Vertical Metres: 2,125 m
Passes: Viote/Monte Bondone (1,562m), Passo del Ballino (775m)
Legendary biker Charly Gaul was the inspiration for the last stage. The first non-Italian to win the Giro twice, on a foggy and freezy day in 1956, the Luxembourger Gaul rode the ascent up to Monte Bondone, taking the last meters alone to win and be crowned champion; we would be getting significantly warmer weather when tackling the Monte Bondone (21.5km at 6.8%) to Viote. The next part of the stage is a very fast descent into the Sarca valley, via Ponte Arche to the last small pass, the Passo del Ballino (10.2km at 3.6%). The final act of the Schwalbe-Tour-Transalp is to descend alongside the turquoise Lake Tenno and on to the finish in Arco.
Preparation for Stage 7. Just finishing off my daily startline Honey Stinger Waffle:
And we're off. Under the start banner and into the neutralised 10k through the streets of Trento:
The first climb. Just 21.5 kilometres at 6.8%. It is 9:30am and already 30 degrees C:
This is a tough climb. Not just the heat, the length or the gradient, but also the fact that there are already six days riding in my legs, and because, being the last stage we are pushing harder than we have before:
And there's some steep bits:
The first feed station, at the top of Bondone. I fill my two bottles with 'ISO' and a pocket with a handful of pineapple - very tasty, and easy to eat on the descent:
A short flat bit before the fast descent:
The very fast descent, at taken upto 86 kph / 54 mph:
Forming a group and working together to cross the 20k lumpy bit to the next proper climb.
Starting the last climb of the day, and the last climb of the Transalp:
The second feed, mid-way up the Passo del Ballino. Not long to go now, just a quick pit-stop for one bottle:
The last few kilometres of climbing of the Transalp. Expending that last bit of energy looking to catch the group ahead, to try make up a few places and a few seconds:
Closing in (and passing) the group at the top of the pass:
The amazing Lake Tenno on the descent:
An very satisfying first sight of Arco, Lake Garda and the finish line to the Transalp 2012.
Stats...Totals ~ Duration: 3:50 ~ Riding: 3:47 ~ Dist: 101.8km ~ Elevation Gain: 2125m
Averages ~ Speed: 27.2kph ~ Power: 207w ~ Heart Rate: n/a ~ Cadence: 79 ~ Temp: 29.9
Max ~ Speed: 86.1kph ~ Power: 748w ~ Heartrate: 157 ~ Cadence: 192 ~ Temp: 36.0C
Metrics ~ TSS: 245 ~ NP: 241w ~ IF: 0.803
Stage 7 - Pos 184/678 teams (27th percentile). Overall - Pos 233/695 teams (35.5th percentile). Saved the best 'til last. A shorter stage, so pushed hard on the first climb, recovered (a little), and then pushed onto the finish. Great result. An excellent last day. What a fantastic week.
A long, well deserved lie-in.