Salzkammergut 2009

I went.. I saw.. I did some riding.. I got very wet.. they stopped the race….

That’s the super edited highlights of the 2009 Salzkammergut Trophy race… we sorted this trip at short notice with some holiday booked and a challenge required it fitted the criteria of being suitably stupid and hard on a singlespeed bike.

After a mammoth road trip from Manchester we arrived to glorious weather although I felt a little jaded after driving through the night… Friday was spent eating and hydrating… until the bad weather brought an end to the scorcher of a day and we were forced to cower in the back of the van hiding from the ever intensifying weather front.

Waking at 4am to get changed and ready for 5am start the horrible sound of rain on tent was the first thing I acknowledged when I awoke…. By the time I got to the start line it was a full on thunder and lightening rain storm but still plenty turned out for the start.

The race was awesome.. almost a single lap of 208km had been laid out with projected climbing of 7000m … the weather stayed wet but it gets to a point when you just can’t get any wetter… I was enjoying the riding and the kudos for tackling the course sans gears.. feed stations were a plenty and well staffed with good cake and drink for all.

The unexpected was the advent of snow… at first I thought it was just very slow big rain drops but then it started to settle on me and the temperature dropped… feed stations turned into muster points for a lot of riders who had set out unprepared for this turn of events.. being a Brit mountain biker we are used to such underhand tactics by mother nature and have learned to grin and bear it so I soldiered on…

Eventually after quite some time I arrived back to near the start finish where I was due to head out for the final 60km ish of the course.. at this point I was stopped and my transponder cut off… very confused and unable to converse in german I had to assume I had missed one of the many cut off points and dejected set back to the campsite with a great sense of failure.. wasn’t until I met James ( Genesis Bikes) at the campsite that I was told the race had been stopped due to the large amount of snow and ever worsening conditions on the high points of the course.

Disappointing but still an enjoyable race… I will be back next year for sure… the results indicate before the stoppage I was in 31st place… not too bad but I still want the complete distance. Check out my full race report

By Paul Errington