Trans Alp, stage 5

I woke up once in the night and heard the pouring rain. In the morning it was still raining. So the same raingear on as in the third stage. It was much colder though. My fingers and feet were cold right away. The first climb was a nice gravelroad and again I found a good rythm. We were almost on top of Limojoch when the rain turned into snow. We stopped on the top, changed gloves and put a rainwest over the rainjacket. I hardly managed to cange the gloves since my hands were already so cold and wet. Many teams did not stop, just continued without changing. The minutes you loose by stopping you easily catch again, because you are not freezing. You can concentrate on decending and not think about how much you are freezing. We were really fast on that stony downhill and passed several teams. I think many riders were suffering because it was so cold. I was happy to have my thick rain gloves from Craft! At the first feedzone after the descent we were told that the race will be ended at the second feedzone. So another 20km to go. We hit the cross country sking track from Toblach to Cortina (also 1 stage in Tour de Ski was on that track last winter). I recognized it and remembered our winterholiday in Pustertal. A nice area both winter and summertime. In this area you find excellent cross country skiing tracks. The last climb was mostly on asphalt roads. That was fine. It was all just about pedalling up. I was happy we did not have to ride up to 2400 meters of altitude. Up there was a snowstorm. It was the right decision from the organizers, would have been a too risky to let more than 1000 mountainbikers ride up the last mountain.

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