Kaltern – Comano Terme
Mountain Passes: Mendel Pass, Passo Predaia, Andalo Saddle
The Mendel Pass is the local mountain of Kaltern, cyclists ride up there after work and enjoy the descent in the evening sun. There is even a car-free day when cyclists take over the pass road completely. Whoever talks about road biking in Kaltern mentions the Mendel in the same breath. It goes straight up from the front door. The sixth stage starts in the same way, without a diversion straight into the climb, and soon the forest opens and gives the first views over the Adige Valley and Lake Kaltern - the panorama factor of this road is very high. The pass has a rather modest altitude of 1363 metres, but the deep view of the lake almost 1200 metres further down has an effect that makes it great. The Mendel finally forms the border to the Val di Non, one of the largest apple orchards in Europe. This is where the music plays on this stage. The route romps along both sides of the valley and leads through the villages of the apple farmers. So you casually tick off 1400 metres of altitude in the valley until the last plantations disappear from view in Spormaggiore. One reason for this collection of altitude metres in a valley is the Passo Predaia on its eastern flank. This is brand new in the Transalp books and not only marks the highest point of the valley circuit, but also offers a change from the fruit tree cultures further down with its sparse larch forests. After leaving the Val di Non, shortly after Spormaggiore, you soon reach Andalo. The town lies on a saddle between Presanella and Brenta, the last pass of this stage. There are hardly any metres in altitude left to climb to the finish in Comano Terme. The legs don't have much to do. But the eyes get a real treat. The steep rock faces of the Brenta massif cling to the turquoise-coloured Lago di Molveno and stretch for another two kilometres into the sky from the western shore. On the other shore, the road passes by and leaves everyone speechless who rides along. This is definitely a medal candidate in the category "Most beautiful spot of the Transalp 2023." Above all, it gives this almost Mediterranean stage a good shot of high alpine flair at the end.