At first glance, darts and road cycling don't have much in common. One takes place indoors, the other outdoors. One involves throwing darts, the other pedaling. One requires a steady hand, the other strong thighs. In darts, it's all about points; in cycling, it's all about seconds. But Elmar explains, "There are definitely similarities between these two so different sports. "In darts, every dart means an objective. You look for the target, focus on it and then set your throw," says Elmar. "In cycling, it's no different. You set goals, pursue them and train toward them. Actually, you can adapt this approach to your whole life."
And so setting goals is quite typical for Elmar. Because of knee problems, he had to stop running in the summer of 2020 and find another compensatory sport. Gentle on the joints, also enduring: that fits in perfectly with racing cycling. So that's how the darts expert got into cycling. As soon as he started, he was hooked. A goal was needed. And in a chat with a friend who told him about the TOUR Transalp, the legendary stage race across the Alps, that goal was quickly found. Shortly thereafter followed the registration for the TOUR Transalp 2021. "I signed up without really knowing what was in store for me," admits Elmar. But this much was clear to him: it would not be a cakewalk. Much more than the kilometers, the numerous meters of altitude intimidated him when he looked at the route. That's why he quickly began intensive training, accompanied by professional rider Max Walscheid. And by quite a few drops of sweat, distorted facial muscles and heavy legs. He exchanged his 150-euro racing bike from the early days of cycling for a classy professional racing machine. Pedaling was twice as much fun.
And then the bad news in August: TOUR Transalp cancellation! As for many other participants and the organizers, it was a sad moment for Elmar. "It's something very extraordinary to have your goal taken away from you. It was already very frustrating," Elmar reports in an unknown wistful voice. "It's not at your own discretion. I can't figure out if I would have made it." I guess it's like an open ending where you have to create your own ending. I invent a happy ending with a proudly beaming Elmar in the finish arch in Riva, celebrating together with the many other happy participants*.
But Elmar needed his own story. And so he promptly rode the first stage of the canceled TOUR Transalp alone. "I had to finish the whole thing for myself personally." And how was it? "The stage kicked in," admits Elmar. But he is certain: He would have ridden through the stage race in 2021. "I would have pedaled until I fell over. I wouldn't have given up," Elmar says. "It wasn't a matter of how, but whether. And after my self-attempt, I'm sure I would have made it," continues the determined commentator. He's also sure he would have had a great event. "It would have been very hard, but also very beautiful in the midst of the wonderful landscape."
Nevertheless and therefore: his goal remains. He will join hundreds of other racing bike addicts at the start of the TOUR Transalp in 2022. With more preparation time and the knowledge of what lies ahead. "It will be a completely different Transalp than it would have been this year. Next year, I'll already be on the road bike longer, have more preparation time and experience. And I know what to expect." And so Elmar will simply set a new arrow, which this time will definitely hit the sector 'TOUR Transalp'.
Do you want to experience the TOUR Transalp together with Elmar? Then register by November 30th to benefit from the Early Bird and save 100 Euros on your registration.