Quick question: how many cycling climbs of the Alps with an elevation above 2.500 meters can you mention? If we let you think for a bit, you will probably come up with iconic climbs like Passo dello Stelvio or Col de l’Iseran, and the experts may be able to identify a couple more.
Among this select group of mountain passes, there is the Timmelsjoch in the Ötztal Alps. It may not be one of the most well-known climbs, but the Alpine landscape one encounters while reaching the top is worth the visit. It creates a border between Austria and Italy, and the scenic road to the summit at 2.509 meters delights all cyclists who have the strength to reach the top.
Why do we mention it? Because it will be one of the highlights during the next edition of Among The Giants. Our constant search for the best mountains to climb led us to the Tirol area, and we are really looking forward to conquering the Alps again. There are many more places included in our routes worth mentioning, but we will let you know more about them during our trip.
The engagement of our announcement saying that Among the Giants is back was exceptional, and after not being able to organize ATG in 2020, this year we have fully focused on setting everything for a new edition. The current health situation does not make it easy to organize an event that involves people from different countries, even more if it is held in an environment outside of the comfort zone of the organizers. Furthermore, this will also be a special edition because there will be a noticeable increase in female participation in comparison to previous years.
The chosen base camp
Both our own effort and the help from the local institutions have been key to make sure that a new edition of Among the Giants can take place this summer in the Tirol area, and more precisely in the Ötztal valley. The great care and involvement of the tourism organizations from Austria in general, and Tirol and the Ötztal valley in particular, have helped us to stay up to date on the health situation of the host country, and we will collaborate together with them to carry on with our event with no setbacks.
In the Ötztal area, there is an infinite number of activities to do during the year. There exists a large variate of routes, both for mountain bikes with trails that cross the valley, and for road bikes, with tough tracks to follow that include huge climbs to conquer. Outside of the cycling context, the valley has endless paths, with all the necessary infrastructure to go from one place to another without the need for a private vehicle. Same as all Alpine regions, the Ötztal valley is also a perfect destination for winter sports, with 6 ski stations that include more than 350 slope kilometers.
The Ötztal is Tirol’s longest side valley, and the range of mountains around it protects it from the cold wind. It is full of green meadows, and the perfect base camp for our expedition due to its proximity to all the roads we intend to ride.
From the 31st of July until the 4th of August we will make the most of what the area has to offer, and together with the participants coming from different points of Europe, we will create a strong bond in a matter of days.
Format of the project
In case there is someone still not familiar with the format of Among the Giants, let us explain what our goal is every time we gather with 15 people in some of the most astonishing places around the continent.
Among the Giants is a project in which cycling, adventure, culture, and personal satisfaction, among other aspects, come together. The participants reach the top of iconic climbs and discover new roads surrounded by amazing landscapes. It is also about breathing fresh air, enjoying some days of freedom, and making the most of a unique experience.
This is an outstanding project not only because of the trip itself but also because of the satisfaction of sharing some of those magic moments that cycling always delivers, creating synergies and leaving our possible differences behind. Above everything else, Among the Giants is based on the creation of bonds with strangers thanks to our common passion; the bike.
For the fourth edition of Among the Giants, we will join forces with different profiles and brands that fit perfectly with the values of our project. Looking back in time, we are proud of the direction of our project since the first edition in the Dolomites.
Cannondale has its headquarters in the United States, but nonetheless one can find its products all over the world. They were pioneers in the use of aluminum and carbon, revolutionized the market with their lefty suspension for mountain bikes, and continue being involved in innovative projects, like their collaboration with the EF Education – NIPPO team.
The American brand is mostly known for manufacturing some of the best rims and wheelsets available in the market, and they have gone one step ahead with the recent launch of their Custom Road Bike. One can see ENVE wheels on the podium of downhill races, the Giro d’Italia, or the local crit, so it is clear that they always have a product that fits the requirements of the individual.
Coming from Stuttgart, Germany, FOCUS has a broad portfolio of bikes under the “smart-performance” tag, and the brand is involved in many projects regarding different cycling disciplines. Everyone at FOCUS Bikes is a passionate rider, so they test their products themselves and make sure they are on top of the industry standards.
The bike wheels industry has a new big player, as Hunt is quickly becoming one of the most popular manufacturers. On the one side, they are now partnering with Team Qhubeka NextHash and being visible in the most prestigious races around the world. On the other side, they still want to have a say in other ways of experiencing cycling, so being one of the participants of Among the Giants was a logical step.
The new trend among food lovers is Ooni, as these portable ovens cook pizzas in 60 seconds at 500ºC. What started as a husband-and-wife team has become a multi-award winner business backed by customer and media reviews. This brand may not be directly related to cycling, but saw the potential of our project and will join us in Austria.
Recovery is a key part of the routine of professional and amateur athletes, and Reboots is one of the first brands to offer recovery boots that accelerate the recovery process. This product reduces the lactic acid levels in the blood and prevents injuries from overtraining, being able to perform again during the following session.
The well-known Catalan brand Tactic, with their experience in the production of their custom cycling apparel and also their creative collections, will be present in Austria. Based in Girona, they are nowadays present in some of the most prestigious gravel and road events. They are quickly escalating their business and going from local to international, with ambassadors around the world.
The young brand TwentyOne Cycling is a sensation among cyclists in and around the Barcelona area. Their designs and patterns are unique, with their base layers as a great example. With concepts like “eco-performance”, they want to offer the most technical and stylish products in a respectful relationship with the environment.
Austria has everything one can imagine as regards outdoor activities, both in summer and winter, and Visit Austria promotes what the country has to offer in the best way. It is a special edition constrained by the global health situation, but the different tourism organizations have shown to us that Austria is a safe country with all the necessary measures in place to enjoy the nature of the region and its “giants” during a few days of pure cycling.