With the first opportunity since January to travel outside of Germany (whether for a race or not!), this author headed down to Innsbruck to stay with dear friends, and ride the Gravel Innsbruck event the following day. Under clear blue skies and humid temperatures, the field of 250 riders headed out through the beautiful city of Innsbruck ensemble, before hitting the first gradients and gravel sections — upon which, all gravel hell broke loose!
Having spent almost all of 2020 riding a gravel bike in Bavaria, I absolutely loved this! Fast and steep ascents, cruising gravel sections with stunning views across both sides of the Inntal valley, and fun descents through tiny Austrian villages, this event was sheer fun.
We got to climb up from (literally) the foot of the Europabrücke, with pitches at 25% (not to mention the screams of people bungee-jumping from it as we climbed it!), climb the Olympic bobsled run (and I thought we got to hammer DOWN it!), cross over roads used during the 2018 World Road Championships, and at the end (as in said Worlds) suffer up the 29% gradients of the Höll… before dropping down Höttingergasse at top speed towards the finish.
Not content with the “only” 85km and 2000m climbing, my friend Alban and I took a longer detour and added a little extra, hitting 100km of sunny riding on road and gravel, for an excellent and enjoyable day on the bike.
This is the way…