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Distance
90,38 km

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Altitude meters
2.611 hm

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Level
5/5

BTA2024 Hoehenprofil Etappe 4

From the church tower in Graun, King Ortler seems unreachably far away. And in the blink of an eye, you’ve slipped behind his back in one day. Stage 4 is an epic trip in an outstanding landscape.

The church tower of Graun has been photographed millions of times and has become a symbol of the region around Lake Reschen over the years. The original village of Graun fell victim to the construction of the dam 70 years ago, was demolished and rebuilt on the banks of the reservoir. Only the church tower was not to be knocked over and the relic left behind in the lake soon became famous, long before it was enveloped in the mystical and dark narrative of the Netflix series „Curon“ with a newly woven legendary quality and the Insta hype it triggered further increased its celebrity status. And it is here, against this film backdrop, that the fourth stage of the BIKE Transalp 2024 starts. The atmosphere is likely to be less gloomy then, as this is more of a sunny spot on the shore, where kite surfers play with the winds and cyclists circle the lake on the cycle path.

Around the lake to the dam and the municipality of St. Valentin, the field of participants then rolls off at a relaxed pace. And can catch one last glimpse straight ahead to the summit of the Ortler, whose huge white glacier cap shows where they are heading today. It is not until St. Valentin that the route enters the mountains and the destination of the first ascent is the Bruggeralm around 400 metres above the lake. The first descent begins here, initially on forest tracks and later on a racy trail to Burgeis. The cycle path would now continue straight downhill via Schleis to Laatsch. However, the route winds its way up the western flank of the upper Vinschgau Valley and plays with forest roads, forest paths and trails until the lowest point of this stage is reached in Laatsch at an altitude of around 1000 metres.

Now the route climbs over the Swiss border up into the Val Müstair. And climbs on to the „Döss Radond“ pass at an altitude of 2235 metres. Now it’s back to Italy, but no longer to South Tyrol, but to Lombardy. This welcomes the Transalp starters with one of its most beautiful places, the enchanting Val Mora, along whose valley flank the trail winds its way up and down. It’s great fun, but also demands attention, as the ups and downs require constant gear changes. There is a risk of having to pedal the bike a few metres uphill in a too high gear. After that, Lago San Giacomo di Fraéle soon comes into view. Now your legs can relax a little, especially when you cross the plate-level dam wall. It stands between two reservoirs, as Lago di Cancano is just below. On its southern shore the gravel road now leads to the Torri di Fraele. The two half-ruined watchtowers mark the descent into Valdidentro 600 metres further down.

From the towers, the route remains briefly on the road, but soon leaves it behind and turns to the trails that lead down into the valley alongside the road. These are natural paths in sun-drenched larch forests, where there is sometimes a bit of rubble lying around or a few roots force the suspension fork to work – but all in all, they are simply great fun. A short intermediate climb of just 100 metres in altitude on the road doesn’t hurt, then easy forest paths and trails round off this exciting descent. Three kilometres on the cycle path and side roads to the finish in Bormio are then the easiest part of this 90-kilometre full service. You don’t get to see the Ortler any more, but today you have crept behind the mighty massif almost unnoticed. And you can reflect on how many impressions have flashed past you on this epic stage. Madness! How far away was the Ortler from the church tower in Graun this morning?


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20.02.24 | Downloads: 519

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