Marmotte Or Bust

Podium of the 2017 TDFNow that the UCI Tour de France of 2017 is over, it’s just a short countdown to this year’s Vuelta. I’m a bigger fan of that race – and an even bigger fan of the Giro – than of the Tour, but I have to admit that this year’s Tour was not as boring as I expected.

Sure, at the end of it, we still saw the predicted winner, although I’m sure Froomey will be disappointed with his not taking any stage win(s) this year. But I doubt Uran was on many people’s favorites list and although Bardet was less unpredictable, he had to deliver a great fight until the end to cling on to 3rd.

And Froome was faced with the same problem Wiggins encountered (with him) in 2012: Landa seemed to be the better rider on several occasions.

Other than disputed decisions like sending Sagan home or not awarding the tirelessly attacking de Gendt the ‘Super Combative’, we saw Richie Porte crash out of the race. As did Kittel while in the green jersey and I would have loved to see the battle between him and Matthews be decided on the bike instead of like this.

Sadly, neither Contador nor Quintana were able to make a dent – not for lack of trying, at least on Contador’s part – but the wins by guys like Barguil, Calmejane, Groenewegen, Roglic and Boasson Hagen made up for that.

Anyway, the Tour’s done and the Vuelta will come to a conclusion by the time I start my own ‘Tour de France’ – it’s time I reveal more of my stupid plans for that event…

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Wrapping up the Marmotte

Look Marmotte HochkonigFrom June 16 to 23, we spent a week near the German – Austrian border, where I cycled a bit in the Berchtesgadener and Salzburger mountains.

While the trip was originally intended as a revisit to the Berchtesgaden area, I came across the Look Marmotte Hochkönig, which was starting in Mühlbach am Hochkönig, basically around the corner from there.

And when I studied the route for that event, I realized that we would pass through Bruck an der Grossglocknerstrasse at the base of the climb up the Hochalpenstrasse by that name.

A climb I had done in 2009 and which I’d always wanted to revisit as well – I could tell I was in for a busy week.

But first, here’s my report on the Marmotte…

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Oh Look – a Marmotte

Look Marmotte HochkonigTapering has begun for the Look Marmotte Hochkönig – this Saturday, the gold rush will start and end in Mühlbach am Hochkönig.

Well, officially it will end at the Arthurhaus, at the end of a steep climb out of the village, also known as the Mandlwandstrasse.

As is the case with the ‘original’ Marmotte in the French Alps, a good deal of the elevation gain for the ride is at the beginning and at the end of the ride.

Right from the start, it’s up the Dientner Sattel, which means there is no ‘easy warming up’ into this ride. The Dientner Sattel is just over 6 kilometers of climbing out of Muhlbach, with some 500 meters of elevation difference.

However, the grades hardly get below 10% and frequently touch 15%…

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Going For Gold: Marmotte Hochkönig

Bugs BunnyBottom line of this post is that I have set that ‘one more, just this one, I promise‘ target for 2017: the Marmotte Hochkönig in Austria.

But first, I should apologize on behalf of the rebel, as it has been a while.

Those of you more or less frequently visiting this blog – I’m not judging, but I can’t even… – may have started to wonder if the rebel is still alive.

Well, I can assure you: he is. It’s just that he didn’t feel like there was anything noteworthy to write a new post about…

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