3 days before we were due to head to TransSavoie, where I was planning to return to defend my win, I got an email from Tracy Moseley asking if I wanted to go to TransRezia also taking place that week.
TS was amazing, technical tracks and a great week with something crazy like 30,000m of descending. However I'm always to keen to ride a completely new area and event. TransRezia a new 6day enduro through the Dolomites, part of the Italian Alps, seemed the perfect excuse to visit. After last minute plan changing we made the 12hour+ drive over from the French Pyrenees.
Travelling through Switzerland we went over some stunning road passes. Looking back towards Davos.
Heading towards North eastern Italy, home of the Dolomites, the terrain became more rugged. Pinnacles of limestone and steep sided valleys it was hard to see where there would be rideable tracks!
DAY 1 Santa Caterina to Bormio
The first day was one of the best starting from Santa Caterina (at 1700m), a small ski village, we heading straight up a gondala gaining us another 1000m. The first stage was open alpine approx 10min stage with some flat rock sections to negotiate in trialsesque style. Each stage of the day featured some 'punchy' climbs. At altitude, HR was maxed out, these were killer! Photo Ross Bell
It wasn't just riders struggling with the climbs, this 1940's car was having a rest up the Gavia mountain pass where we made our way up to stage 2.
A beautiful linking stage to the start of 2. Photo Tracy Moseley
Focus at the start gate of stage 2
Not a bad place for a Lunch stop! Refugio Branca
The final stage of the day we rode to the base of the Forni glacier- the largest Glacier in Italy at 5km long. The descent from the base was as to be expected from a glacial moraine-rocky! A good challenge when racing blind! Photo Ross Bell
Day 2: Bormio to Arnoga
Day 2 began with a van shuttle to the top of the legendary Stelvio pass, we then continued climbing up on singletrack to 2800m.
More stunning views from the top
Dropping in to the first stage. Featuring high speed rocks, punctures were common place but fortunately my Hutchinson Squales handled it with ease.
A picturesque climb to lunch at an Alpine refuge before our next stage; a singletrack traverse dropping into high speed rock gardens- fun! Photo Ross Bell.
Final stage of the day- short and sweet- loamy turns in the woods. Photo Ross Bell.