Without these guys, nothing would work at the TOUR Transalp: To ensure that all participants experience an unforgettable week, around 150 organisers and helpers are involved - directly on site or behind the scenes. For many of them, the Transalp is a project of the heart, some have been part of the crew since the beginning of the Transalp and are already well known to the participants. We like to portrait some of them, representing the entire crew.
He knows where to go. For route manager Marc Schneider, the planning already starts a year and a half before the race - with first contacts to possible stage locations for the Transalp the year after next. From then on the domino game begins, with the goal of lining up eight stones (for eight locations) without one tipping over. At the same time, first thoughts about the new route develop. Together with his Italian colleague Loris Tagliapietra, Marc explores new paths to go with the basic framework of famous routes and well-known passes. This is the time of map study and research in online channels, followed by the exploration by car, GPS and notepad. "The composition of the route is like a total work of art, because the stages must also harmonize in terms of length and ambition," says Marc, who is always particularly excited about the feedback of the participants and looks forward to many personal conversations with the riders. What makes a Transalp special to Marc? "The many facets of the Alps that you can experience in one week: Landscape, culture, language, culinary. Even from the lead vehicle, the fascination is great."
He is a man of the first hour: project manager Jan Leschinski (51) from ley events in Hamburg has already been responsible for the very first TOUR Transalp. While the participants train for months for their Transalp, Jan is busy behind the scenes planning and coordinating the event so that everything runs smoothly during the Transalp week. From day one to the final, Jan is always busy, but the week also means "pure fascination and adrenaline" for him. Dream job? "I work where others go on holidays - that's all you can want." New challenges and surprises await every day - "that's another thing I love about this job, it never gets boring". The graduate in sports science was already enthusiastic about cycling in his youth and was himself active in a cycling club. Today he still cycles through the Harburg mountains. And at some point, "that is my clear goal", the father of two children definitely wants to finish the Transalp as a participant.
Italian course director
He knows every corner of the Italian Alps: Loris Tagliapietra has been the Italian course director of the Transalp for ten years, always in close cooperation with race director Marc Schneider. The 62-year-old was born in Arco, several times the finish town of the Transalp, and still lives there today. His job is to obtain all the necessary permits from the Italian authorities to hold the event and to ensure safety on the course. In his "real" life, his job also includes management of sporting and cultural events as well as security for trade fairs and conferences. During and before the Transalp, he enjoys the contact with the authorities as well as with the participants. "I have already got the chance to meet many interesting people, which have remained as friendships. The Transalp week is full of unexpected events, but also full of fulfilments." As the Italian route director, Loris knows the route inside out. He rides the entire route several times in advance - often together with Marc Schneider - to check that everything is okay.
Leader Rescue Team
Sebastian Zimatschek (54) has been leading the 18-member rescue team since 2003 and is responsible for the most important thing: the health of the participants. With his team, he is responsible for the emergency medical support of the riders. First aid on the course is provided by motorbike teams and an ambulance team consisting of an emergency doctor and an emergency paramedic. Thus, they take care of all medical problems, from minor scrapes to serious injuries after more serious crashes. What attracts the Munich emergency doctor and specialist in anaesthesia to the job is the combination of different factors: “It's a week of contrast to 'normal' life, at the same time the combination of working with a great, competent team and the experience of being part of one of the most fascinating cycling events." Sebastian also loves riding his motorbike - "here I can combine both." Would the Bavarian also ride the TOUR Transalp as a participant? "With the motorbike always, with the bike only with fractures ...".
His job is to accompany all participants to the finish without any accidents. Chris Schellmann has been part of the TOUR Transalp crew as a marshal since 2008. The motorbike marshals warn of construction sites or danger spots on the course, secure accident sites in case of emergency and support riders who need help. In "real" life, the 51-year-old from Bavaria works as a specialist for sewage technology. For him, the Transalp week is "the ideal combination of riding a motorbike on small remote back roads through the most beautiful areas of the Alps and a very responsible task." Would he join the TOUR Transalp as a participant one day? Chris is more of a mountain biker, but after the 2020 race was cancelled, he retraced the planned route on his motorbike together with his 16-year-old daughter.
Day bag team
You can't get around Daniel Bechtel at the Transalp. The Bavarian has been supporting the day bag team for eight years (now as manager) and is thus one of the first points of contact for every participant at the finish. When the 51-year-old is not racing across the Alps loaded with thousands of bags, he is either taking care of his three children, his job at the district administration office or one of his numerous main and honorary posts - all of which have one thing in common: helping! Be it in civil protection, in medical training in mountain rescue or as a crisis intervention consultant. Also at the Transalp, he is taking care of more than just the day bags. Since his team is one of the first places to go to, the crew also acts as an information point: Where can I find what? Massage, pasta party, camp? He also runs the free laundry service. "Every year, the Transalp weeks offer new unique experiences and beautiful memories for life, while I do my best every day to provide the participants an unforgettable Transalps experience."