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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

 UCI codes explained

Race across the Alps (RATA) 2002

July 12-13, 2002

Road
GP Voralberg
Kriterium Dornirn

Results

The second edition of Race across the Alps (RATA) took place on July 12th-13th 2002. The race started in Nauders (Austria) and covered some of the most grueling climbs of Italy and Switzerland. It passed over:

  • Reschen Pass (1.560m)
  • Passo Stelvio (2.575m)
  • Passo Gavia (2.652m)
  • Mortirola (1.846m)
  • Aprica (1.176m)
  • Bermina Pass (2.330m)
  • Albula Pass (2.306m)
  • Fluela Pass (2.399m)
  • Ofen Pass (2.149m)
  • Umbrail Pass (2.505m)
  • Passo Stelvio (2,575m)
  • Reschen Pass (1.560m)

That means around 12,600 meters difference in height in 544 kilometers!!

A little de-tour in the Alps

Report by Marko Baloh (second placegetter)

The race started at 12:00 o'clock on 12th July 2002, with 41 male and one female extreme-cyclists - Cassie Lowe, 2 times winner of RAAM. The favourites for the win were Wolfgang Fasching (three times winner of RAAM, two times World 24h TT champion), Marko Baloh (last years second place finisher, behind professional cyclist Gerrit Glomser), Paul Lindner (winner of many long distance races), Jure Robic (last year's second place at Crocodile Trophy MTB stage race)…

Lindner tried to imitate Glomser, who had jumped away from the pack in the foothills of the Stelvio Pass last year. He set such a high tempo, that just Baloh was able to follow him. After some kilometers, Lindner was alone in front, and Baloh went on with his own pace, counting on his ability to catch him later in the race. The first to cross Stelvio Pass was Lindner and two minutes behind him Marko Baloh (Slovenia), three minutes in front of Jure Robic (Slovenia).

That order remained until the descent from Mortirolo. Here is where the organisers made a big mistake in marking the route. They sent the first four riders left, when they should turn right. Lindner noticed the mistake and turned around after a few hundreds meters. Baloh went on for six kilometers (all uphill!) until the organizers caught him and sent him back. The damage was already done, since he came back in the race on 12th(!) place, instead of his hard earned second place. Even worse, the time difference between him and Lindner went from 15 minutes to almost 50 minutes (!). What that does to a mind of a racer, you can only imagine, but I can tell you that it was shocking. After intervention of our controller Reinhard Schröder the organizer recognized his mistake and granted us time bonuses for a lost time (Baloh 30 min, Robic 20 min and Lindner 10 min?).

After some dismal kilometers, my team (my wife Irma and a friend Herbert Meneweger) got me going again, saying to organizer that we won't even need the bonus of 20 minutes, because I will be finishing ahead of Lindner, anyway… Yes, this was a little morale booster! On Aprica I caught a group of 6 riders, who were really surprised to see me. So, I had a little company until Terano and the start of Bermina Pass climb. Here my comeback started, as I caught and passed every one of the front-runners by the top, except Lindner. So, "my" second place was mine again, but what about Lindner? Despite the rainy and cold weather, I managed to lessen the difference to 40 minutes at the top of Fluela Pass. Here I began to feel the consequences of my midnight run (to reclaim the second spot) - getting very, very tired and sooooo cold! If I wasn't at RATA last year and freezing in the snow on Stelvio, I wouldn't believe you can be so cold going uphill. When I stepped from my bike on the top of Fluela Pass, I was shaking so much, that my team had to change my clothes themselves. My stop lasted almost 20 minutes in which Robic caught me and (without changing) passed me.

There I was, not feeling so great and being 15 minutes behind "my" second place at the bottom of Umbrail Pass. Fortunatelly, the rain had stopped and I was beginning to feel better and better. As we say, I was "on the up" and Robic seemed to be "on the down", since I caught him on the top of Stelvio, 16 kilometers later. I had no information about the time difference between the leader and me, so I went as hard as I could on the last pass of the day - the Reschen Pass. It was so different to my last years finish - I could hardly move my pedals around then and this year I was "flying". At the Finish, Lindner had more than half an hour advantage, so he was clearly the strongest on the day. Still, one can't help but wonder - what if there was no mistake in marking the route? Maybe, the result would be the same, but the race itself would be more interesting - it would be a close fight for a victory (and not for a second place, as it had turned out to be…).

Photography

  • Marko Baloh - all lit up like a Christmas tree.
  • Oh Marko - what a BIG bottle of Champagne you have.
  • The winner - look like they would rather a hot bath than a trophy.
  • Beautiful view - and you can rest just over that hill.Yeah right...

Results

1 Paul Lindner (Aut)              22.47.25
2 Marko Baloh (Slo)                0.32.28
3 Jure Robic (Slo)                 0.52.08
4 Marcel Knaus (Fra)               1.23.43
5 Franz Venier (Aut)               1.38.18
6 Wolfgang Fasching (Aut)          1.55.10
7 Dominique Briand (Fra)           2.26.15
8 Horst Turnowsky (Aut)            2.40.51
9 Kurt Peschke (Ger)               2.51.24
10 Martin Griessner (Aut)          3.04.07
11 Johann Eisenbraun (Aut)         3.49.12
12 Nico Dino Valsesia (Ita)        4.00.07
13 Heimo Plössnig (Aut)            4.03.52
14 Hubertus Hohl (Ger)             4.47.10
15 Markus Hager (Ger)              5.09.00
16 Gery Voser (Swi)                5.43.54
17 Alois Adam (Ger)                5.48.03
18 Manfred Guthardt (Aut)          5.51.01
19 Heinz Riess (Aut)               6.13.26
20 Markus Roth (Ger)               6.20.12
21 Andreas Oppermann (Ger)         6.31.25
22 Alexander Vonbank (Aut)         6.51.04
23 Beny Furrer (Swi)               6.52.25
24 Henri Lesewitz (Ger)            6.55.11
25 David Rychtarik (Ger)           7.15.54
26 Cassandra Lowe (Aus)            7.27.49
27 Kurt Folie (Aut)                7.47.37
28 Mathias Guischard (Ger)         8.26.37
29 Thomas Jaklitsch (Aut)              DNF
30 Marc Becker (Can)                   DNF
31 Mauro Monguzzi (Ita)                DNF
32 Rolf Majcen (Aut)                   DNF
33 Hans-Günter Sadowski (Ger)          DNF
34 Simone Olivero (Ita)                DNF
35 Thierry Moiroux (Fra)               DNF
36 Gernot Turnowsky (Aut)              DNF
37 Heiko Wenner (Ger)                  DNF
38 Richard Uhlschmied (Ger)            DNF
39 Oswald Leibold (Ger)                DNF
40 Rainer Popp (Ger)                   DNF
41 Beat Huber (Swi)                    DNF
42 Tom Nalepa (USA)                    DNF