Stage 3 was considered the “Queens stage” of this years race as it rolled 82 km over two mountains between Kirchberg & Kaprun (Host of the 2002 World XC Championships). All the beds were taken in Kirchberg so we backtracked to Lofer to spend the night. This would’ve been a splendid plan but the recent flooding and road closures meant the 38 km drive turned into over an hour. No big deal right? Except for the fact when we drove by the start line at 8:10 am this morning there were already hundreds of racers lined up. By the time we had our bikes together and pulled up to the line at 8:30 it as very clear we were going to be starting at the back. Already screwed we figured we should at least get a warm up in and hopped on one of the thousands of bike paths in Austria and tried to get the legs fired up for the huge climb up and over a 2000 meter peak to start the day. Read more.
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