Good morning from the fourth stage of the Tour of the Alps. The race is up and open, approaching two exciting days that will provide the final outcomes of a beautiful week. Today the race takes off from South Tyrol, crossing the Isarco Valley and Pusteria Valley, then at km 88,9 the Austrian border will be crossed to access Tyrol, with its exciting beauties and challenging terrains of the Northern area of the Euregio. After the opening uphill in Terenten, in Tyrol the protagonists will be welcomed by the Bannberg ascent, that could become a springboard towards the prestigious finish line in Lienz. There will be many targeting the Fuchsia jersey worn by Frenchman Thibaut Pinot, and the Austrian roads promise to trigger the battle until the last kilometer.
At the start of the stage, Team Sky has received the Team Up Award – Souvenir Michele Scarponi for their collective effort in stage 3.
Meeting place: Chiusa/Klausen, Piazza Mercato, h 09:45
Depart: Chiusa/Klausen, SS 12, h 11:30
Finish: Lienz, Hauptplatz, h 15:10
Antidoping Control: Liebburg, Hauptplatz, 7
Feed Zone: Lago di Valdaora-Olanger See, km 62,6
Intermediate Sprint: Dobbiaco-Toblach, km 76,6
KOM: Terento-Terenten (2a Cat., km 32,6 ); Bannberg (2a Cat., km 124,0)
Permanence: Liebburg, Hauptplatz, 7 (Press Room: Stadthalle, Sudtirol Platz)
THE STARTING LINE: KLAUSEN
Klausen is located along the river Eisack in South Tyrol and was historically a customs post. The village is overlooked by the Säben Castle and the homonymous abbey, one of the most popular pilgrimage centre in Tyrol. In 1494 Albrecht Dürer stayed in this village of narrow alleys. He is considered the greatest painter of the German Renaissance, who painted Klausen in the background of one of his famous artworks: “Das große Glück” (“The Great Fortune”).
ON THE ROAD
Short detours from the route of the stage lead to two natural monuments of unique beauty in High Puster Valley. The first is the Lake Prags, in the Fanes-Senes-Prags Nature Park – its turquoise water with light emerald green hues is mesmerizing. Further on: the “Tre Cime di Lavaredo” (Three Peaks of Lavaredo), one of the best-known mountain groups in the Dolomites, symbol of the Puster Valley.
THE STAGE TASTE
Among the cuisine specialties of Osttirol there are the Schlipkrapfen with potato filling. This pasta specialty is similar to Italian ravioli, and usually served with melted butter and grated cheese. Meat lovers should also try the “Schöpsernes”, made from mountain lamb. Sheep farming has been practiced in Osttirol for centuries, and the tender meat of mountain lamb is considered a delicacy. Finally, for digestion, there is Stamperl “Pregler”, a fruit brandy distilled from local apples and pears.
Along the daily route you can discover the famous cycle path Toblach-Innichen-Lienz. The path connects Italy and Austria, following the course of the Drave river, amidst a stunning natural scenery. The 50-kilometer route is also very popular among families, as it is slightly downhill and easy to ride. After a city tour in Lienz, the return journey can be comfortably made by train.
THE FINISH: LIENZ
The city of the sun. Lienz has a mainly mild climate (over 2000 hours of sunshine a year): hence its nickname. The capital of Osttirol offers a wide range of opportunities for hikers, bikers and water sports lovers. But also, history, culture and gastronomy are attracting more and more tourism in this pleasant and relaxing town. The view on the Lienz Dolomites is a can’t-miss. The massif is considered a “little sister” of the Italian Dolomites.
The World’s most famous son of South Tyrol is Reinhold Messner. The 73-year-old extreme mountaineer, adventurer and author was born in Brixen and grew up in Funes, in the Eisacktal. He became the first person to climb the Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen and was the first climber to ascend all 14 peaks over 8000 meters in the World. Since 2003 he has been curating a museum called MMM (Messner Mountain Museum), in six locations in South Tyrol and Belluno.
High-pressure with mild air masses is in control over the region. Sunny weather with maximum temperatures over 25°C.