Past events:

The Trophy is one of the most difficoult mtb race in Europe. Do you other infos before apply? A true mtb rider has to be there!

I attended the C-Course with a couple of teammates (ZKSE). The race was 80 km long and I finished 5 hours after the start. The 2500 m altitude change was hard for the legs. The weather was bad, rainy and foggy all day long. One of my mate has got purple colored lips during the race. It was not a question, I wanted to race again.

The famous A-course is a bit far away from me. The B-course (121 km/3800 m) looked like an awesome ultra mtb race.

 

Equipment:

After the Hungarian Divide my tires weren’t in a good shape. They didn’t give me enough traction on the steep stuff. Because I wanted to get new tires ASAP, I looked around on the second hand market. I found two Maxxis Ardent 2,4″ brand new tires. My frame fits officially 2,35″ tire. I think this is the max. size I can use. I think the Fox 32 should get along with a 2,5″. The tire change basically transformed the bike. The difference in comfort was really huge.

I decided to mount my bikepacking equipments. The frame bag is light and it has a lot of space for small items like: rain jacket, inner tube,  small tools, spare bolts, RD hanger, CO2 pump, batteries, gopro, gloves etc.

I will carry my bottles in snackbags on the handlebar. This is a good position, because you don’t have to reach down for them if you are thirsty. I didn’t need many food, because the event is well organized.

I left my 26T chainring on. I really like it, because I am not always in the “smallest” gear, and I have a live saving last (couple of) gear, if things get rowdy.

 

 

Tactic:

I didn’t have really any tactic. I will do my best and hopefully it will be enough. I will be slow on the descents to avoid punctures and other accidents. I want to rest as much as I can. My biggest goal is the Salzberg. I want to ride the zigzags. I was not able to do it in 2019, because a lot of people were pushing their bikes and it was way too narrow for passing other riders.

 

Trophy -1. Day:

I made the bike trophy-ready. Framebag, bottle holders mounted, smallparts are packed etc. I will take my Gopro and Garmin to the journey. I didn’t book any accomodation. I will take my mattress and sleeping bag and I will sleep in the car for free. It will a good car test.

 

 

 

Trophy 0. Day

I could get much sleep because of the storm. It was raining, I could not open the window and somehow the heat stuck in the room. After work I visited a bikeshop and cleaned the flat a little bit. I headed to Bad Goisern. The motor way not really interesting, but the landscape got better after that. I saw eye-catching mountains, and lakes everywhere. I was arrived at 7 pm. I found a nice parking lot close to the event. I was in a hurry. I took my starter kit and my jersey. Too bad that I could find the right of the last year green colored jersey. I had to pay extra 20€ for this year’s yellow jersey.  I will test it on the next day. I bought two pairs of socks, just because they were cheap. The bike mess was really cool. I was a couple of interesting things. And the bikes were also nice. S-Works, Epic, fullies everywhere. I took apart on the Pasta Party, because I was not sure, what I want to eat after a long day in the saddle. There were a party after the sunset. I looked around, but I didn’t find any interesting things beside the loosely dressed girls.

 

Trophy Raceday:

The first night in the van was not so comfortable. I was a little bit cold. Aside from that I could sleep. I ate a couple of muesli bars in the morning, made the bike ready and filled up my bottles. I was amazed. I havn’t see so many participants on a race for ages! It looked like that we only going for a ride in the town. I divided the race for a better overview.

 

1. First Big Climb

If I want to sum up this stage with one word, I would say: torture. Torture for the human body. The ascent had some comfortable parts, where it was not so steep. But we were often in the 20%. Sometimes I had to use meg 12th gear: pushing. I was not able to ride on the loose, rocky carpet. Some people did it, I don’t know how could they find any traction. And this section of the track was a massacre. I have never seen so many punctures. The path was wet and sharp stones were waiting for their prey.

 

 

 

2. First Big Descent

If the first part of the track was torture against human body. This was competely a bike and tire abuse. I rode on bad pavement before, and I had fresh experiences from Hungarian Divide. But this was hellish. I was breaking with both hand throughout the desenct and I was concentrating so hard to find the smoothes line down the mountain. I have to preise my new tires here. The 2,4″ Ardent were awesome. I went for 1,5 bar back and forth. My front haven’t slipped once throughout the entire race. The back end was so comfy, like a small fully. I didn’t take any risk on downhill sections. If you have a smooth riding style, you can avoid punctures. On crucial parts I don’t sit on the sattle, I lift myself up a little bit. I accidentaly met with Zsiga (A-course). He had a nasty puncture and thereby he lost the race.

 

 

 

3. Railing around Hallstatt

I tried to catch a back wheel because I am really slow on plain surface. And I like drafting and saving some energy. After the refreshment I was all by myself. I made a pee-break for the first and last time during the race. I followed the following refreshment pattern: watermelone, bananas, salt pills, ISO drink, pure water. I had at least 6 refreshments. That means I drank more than 8 l water. And I was not looking for a WC in the finish area. I found another Hungarian contender. He took apart on the race after a 3 years break. Unbelievable!

 

 

4. U-turns of Salzberg

I was saving energy for this. I tried to put every available force into my legs. This is an expert climb. It is steep, narrow, sometimes loose, and you have to hope on the slippery rain drainages.  Sadly my saddle flipped down and had to stop and adjust it. This ascent was so overwhelming. My body needed this 8 min break. I took of my jersey and helmet, and I continued, but one guy fell off his bike just before me. I had to push a little bit. Honestly my body appriciated his fail. After that the road wasn’t rideable. I was struggling to get enough grip with my spd shoes. Moreover I had unusual sole pain.

 

 

 

 

 

5. To the Highest Point of the Race

I tried the same tactic again. Own, but little bit uncomfortable pain under the red line. I always took the outside lines. I could flatten out the course a little bit. Fat and skin should burn today! The temperature was 4 °C on the top. Now it was 24 °C. Regardless of temperatures this was a really hard ascent. The best part of the course was the long and spectacular downhill to the Gossausee. If you are afraid from height, you shouldn’t attend this race. You make one wrong move in a turn and you are pretty much busted. Garmin helped me a lot, because I could foresee the upcoming u-turns. It was a big adrenalin rush. On the top was my jersey really wet and the wind was so cool that my teeth were chattering. Arriving at Gossausee was an amazing experience.

 

 

6. Finish

I could say much about the last 25 kms. I tried to reach the finish as soon as possible. I tried to hop on an A-course train, but the guys were too fast for me. I was curious, if I can hold their pace, but it wasn’t a good idea. I reached the finish line alone. There were so many people that I couldn’t recognized the town.

My final position in the overall was 433rd place. 9 people out of 10 were faster than me. I got the 54th place in my category. Interesting fact that the winner was a 22 years old guy. He almost finished the race under 5 hours. Cheers!

 

 

 

 

7. After

After some stretching I was pretty disorientated. I bought two pizzas, washed the bike, went to the car, got my new T-Shirt, took a shower and waited for the last finishers. It could awesome feeling, when you reach the finish line and you can hear the Bon Jovi song in the background. I got goosebumps. And the spectators were amazing. You will hear it in the upcoming video.

 

Trophy +1. nap

8:00 AM, my muscles have hangover. Every muscle aches in my body. Hands, fingers, chest, legs, soles, waist… I pulled myself together and I went to the local spa for some recharge. I didn’t have much time, because I don’t like driving in the heat.

I made one break on  the motor way. I filled my bottles in the gastation up and bought the cheapest coffee. It seamed like the prices of products have got multiplied by 2. Madness. I saw a couple of random idiots on the way to home. Thankfully nothing remarkable has happened. After some sleep I washed out my clothes, and cleaned my equipment. I should wash the bike for a second time in the upcoming days.

 

Conclusion:

Austria’s toughest MTB race. The advertisements aren’t misleading you. The entry fee is pretty high (70€/$), but you will “get” back a lot of money. Timing, energy and protein bars in the start package (10€/$), delicious things on refreshment points, pasta party (7€/$), course-dependently colored T-Shirt, raffle ticket, massage ticket (15€/$), free entrance into the swimming pool (7€/$), vouchers etc. If we sum up everything then the entry fee isn’t high. Unfortunately the gasoline got expensive. I only had to drive about 600 km. If you live in Hungary you can calculate with 800-1000 km. If 1 l gasoline equals 480 Ft (1,23$), so you have to give out 90$ for the trip. If you travel with buddies, you have advantage!

The Trophy is a really nice race. You can choose any distance, you will get a challenge and lifelong memories.

 

Ajánlás:

I would recommend the B-course with calm heart. It is an ultra race with ultra difficult parts. I think the C-course is a good mixture between pain and pleasure. A-course might be doable, but the equipment should be wisely chosen. I think front derailleur, and spare tire make your race safer, and your bike heavier… I think a tire tubeless with insert could be the best choice against punctures. Rear suspension with flat pedals would be also good, because clipless shoes aren’t really comfortable for longer periods of time. And you should have a really good basic fitness level.

Compared to the marathons held in Hungary, everything is more and bigger. Bigger mountains, longer ascents/descents, more fans and you will get longer lasting goosebumps.

 

 

Video:

Coming soon.

 

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