Day 3 to Switzerland via Livigno
A shuttle to Foscola pass at 2400m dropped us straight into the first special stage. Peddle to the metal for about 7minutes with minimal descent was a tough start to the day! Trying to keep the flow and dodge cowpats the priority. Photo Ross Bell
Ed not so sure about that one as a race stage!
A beautiful transfer down to Lake Livigno then up the bike park lift to traverse along the valley to our next stage. Trying to avoid at least some of the rocks on stage 2, a fun flowing track, photo Ross Bell
It's all ok again after a 20minute stage through Swiss woodland to finish by a lakeside with some gelato!
Re fuel at 4star swiss hotel. James Shirley and I in our natural habitat - the dessert buffet!
Day 4 Back to Italy; a beautiful start before the going gets tough! A day of Alpine passes.
Straight out of the hotel and all aboard the Bernina Express train
On our way through the clouds
Just when you thought the views couldn't get any better, pin sharp lake reflections.
Descending from the top of the Bernina pass was stunning. Then a big climb to get to our lunch over the Viola Pass
The time pressure was on as the group had been told if we didn't make the cut off the final stage would be cancelled and we'd have to descend down the road! So with a quick bite to eat we pressed on.
A little route finding after missing a turn off. Ed and Tracy on map duty. A tasty little descent before another epic climb to the Verva pass.
Phew we made the cut off, but feeling broken! However it wasn't just us, when a current XC world cup rider and several World champs are also struggling, maybe the day has just been set at the hard end. Unbelievably we had one more climb to go before the final stage to the finish. Over 2000m of climbing all up, one tough day! photo ross bell.