Good stuff! I have to say it was an experience and a half. There aren't many opportunities for club-level riders to enter into stage races also attracting some of the top pro (mountain bike) riders, or ones which take in such spectacular terrain as the alps and dolomites. Or to sleep in sportshalls with quite so many Germans, for that matter.
I think I've got at least one more in me - I'd like to tackle it at closer to a racing pace, which didn't really work out this year with my partner being sick for the first part of the week, it was all pretty chilled and recreational. Maybe that's why I have fond memories of it though -- not too much pain!
The way it works is that the team of two is required to stick together through the race, and is awarded the time of the slower rider. In effect this means that the stronger rider is (or should be) the "domestique", and do everything possible to take the strain off the weaker rider. In effect, it takes a little while for this to sink in, and then to get over the ego issues of doing stuff like towing your friend/teammate up hills etc. We didn't really get the hang of it until the last day, but boy what a last day - we finished a good 50-60 places higher than ususal, and had (I felt) a ball doing it..
Oh yes, here's another (the classic?) account of an '02 transalp.
Richie74 - dates are 15/7 to 22/7. In reality it would mean leaving late on the 13th or (very) early on the 14th to get to mittenwald in time to check in, build bikes & generally faff around without being stressed for time.
My email is keith _whit well at ya hoodo tco m (hope you can read that).
We should meet up... I've been off the bike for a month or so, basically just taking a break. I'll probably start things off easy with the wednesday night and sunday clubrun ride rather than jumping back in with the chaingang. Which rides are you guys doing at the moment?
It's probably best to have an even number of riders... Any other takers?