike.
|on the way up to the Idjoch|
|Andi at the top, 2732m above sea level. View south|
|Andi on the last climb, the view of the mountains was fantastic!|
|View of the Ortler, tallest mountain in Austria|
|Finish line Pizza|
|Jennifer after the pasta dinner, mid mountain|
with future milk production animals!
|sportograf did a great job taking pictures all along the route|