Crossing the Alps – a fantasy, that drives thousands of ambitious cyclists onto the trails to cross Europe’s highest mountains using nothing but their own strength. The BIKE Transalp leads bikers through the Alps from July 17th to 23rd; seven days, 520 kilometers (323 miles), 17,750 meters (58,200 feet) in altitude and 1,200 participants from 40 nations. One stop will be in Bormio – the perfect location for a fast regeneration and to enjoy the stunning alpine surroundings.
There are three things in Bormio that immediately catch the biker’s eyes: the Ortler massif which reaches almost 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) and towers over the landscape, the famous Stelvio pass, and the web of trails that pan out across the alpine terrain. Historically, many of the bike routes were crucial supply roads during World War I and have been made accessible for bikers in recent years. Now, the region is an adventurous wonderland; on some routes the glaciers are almost within the bikers’ reach. Bormio is prepared to accommodate every biker’s needs; the high altitude and technical terrain make it a great location for training and developing handling skills. The thermal spas and wellness facilities ensure that time out of the saddle is just as enjoyable.
Bormio will be visited by two stages of the BIKE Transalp mountain bike race that takes place from July 17th to 23rd 2016. The fourth stage of the series on July 20th leads from Livigno to Bormio and includes sections of the Passo Alpisella and the Umbrail pass, which lead on to the roof of the Transalp, the summit at Bocchetta di Forcola, sitting at an altitude of 2,768 meters (9,081 feet). A beautiful location with stunning views to finish a tough stage with hard climbs. On July 21st, the “royal stage” of the BIKE Transalp, the fifth stage from Bormio to Mezzana, is an ambitious section, peppered with technically demanding sections.
Bormio has many more cycling opportunities alongside the BIKE Transalp. One of the region’s mountain bike highlights is a picturesque trail starting at the top of Stelvio; parts of this ride will also be included in the BIKE Transalp. The top section of the trail has some sharp turns, which lead to the start of the Umbrail pass. Leaving the road behind, the route now comes to life with a single trail heading to Bocchetta di Forcola. Following the trail (no.145) bikers reach the peak at Bocchetta di Pedenolo (2,703 meters / 8,868 feet). Now the trail leads back into the valley, passing former military outposts and panoramic views. Arriving in Bormio, delicious food and drinks can be enjoyed to round off a great day on the bike.
The freeride track “Bormio 3000” begins with a cable car ride to the starting point at Cima Bianca (3,012 meters / 9,882 feet). The trail down requires good technical skills and leads you back into the valley to Santa Caterina. Along the way, bikers can expect a flowy trail with demanding elements mixed in to keep you alert! Overall, the trail is a nice morning challenge, which can be rewarded with an afternoon in one of the three thermal spas QC Terme Bagni Nuovi, Bagni Vecchi and Bormio Terme.
From Bormio, the untouched nature of the Stelvio National Park can be discovered with mountain bikes. Habitable wildlife such as Marmots and Ibex’s might be spotted around the Val Zebrù valley as bikers cycle through its alpine forests next to the Ortler massif.
If the BIKE Transalp is too much of an adventure then discovering this great destination during the Alta Valtellina Bike Marathon is a perfect alternative. Passionate mountain bikers with a weakness for stunning mountain scenery should mark July 30th in their calendars and come to Bormio. The riders will be rewarded with picturesque views along the two routes starting from Isolaccia Valdidentro and leading through the beautiful Alta Valtellina. To find out more information about this thrilling race, click here: www.altavaltellinabike.it