Discovering Austria

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Re: Re:

Brullnux said:
Mayomaniac said:
Brullnux said:
There is an insanely steep climb to go to the Eagle's Nest in Germany, but it is very near Austria. The history behind it is very interesting, and the road reaches 27% and then 30% later on. It climbs 1000+ metres. There will be complaints for sure, but the race up it will be fantastic.
It would be a great climb, but I don't think that people in Germany would want to use that place as a MTF
Understandably, it was the summer home of the worst human to have lived, but with a PR spin then it could work out.
Roßfeld Panoramastraße can also back straight on to finish at Hintenbrand Parkplatz, which is 4,6km @ 12,6%, or alternatively loop around Roßfeld and finish with a short - circa 3,5-4km @ 11% or so - final climb to the Obersalzberg complex at the foot of the Kehlsteinstraße.
 
I really thought that the österreich rundfahrt could finally become an interesting race with a great route each year. Firstly the fact that the organizers started to use new mountain top finishes, and secondly that the new tour director revealed that the route will go from east to west this year. But than they had the idea to reuse the dobratsch this year instead of using a new climb. Why? just why? By the way we also know that this stage will be the fifth one and the kitzbüheler horn will be the 7th, so there will be the großglockner stage between these two. Talking about the großglockner, they also said that maybe the climb won't even be used this year. Not because they don't want to use it, the reason is because St. Johann Alpendorf, where the finish of this stage would have been, don't want to host stages any more. So at the moment they have problems, because they don't know what to do with this stage. To be honest, Im not even sad about that because that means that we won't see a stage which was almost always the same in the last few years. Another problem I see is that there will be either four mountain stages in a row, what would be too much for such a "small" race or only these 3 mountain stages which we had last year too.
 
For the last two weeks I made holidays in Austria by driving through big parts of the country. Of course there were also some climbs which could be used in the Österreich Rundfahrt I navigated so I want to give you my opinion about these climbs. (btw I rode that climbs by car and not by bike because I mainly use my bike for transportation and not really as a hobby. I am only 16 but I work to get my driving license. In austria you can get the license with 17 years but you have to drive 3000 kilometers before that, which is the reason why my family wanted to make such a travel through Austria. (I just wanted to prevent confusion))

1.) Gerlospass:
I started that pass in Krimml. The east side is pretty unspectacular because most of the rode is in the wood. However you sometimes have the possibility to see the krimmler water falls, the biggest water falls in Austria. (The street is steep but I think I wont talk much about difficulties because you can see that easily on profiles.) The western side is much more intersting IMO. There are some great views into the Zillertal and the hairpins near the bottom of the climb are are beautiful too. Btw a way to use the Gerlospass I have never thought about that before is a finish in Gerlos. Either as a mtf (you could put the Zillertaler Höhenstraße before that but the last 9 km would be flat) or as a downhill finish after the Gerlospass. You could also make a downhill finish in Krimml after a pretty tricky descent.

2.) Bielerhöhe
The most beautiful pass of Austria? From all the passes I will write about, definitely yes. To be honest there are some ugly skiing areas on the way to the top on the east side, but the actual climb starts after Galtür and believe me, the streets suddenly becomes beautiful as ... heaven ... maybe :D . No seriously, its great. the street goes through a valley. Left and right there are little lakes and soft hillslopes, while you can see high, spectacular mountains in the distance. Moreover you can see the street how it wiggles up the mountain in the distance. On the top there is a big lake and you have a great view on some of the highest mountains of Austria. Surprisingly I found the more famous west side not as beautiful as the eastern one. The reason for that is that the streets there are mostly in the wood and the only great views are on hairpins on the bottom of the climb. These hairpins are the reason why it is still a pretty great climb and the reason why I noticed that this climb would work from east to west too. You could make a hilly stage without very difficult climbs but an extremely difficult descent which could cause time gaps too. Ofc the other direction would be good for a very difficult mountain stage but its hard to link it to other difficult climb because of the long false flat descent. (maybe Zenisjoch, maybe finish in Galtür)
Beautiful:


3.) Raggal
This is only a short but steep hill you could use perfectly before the Faschinajoch. I actually didnt even want to drive up there but my navigation system was thought it would be the shortest way...

4.) Faschinajoch/(Furkajoch)
First of all I wrote "/(Furkajoch)" because half of the north side is also part of the Furkajoch, but I didnt really drove over the Furkajoch.
As you already might have guessed I started in the south after I drove over the Raggal. The interesting thing about this climb is that big parts of this pass is inside of towns. Ofc you wouldn't ride through big cities but every few meters there are some beautiful, old farmer houses. Only a little section on the upper part of the climb is inside a wood. The highest point is Faschina, a little skiing town, so it is actually also possible to make a mtf up there. The southern side is very irregular. There are some crazy steep slopes but also some completely flat ones near the top.

5.) Schnepfegg
pretty much the same as Raggal. Good to combine with Faschina/Furkajoch and the Hochtannbergpass.

6.) Hochtannbergpass
Although the Österreich Rundfahrt showed us impressively how to not use the Hochtannbergpass, it is actually a good opportunity for future races. Although the east side is very easy the west one is a classical 1st category climb. The bottom parts of the street isn't very scenic but the upper ones are more interesting especially with this bridge/turn/whatever.

You can combine this west side with the Fschina/Furkajoch or the Schnepfegg. However its hard to link any good climbs with the east side. One possibility is the Hahntennjoch however the other one is by far better IMO, and now guess what I will write about next. ;)

7.) Flexenpass
Although this climb is rather easy its definitely usable. The main reason is that it is a good link between the Hochtannbergpass and the Arlbergpass. Although the Arlbergpass is very easy if you use the Flexenpass before, this gives you the chance for interesting stages with some easier climbs at the end, but some hard ones at the beginning.
Here is an example for that:

The south side of the climb is pretty famous for its gallery (is that the right word? Whatever here you have a picture to see what I mean)

From the outside that looks really cool, however from the inside its just a tunnel with windows (although you have a great view out of these windows)

8.) Arlbergpass
BORING! Well, that pretty much sums it up. Not scenic, not difficult but hey, good to link with the Flexenpass so its okay

9.) Pass Thurn
like the Arlbergpass, only that the climbs you can link with this one are the Flebertauernpass, the Kitzbüheler Horn and maybe also the Gerlospass

10.) Großglockner Hochalpenstraße
I though for quite a long time but there really aren't many passes in europe with two that difficult sides. Its just a pity that you can hardly link it to any other good climbs. However I still wonder why the Österreich Rundfahrt just doesn't use any possibilities on or near the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße for a stage finish. Especially the Kaiser Franz Joseph Höhe is great. I wonder why they never use it as a medium difficult mtf after the Hochtor from Fusch.
Btw I noticed that there is enough place on the Edelweißspitze to finish a stage so WTH has there never been a mtf up there. If you come from the south that would be one of the most difficult climbs of the whole alps, with the last 1.5 kilometers by far over 10% steep and on cobbles. Ofc the scenic of the climb is awesome too, with almost every mountain you can see there being over 3000 meters high.

ps: I also want to write about two more climbs but at the moment I just don't want to So expect another post soon.
pps: I didn't want to post pictures of all the climbs because that would be too much
 

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