On 12 July the 2008 edition of the Salzkammergut Trophy took to Bag Goisern, Austria and offered the 3,400 competitors who made the trip a choice of four distances. Many opted for the eye watering 209km choice.
Thomas Dietsch from France won the 209km event. Dietsch was in the leading group from the beginning before he was able to break away after 70km, with the increase in speed leaving many of his rivals in his wake.
Taking a break from road racing, Giro d’Italia winner Gilberto Simon won the shorter, but no less tough 110km event. “Not quite as difficult as the Giro, but just as beautiful” an enthused afterwards.
In the 109km women’s race, New Zealand’s Jenn O’Connor secured victory following a dramatic tussle with Austrian Ruth Hagen and recorded a time of 5hrs 56misn 45secs.
“My time was 15 minutes faster than last year on the same course, despite the rain and mud. That’s right, mud! The Salzkammergut this year was a different challenge from 2007. Thunderstorms the night before the race set the scene, and it was raining steadily as we lined up on the starting grid.
“The final drag back to Bad Goisern would be my weakness, but I was luckier this time and fell in with a fast-moving bunch. I was glancing over my shoulder, expecting to see Ruth closing in on me, but our group sped down the road and I was soon negotiating the final forest singletrack and cyclepaths into Bad Goisern, still with a clear lead. I won with 10 minutes to spare, but sprinted for the finish line, just to be sure.”
Next years event will be 18 July 2009 – www.salzkammergut-trophy.at