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Transalp: Penzberger Sacher and Winkler create extreme bike races

2022-06-26T16:07:47.391Z

Transalp: Penzberger Sacher and Winkler create extreme bike races Created: 06/26/2022, 18:00 Arrived in Arco proud and satisfied: Wolfgang Sacher from Penzberg (l.) and Erich Winkler – including a panorama of Lake Garda. © Wolfgang Müller-Schell Penzberg - The Penzberg disabled cyclist Wolfgang Sacher and Erich Winkler have successfully completed the Tour Transalp. You end up in 31st place. Th



Transalp: Penzberger Sacher and Winkler create extreme bike races

Created: 06/26/2022, 18:00

Arrived in Arco proud and satisfied: Wolfgang Sacher from Penzberg (l.) and Erich Winkler – including a panorama of Lake Garda.

© Wolfgang Müller-Schell

Penzberg - The Penzberg disabled cyclist Wolfgang Sacher and Erich Winkler have successfully completed the Tour Transalp.

You end up in 31st place.

The Passo del Ballino is anything but a giant among the Alpine passes.

The short ascent in the north of Lake Garda measures just 775 meters, so for most cyclists it is only worth a side note on their tours.

For Wolfgang Sacher and his teammate Erich Winkler, however, the Passo del Ballino was something of a salvation: after seven tough days in the Alps, the mountain represented the last hurdle before they crossed the Alps on Saturday (June 25) in the reached race pace.

Almost 32 hours cycled

"After the Passo del Ballino it was all downhill - and then we made it," says Sacher.

After a total of 31 hours, 58 minutes and two seconds of driving time, they reached the finish of the day in Arco, on the northern shore of Lago di Garda.

In 31st place in the overall ranking - happy, but at the same time exhausted from the exertions of the past week.

“For us, the highlight of the seven stages was undoubtedly the finish in Arco.

The jubilation of the spectators was overwhelming and we were speechless", smiles the Penzberger.

Passo Stelvio crossed

Sacher and Winkler covered a total of 620 kilometers and an impressive 15,800 meters in altitude as part of the Tour Transalp.

The two Paralympic medal winners crossed the 2757 meter high Stelvio Pass on their racing bikes.

You have mastered the Mortirolo Pass, which is up to 20 percent steep.

And despite their handicaps - the 55-year-old Sacher has been missing an arm and several toes since a high-voltage accident when he was young, Winkler, who is a year younger than him, lost an arm and a leg in a motorcycle accident - they have numerous non-injured and in some cases significantly younger teams behind them calmly.

"It wasn't a walk, though," says Sacher.

“Erich didn't have it easy with one leg, especially on the long and steep passes.


Broken brake cable

But the sporting challenges were not the only hurdles that Sacher and Winkler had to overcome.

After a fast descent on a pass on the fifth stage, Sacher's front brake cable broke, meaning that he was no longer able to descend the steep descent that followed.

First on foot and later with the help of the team vehicle of a Dutch team, he reached the next village, where a bike mechanic helped him with the repairs.

Seen serious falls

It wasn't the only tricky situation: On the fourth day, temperatures in the single digits and pouring rain made the descents a nail-biter.

On the fifth day, they witnessed several serious falls.

“I've already ridden the Transalp several times.

Especially on the last stages, many participants are tired - and driving mistakes happen.

Accordingly, we were happy to have made it through in good health," explains Sacher.


Teamwork a reason for success

That they made it – one reason for that was the good teamwork.

From day one, the two disabled cyclists helped each other, with Sacher, the faster rider, doing a lot of help for Winkler.

So he not only provided his partner with water, power gels and energy bars, but also occasionally gave him push assistance on steep sections of the mountain.

“Wolfgang could not have been more considerate.

Whether on the mountain or on the flat - he was always by my side and motivated me when I got weak.

That was pure team spirit,” said Winkler at the finish in Arco.

They have achieved their common goal: to show that you can achieve great things despite a disability.

"If we can make it across the Alps with a total of two arms and three legs, then the others can do it too," says Sacher.


Sacher: Now Bavarian championship

While Winkler is preparing for the World Championships in disabled cycling after the Transalp in mid-August, Sacher will concentrate on the Bavarian championships in the individual time trial in the coming weeks.

This will take place in Treuchtlingen on July 31st.

Wolfgang Müller-Schell

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2022-06-26

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