It’s considered the world’s toughest sportive. With 5500 m (over 18000 feet) of elevation gain over 238 km, the Ötztaler Radmarathon combines adventure and suffering. That’s what makes it the most terrifying race and most coveted challenge in one. The 39th edition of the event took place on 1 September, along the traditional route that starts and finishes in Sölden, in Austrian Tyrol, taking in the Alps’ majestic peaks and captivating passes.
Huge undertakings like the Ötztaler Radmarathon require the best kit, kit that creates the right conditions for cyclists and allows them to unleash their full potential.
UYN just had to be at this event, the most iconic of the season, supporting our athletes with our high-tech products.
Among them was Giuseppe Bovo, UYN brand manager and the first Italian to conquer the Ötztaler Radmarathon in 1990, as well as UYN Area Manager Andrea Gini.
Preparing for the challenge
Race prep is a series of precise steps, a sacred ritual. The day before the race, you get your kit ready, attach the number to your jersey, check your bike is in good order and mentally run through each of the climbs that awaits you the following day. Then, of course, you rest - tomorrow will be a huge day.
Waiting at the start
An army, 4000 cyclists strong, lines up in Sölden’s high street, nervously waiting. Over seven hours of cycling awaits them, over four alpine passes - Kühtai, Brenner, Passo Giovo and Passo Rombo. It will be an act of strength - against gravity and against their own limits. The clock strikes 6.45am. Off they go.
The party on their return
The wind hisses in their ears over the long descent from the Rombo, but that whistling soon turns to the thundering cheers of the crowd. There is the finish line; like an oasis in fatigue’s desert. It’s the end of the suffering, the beginning of a legend. Anyone who successfully crosses that white line has earned the right to say: “I achieved my dream.”
The winners of the 39th Ötztaler Radmarathon were Austrian Mathias Nothegger and German Christina Rausch, completing it in six hours and 47 minutes and seven hours and 45 minutes respectively. Giuseppe Bovo put in an unbelievable performance, finishing in 10th place in the Masters 2 category.
Photo: Mattia Ragni X UYN