Engadin Cycling Marathon - La Cuorta
A challenge against a backdrop of dreams: Two passes beyond the 2000-meter mark and 97 exciting kilometers await the participants of "la Cuorta". The race gets down to business just a few meters after the start with the ascent in the direction of the Ofen Pass. On an initially traffic-calmed route, the race really starts to go uphill. A few minutes after the start, the route crosses the border of the Swiss National Park, which the cyclists have all to themselves in the early morning together with chamois, ibexes and marmots.
After a good seven kilometers of climbing, the first descent already follows, before a short counter-climb leads to the portal of the road tunnel in the direction of Livigno.
Passing Swiss customs, the route leads through the well-lit and fully blocked tube across into Italy. Back in daylight, the route leads over the imposing dam wall of Lago di Livigno and through several galleries along the lake to the first refreshment station in Livigno.
After just under 27 kilometers of racing, the challenges come in a double pack: Between Forcola di Livigno after just under 42 kilometers and the Bernina Pass after a good 49 kilometers - now back on Swiss territory - there is only a short, rapid descent as a breather. But the second refreshment station awaits shortly after the pass summit at 2328 meters.
On the fast but easy descent toward Pontresina, the glaciers of Piz Bernina and Piz Palü flash up again and again on the left - a dream panorama for mountaineers and cyclists alike. Despite the well-built road down from the Bernina Pass, however, the utmost concentration is required, because a railroad track crosses the road in Bernina Suot and at the Montebello bend. The Bernina Express, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has the right of way!
Past the mountaineering town of Pontresina and towards the traffic circle of Punt Muragl, it is then a matter of slowly finding a group. At Samedan airport and through the Inn valley, the route is almost flat until S-chanf. Perfect for speedsters, it goes at top speed via Bever, La Punt-Chamues-ch, Madulain and Zuoz, past Europe's highest coffee roaster Badilatti towards the Lower Engadine. The border is passed shortly before Brail - then follows another rapid descent, which leads the short-distance racers directly to the finish, but for the long-distance racers should be used to gather strength.
Note: This text was translated by machine translation software and not by a human translator. It may contain translation errors.
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