That was a perfect performance for me and my Kirchmair Cycling Team in Lienz. With 15 riders, we took on the premiere of the SuperGiro Dolomiti over 232 kilometers and over 4800 meters in altitude on Whitsunday. The new highlight of the marathon scene captivated the entire elite of marathon sport. So, alongside me (title defender of the Extreme Tour of the Dolomites), the Italian Beraldo team, the Corratec team with a few contenders, but also individual riders like Emanuel Nösig and many, many other top riders started. Above all, Roman Herrmann, Simon Linsin, Marc Leyse and Monika Dietl from the Kirchmair Cycling Team started at 06:30 a.m. with great ambitions in the monster race over six difficult climbs with ramps over 20 percent steep.
Organizer Franz Theurl really chose an outstanding route that demanded everything from the drivers. After the still moderate Gailbergsattel, things really got down to business at the Plöckenpass and only 20 riders led the race. Up to Treppo Carnico there was already a foretaste of what awaited the riders. After a short descent, we went to the Lanzenpass, which was used by the Giro d'Italia 2012. 14 kilometers with up to 22 percent steep ramps had to be mastered there and the Beraldo team drove everything into the ground.
Nassfeld from the south is easy compared to the Lanzenpass and there weren't really any real groups anymore. There was an unbelievable atmosphere along the route, the Italians celebrated veritable folk festivals along the route, the houses were decorated, pink flags were waved - it was an atmosphere like a stage of the Giro d'Italia! But the top could enjoy that less than the many other starters of the SuperGiro Dolomiti.
After a quick descent from Nassfeld, I and my team-mate Roman Herrmann were already well behind the front-runners. But we fought bravely and caught up with numerous riders. An extreme endurance test was then the ascent through the Lesachtal from Kötschach to the Kartitscher saddle. An endless grind with all the intermediate descents, curves and extreme heat. Here we overtook countless starters on the short route of the Tour of the Dolomites, which I think has an additional appeal for both groups of starters.
From the Kartitscher saddle it was only downhill to the finish and at the top the race was already decided! Beraldo celebrated an unchallenged 3-fold victory - almost a shame to the competition with a lead of more than 15 minutes on the first pursuers. Me and Roman finished 30th almost 15 minutes behind. The other riders of the Kirchmair Cycling Team also did well despite the great heat and Monika Dietl was able to win the women's race! Simon and Marc also crossed the finish line satisfied and overjoyed and secured Kirchmair Cycling an excellent 2nd place in the team ranking behind Beraldo!
The premiere of the SuperGiro was a painful but wonderful challenge for all the starters in our team. We congratulate the organizers on this successful premiere and we will certainly be there again next year for the second edition next year!