But not, because the nasty ascent with an average incline of more than 10 % was easy. “We surely have to get off our bikes and walk the mountain”, Paykowski says. But despite they won’t miss the fun, after all, they have a special motivation
Aprica, 27 June 2019. The fifth stage covered 110 kilometres and 2500 meters of elevation, crossing Passo d’Eira, Passo Foscagno and the steepest ascent: Passo Mortirolo. Some riders take part in the TOUR Transalp to win, others to prove themselves, to just have fun or to ride for charity reason.
Such do Klaus Wermker and Arndt Paykowski. They are supporting the project „Glückskinder“ that helps young children at school. On a similar mission is the German-Austrian Team Plasmatreat. Jannik Tautz and his colleagues are sweating and suffering for a children hospice. Their shirts are decorated with butterflies, painted by the children. Tautz: “The butterflies give us wings to continue, when it comes to suffering at the ascents.”
Almost flying above the mountain passes were the leading riders. Within 3:25.05,9 the Italian Daniele Terzi and Piero Lorenzini reached the finish in Aprica. At the ascent of the Mortirolo, they managed to break away, but almost got caught before the finish. “So we had to really speed up in the end”, Lorenzini says. Second podium goes to Erik Franssen and Stefan Verhaaf (NL), followed by Riccardo Zacchi and Christian Martinelli (IT). 30 minutes later than the first team came the best mixed duo, Tatiana Guderzo and Carlo Muraro (IT). The Dutch Team Linda Stuurman and Carla Mellema (4:22.26,0) finished as the fastest women-duo.
Also still in the race are the German Grand Masters Rolf Steffes and Ralf Küpper. „After suffering a lot on the first stages, giving up is not an option“, explains Steffes, and his mate admits: „This is the hardest, we’ve ever experienced.“ But they make the most of it, take many pictures of the scenery, refresh in a stream and relax over an ice cream. Their motivation: “We want to get the finisher tricot and jump into Lake Garda!”