On Saturday, September 6th, the world’s most gruelling mountain sports team competition will kick off for the 21st time. At Lienz in the Austrian Dolomite Alps, the 110 teams will have to fight their way running uphill to the summit, then glide through the air, paddle through white water and finally pedal their mountain bikes like mad to reach the finish line.
This battle pits the best and most daring alpine runners, paragliders, kayakers and mountain bikers against one another in a bid to win the title of ‘Dolomite Man (or indeed woman!) 2008’. Amateurs and pros will compete alongside each other in the relay contest in a bid to win prizes for being the fastest participant in either the single disciplines or the team contest.
After crossing the starting line at the main square in Lienz, the alpine runners will run eleven kilometers along one of the world’s toughest alpine stretches, crossing rocks, gravel and super-steep slopes. They’ll overcome more than 1,950 meters difference in altitude to reach the finish line at Kühbodentörl (2,441m). The challenge for the paragliders begins at Kühbodentörl, from where they’ll take off and soar high above the mighty Lienzer Dolomites, before landing at Moosalm and walking 200 meters uphill to the second starting place. They will then pass the baton to the kayakers, who will have a tricky rolling traverse and plenty of wild whitewater for five long kilometers. Finally, a tough 17.4 kilometre uphill high-altitude ride awaits the mountain bikers, who will whizz down the notorious FIS Men’s Downhill slope to race toward the finish line at Lienz.
Keep your eyes peeled for the jaw-dropping footage!