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Salzkammergut Trophy 2023 Photos and Picture Report

Salzkammergut Trophy 2023 Photos and Picture Report

17.07.23 14:57 112Text: NoMan, PM (translated by AI)Photos: Erwin HaidenWhen cramps are massaged, temperature curves shared, and bachelor parties celebrated, then it's Trophy-Time! Bikeboard.at was at the 26th edition of the legendary MTB marathon "right in the middle of it" and fully involved.17.07.23 14:57 116

Salzkammergut Trophy 2023 Photos and Picture Report

17.07.23 14:57 116 NoMan, PM (translated by AI) Erwin Haiden
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When cramps are massaged, temperature curves shared, and bachelor parties celebrated, then it's Trophy-Time! Bikeboard.at was at the 26th edition of the legendary MTB marathon "right in the middle of it" and fully involved.17.07.23 14:57 116

High noon in the Salzkammergut, a worried glance towards the sky: No, there's nothing to see. Not a cloud, not a veil. Not a hint of atmospheric movement in the two to ten kilometers above us.
What usually leaves most marathonisti speechless with joy, this time causes furrowed brows. Because besides the cloudless sky, there are also temperatures beyond 30 degrees Celsius.
Heat battle at the Salzkammergut Trophy! Does this marathon of extremes, famous for its long distance of incredible 209 kilometers and 7,000 meters of elevation gain, notorious for weather caprices à la onset of winter, continuous rain, or temperatures just above ten degrees, not know any moderation?

At the end of the day, the exhausted but happy finishers of the 26th edition of the legendary MTB marathon will sing praises on social media about spraying garden hoses and sponges handed out soaking wet; they will talk about the endlessly great temptation to jump straight into the Traun or Hallstätter Lake instead of continuing to ride, and they will share the record-breaking high temperature readings of their GPS devices.
Here and now, however, the murderous heat (still) doesn't play such a big role. Here, in the very back starting rows of the route G. And now, just before the last of a total of seven starting shots at this festival for the mountain bike sport, lasting from dawn to dusk.

 Daily maximum Bad Goisern: 35.1° Celsius 

The temperature on July 15, 2023, has adjusted according to ZAMG to the Trophy motto 'To hell and back
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Operation Taillight

Because the Salzkammergut Trophy is not only long, longer, longest, and fast, faster, fastest. Austria's MTB marathon with the most participants is also, and above all, about the many who gather at the shorter distances, far from any chance of winning. Those who simply have the desire to "do a bit of sport"; who spend their time actively while another family member tries their baptism of fire on the A; who want to "just see" what it's like, at a marathon. Or those who have a score to settle, with themselves or the world.

Take, for example, Birgit "Gitte" Szendi from Unterach am Attersee. The lady stands out, and she is of course fully aware of that. After all, her body does not conform to the common perceptions of athletic people - from the shoulders down, obviously a few kilos too many adorn hips, legs, and belly. And yet her posture is experienced, her riding practiced. With a professionally high cadence, she slowly but steadily climbs the first meters of elevation in a small wooded area above the Traun.
"I want to show that fat people can ride, too," the woman in her mid-fifties snorts resolutely when asked about her motivation. She is a former road cyclist racer, mother of several children, and an enthusiastic dog-powered sports enthusiast: bikejoring, skijoring, and such things. And she has already racked up over 5,000 kilometers on the bike just this year alone.
For a long time, despite the lack of time and physical predisposition, the idea of participating in the Salzkammergut Trophy lingered in her mind. With the help of a coach, she has now prepared specifically for this day. And she is determined to see it through.

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Quite different was Mario Reiter. He didn't even know until 7 a.m. that he would be riding in the Salzkammergut Trophy. Then, however, his doorbell rang, and a group of friends stood before him, urging him to come along. Surprisingly, as the Lower Austrian swears – and unmistakably so. Because: The young man is getting married in a month.
So the group of a dozen set off to celebrate. Mario, marked by a long pennant, led the way, with eleven companions dressed in light and dark blue following behind. Their plan: to do a bit of sport first, and then to enjoy themselves, "all nice and cozy". They ride valiantly despite a small starting beer, and they laugh and joke a lot.

The latter is something they have in common with another group of friends in white-orange, who initially contest the rearmost places with them. But only briefly because, as it turns out at the Weißenbachwirt, at kilometer marker 3, the "After Race Party-Team Bad Goisern" never intended to see the finish line.
Those who suspect behind the team name a group of youngsters, who are already eligible to start on the short beginner's distance of 22 km (and in fact mix up the top placings), are mistaken: The train speeding straight into the beer garden at the largest Trophy refreshment station unites an illustrious crowd of well-known Goiserer biking notables of a more mature age. And only Inge Pöllmann ultimately keeps their flag flying high in a sporting sense.

 I had to push, but I was in good company. Everyone was pushing, although I have never seen A-riders push here before. Normally, you would ride here. 

A-rider and BB-user Thomas Heschl aka Master Yoda reports from the Strähnhag transition
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Martina Grundtner is also holding something high – namely the legs of a young lad who has been thrown off by the heat just a few hundred meters after the beginning of the ascent to Hochmuth. The native Slovakian has led him into the shade, poured the contents of her water bottle into him, and coaxed water supplies from other passersby to be able to continue to care for the down-and-out. Now she is encouraging him, making him as comfortable as possible on the roadside, and only when the rescue is informed is she willing to be persuaded to confidently continue on her way.
She will help three more people that day, massage out their cramps, and cheer them up with her positive energy. Half professional habit – the 45-year-old is a nurse –, half fate – the regular at Challenge Marathons is not feeling quite well today and has, because she still did not want to completely drop out, decided to just ride along to be part of it – Martina becomes the saving angel on the short distance.

  • Salzkammergut Trophy 2023 Photos and Picture Report
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Christian Promberger has also often been a first responder. But in his case, it's practically a system. For many years now, the Goiserer has been enriching the 1,000 (!) men and women strong team of helpers needed to manage the organizational side of the Salzkammergut Trophy.
His job: tail rider. He has completed nearly all distances except for the A. His mode of transportation: an e-bike, so that he can move quickly if necessary. His distinguishing feature: a high-visibility vest in bright orange, large and in this weather, damn hot. His mission: to leave no one behind.

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Patiently, he therefore chugs along at the Eco level behind the group, waiting here until everyone has managed the initial two steep switchbacks up to the Soleweg, lingering there until the dropped chain is back in place, and standing by elsewhere until either the ambulance departs or the longest walk down from the Hochmuth is finished.

The firefighter from Untersee is aware of the difficulties that less experienced bikers can face with even short climbs, tight curves, or loose gravel. Not to mention genuine trail sections. He knows the vacant looks of those who can’t go on, but also the unswerving determination of those who still want to continue. And yet, he is surprised every year by one of his charges.

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This time it's Birgit Szendi, the self-titled "Fette," who surprises the sweeper. Because she actually makes it to the finish line - just like the soon-to-be married Mario Reiter and his Super Mario Mi.f Riders, the nurse Martina Grundtner, or compatriot Monika Grossová, the official last finisher of the G-distance.
And "Gitte," as it says on her race number, also wants to come back next year. Not on the F, no, no. The G suits her stature quite well. But please, thank you, hopefully, with less heat, if possible ...

 The devil wanted to take me, but no way, he has to wait! 

Once again Thomas Heschl, who, despite a serious gearshift defect, cramps from Hochmuth II, and circulation problems at Rossalm, showed morale and finished
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Salzkammergut Trophy 2023 Overview

With record times and record temperatures, the 26th edition of the legendary MTB Marathon has written itself into the history books of local mass sports events.
The dominant element was the midsummer heat with temperatures over 35 degrees Celsius. Only in the early morning hours did the alpine forest regions still present themselves as pleasantly cool(er). By late afternoon, however, the race, especially on the slopes of up to 30% gradient on the Hallstätter Salzberg and on the way to the highest point at 1,507 meters above sea level at the Rossalm, turned into a true battle against the heat.

The Tyrolean Philip Handl won the extreme distance of 209 km/7,008 meters of elevation with a new fantastic time of 9:22:31, more than six minutes ahead of Upper Austrian Lukas Kaufmann. Third place was claimed by Styrian David Schöggl. Thus, not only for the first time in twelve years did the overall victory on the legendary A-course go to an Austrian again. Exactly 20 years after the hat-trick by Wolfgang Fasching, Valentin Zeller, and Willi Vorderderfler, there was also a red-white-red triple triumph to celebrate.
... Completed by a Tyrolean woman in the women's competition. Bianca Somavilla dominated the extreme distance, winning in 11:52 hours ahead of Hungarian Anna Bicskei and Italian Lucia Carbini. Of the ten women who started, six reached the finish within the time limits. In the men's race, 462 potential heroes set off at dawn, of which 333 reached Bad Goisern again as planned by the end of the race at nightfall.
In total, over 3,000 athletes from 32 nations started across the 7 marathon and 2 gravel bike distances.

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But the Trophy weekend is by no means "just" about the MTB marathon. For example, the Scott Junior Trophy has been an integral part of the event since its inception. The future lies in the youth, this motto is highly esteemed in Goisern!
Nearly 340 kids aged 5 to 14 took part in 13 competitions, divided into a low-threshold skill contest and a “real” XC race, professionally integrated into the event of the adults and cheered on by many spectators. Some names will surely appear in the results lists of the “proper” Trophy in the coming years, especially the winners of the oldest class U15, namely Sandra Pink (Crazy Cross Biker) and Leo Beer (RSV Atterbiker).

Guided tours, E-Bike test opportunities, and the Expo Area with well-known brands and trade fair offers were also popular attractions amidst the infectious race atmosphere.
And the BOSCH (e)Bike Scavenger Hunt provided a fitting end to the successful weekend, with over 160 E-bikers collecting points, including former ski racer Thomas Sykora. It was not only cycling skill that counted but also down-to-earth skills like the accuracy with the crossbow, the traditional “Salzkammergut-Stahel”.

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