Detail

"The race of my life"

27.01.2021 - 10:02

Heike (56) and Neil Catford (61) from Allgäu have been a couple for almost 40 years. At the TOUR Transalp 2021, they also want to pedal as a couple. For Heike in particular, the upcoming stage race is "the race of my life". Just ten years ago, she flipped her husband the bird when he first mentioned the TOUR Transalp. "I'll never make it," she thought at that time. Ten years later and many thousands of miles in Neil's wind shadow later, there's no turning back. "If not now, then when?" says Heike, who is already incredibly excited about the upcoming challenge.

While Neil, a native Brit, grew up in a road cycling family and has always been an ambitious cyclist, Heike was more into mountain biking. The road somehow scared her. A joking saying brought the turn: During a skiing vacation in Colorado, the two of them saw advertisements for "Ride The Rockies." Heike said jauntily: "That race I´d even do on a road bike.” A few years later, Neil gave her a special gift for Christmas. She could choose a voucher for an adventure: among them the TOUR Transalp. But this challenge seemed too big for the mountain biker, so she decided for the "Rockies" and thus arose her road bike fever in 2016. "It was an amazing feeling to cross the finish line together," Heike remembers. "That's how it all started....."

After her husband had mastered the TOUR Transalp with a friend in the meantime - summing up: "The toughest race of my life" - Neil was set back athletically by an illness. When he had recovered, the couple took it upon themselves to finally register the TOUR Transalp adventure. "On the condition that it's also fine if we finish last."

The two make a good team. Neil is Heike's coach, teaches her a lot, supports her uphill, when her strength starts to wane. And Neil learns from the explorer to put his ambition aside sometimes, and to take things slowly and enjoyably. "The best couples therapy is a TOUR Transalp," says Heike with a laugh.

Inspiried by the story of Heike and Neil? Then register for the 18th TOUR Transalp and start your adventure now!

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