BORA – hansgrohe Team Camp in Ötztal – where Giro winners train

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Where the Ötztaler Cycle Marathon, the most renowned of its kind in Europe, is at home cycling can't be that bad. The same applies for skiing. “Combining both in one region using the shortest possible route is something of a rarity. That’s only possible in Ötztal thank to its altitude,” explains BORA-hansgrohe professional Toni Palzer, former world-class ski mountaineer. Next week the Alpine Ski World Cup season is opened in Sölden while this week the top German cycling team BORA–hansgrohe prolonged the partnership with Ötztal Tourismus as part of the team camp for another two years.

The German world-class cycling team BORA–hansgrohe met in Ötztal this week, where the annual team camp was on the agenda. All professionals and new arrivals as well as all support staff around team boss Ralph Denk planned their assignments for the next season in Sölden by taking full advantage of the wide range of sports offers within Ötztal. In addition to speedy downhill adventures in the Bike Republic Sölden and wellness stays, yesterday's highlight was a skiing day on Rettenbach Glacier. Exactly where the Alpine Ski World Cup takes place next weekend from 22 to 23 October, Giro winner Jai Hindley, the German champion Niels Politt, Tour de France stage winner Patrick Konrad and many others met the top stars of the upcoming Ski World Cup winter.

Ski and cycling pros on Rettenbach and Tiefenbach Glaciers

Three million overnight stays in winter, 1.2 million in summer – myriad investments have made it possible to increase overnight stays in summer by 50%. Popular Ötztal is one of the sportiest regions in Austria in both summer and winter. The winter season accounts for the largest part in value creation. Probably also because the renowned winter sport resorts of Sölden and Gurgl offer skiing at the highest level. And that's exactly what the BORA-hansgrohe cycling pros, guided by the very prominent ski instructor and former ski star Benni Raich, saw for themselves yesterday. “Cycling has always played an important role during my career and I have great respect for the achievements of professional cyclists. I must admit, they were great on skis too. Giro winner Hindley was on skis for only the second time and he skied respectably! The Austrians Patrick Konrad and Marco Haller also cut a really fine figure,” said Raich after the skiing day. Only the Irish sprinter Sam Bennett, who was one of the few professional cyclists to win stages in all three major state tours, gave up on his skibob after a short time on Rettenbachferner. By the way, the cycling stars also met many ski stars, such as Linus Strasser or Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who are preparing with their national teams for the World Cup opening next weekend.

Ralph Denk: “Our cyclists get the finishing touches in Ötztal“

Ötztal Tourismus decided to enter into a partnership with BORA-hansgrohe in 2020 and this has now been extended by another two years. "Cycling is one of the most important tourism fields for us and our infrastructure offers ideal terrain to every cyclist – be it on narrow or wider tires. This is precisely why we work intensively on expanding and perfecting our range of bike offers year after year. The really perfect conditions are also reflected in our partnership with the professional racing bike team of BORA-hansgrohe, whose athletes regularly pitch up a tent for varied training camps in Ötztal," explains Oliver Schwarz, Managing Director of Ötztal Tourismus at a press conference. BORA-hansgrohe team boss Ralph Denk, who formed his team into one of the best world-wide, adds: "There are few major tourist regions in Europe that put that much effort into cycling and cycling tourism as Ötztal does. My cyclists have been getting their finishing touches right here for two years and that completes our success. I am very proud of the partnership with Ötztal."

The majority of summer guests in Ötztal take their bike with them - whether racing bike, mountain bike or e-bike. Not without reason: Ötztal is one of the most renowned, but above all one of the most innovative cycling destinations in the Alps. In the valley as well as on the mountain, on the road and on the trails, the offer is truly varied, infrastructure is exemplary, the commitment extraordinary. It also comprises free bicycle transport in public bus lines, perfectly signposted tours, well-maintained lines and a valley-wide Cycle Trail. The numbers also confirm the thoroughly positive response to this ultimate offer for cyclists and bikers in Ötztal: at the Ötztaler Cycle Marathon, over 15,000 cyclists fight for one of the 4,000 starting places every year, in summer 2022 around 55,000 guests and locals were counted on the Ötztal Cycle Trail and in the Bike Republic Sölden, renowned for its flowing trails, 61,000 bikers ventured down the speedy downhill routes.

Even if different rules apply to professional cyclists such as German champion Nils Politt or Paris-Nice winner Maximilian Schachmann in their professional races away from cycle paths, Ötztal offers over 650 kilometers of signposted cycle and mountain bike routes for beginners or true experts. From the northern area in Oetz you can reach the foot of Timmelsjoch Pass via the new 50-kilometer long cycle trail. Across the border you reach Italy where Jai Hindley celebrated BORA-hansgrohe's greatest success this year: overall winner of Giro d'Italia and the first Bora Grand Tour triumph!

Ötztaler Cycle Marathon 2023 will take place already in July

The Ötztaler Cycle Marathon is THE unrivaled cycling flagship in Ötztal and throughout Europe. In 2023, the date will be moved from the end of August to 09 July 2023 for the first time. “You can already feel the rush. In recent years we have had an average of 15,000 registrations for 4,000 starting places. The registration phase runs from 01 to 30 November for the first time this year. Then we will draw lots and hopefully there will be many Christmas presents under the Christmas trees of our amateur athletes," says Dominic Kuen, OC head of the Ötztaler Cycle Marathon.

Ötztal Tourismus 

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Anna Pircher

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