„Race the Legend“ is the motto of Challenge Roth 2015 and a legend it is. So we took the Shiv out and gave the 2 loop bike course a close look. It’s said to be a fast course in a beautiful rural setting. 95km later here is what we saw.
Once you exit the Main-Donau-Kanal it is a quick transition to grab your bike and out onto the bike course. You have a gentle climb to start with and it is suggested to take your nutrition in as quickly as you can as you are making a 90 degree left hand turn towards Rothsee after just a couple of hundred meters and from there you are picking up the pace for the next kilometer and a half.
DANGER: around the 2km mark is the first time you need to pay serious attention. In a fairly fast, slightly downhill turn you are hitting 3 cracks across the road as you are riding past the the impressive floodgate of the Main-Donau-Kanal.
The first 13 kilometers are very lightly but gradually uphill. So don’t get too excited and if you are riding with a power meter monitor it closely. You don’t wanna push too hard that early in the race.
At kilometer 13.5 you hit the first climb which is about 700 meters long. Let the others go here. You will see a lot of athletes pushing too hard here already and they will pay for it later as there is more fun awaiting on the mostly rolling bike course.
Only 3 kilometers after finishing the first climb you are hitting the next one at km 17.5 which is more or less the same length as the one before…
…but the fun doesn’t start until you get into the town of Greding. After entering the town in a nice little downhill section you make a right hand turn and roughly 150 meters later another one straight into a steep, steep climb. Shift down before that turn and prepare to climb a little for the next 700 meters but be aware: It doesn’t stop there. It evens out a little but yet you keep riding uphill for a total of almost 4km with only a very short flat bit in between.
From here on you continue on a nicely rolling course and then enter a beautiful downhill section which leads you partially through the woods where you can find some shade on a hot day out there. DANGER: be aware of the turns in this downhill sections. There is hay stacks put up in the turns for a good reason. Control yourself and enjoy the downhill as a bit of recovery rather than pushing too hard and risking everything in those turns.
At KM 62 you hit another 2 little climbs which seem fairly easy after riding the ones before and then at KM 69 the fun begins. You have a short and fun climb as a little preview of what to expect from Solarer Hill. This climb is just before entering the town of Hilpoltstein and every spectator that is not at Solarer Hill is putting up shop there to scream and shout you up this hill. If you think this is awesome then you will love Solarer Hill 1km later.
SOLARER HILL: Climb the legend within the legend. If you have not ridden Solarer Hill on race day yet forget everything you think you know about Solarer Hill. This climb will make you forget all your suffering out there and will exceed all your expectations. Don’t even dream about ‚hammering‘ this hill up. There is no passing other athletes anyways as spectators are at least as nuts (in the best way) as they are at Alp d’Huez. Enjoy and don’t push.
From there is is nice and rolling and you will pass some of our highlights on the ‚Challenge Roth Top10 Must do Things‘ list on the last klicks before heading into loop 2 to enjoy the fun all over again.
As you finish loop 2 at the Biermeile – one of the many, many hotspots along the course – you are not heading left in Eckersmühlen as before but go on straight for another 3.5km into T2.
The course has about 700 meters of climbing per loop and your top speeds will range somewhere between 60-75km/h depending on how hard you push the pace!
Time to run! Enjoy race day and be awesome!
Complete Garmin Profile: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/828948581
RIDER: Till Schenk, 174kg, 182cm tall.
POWER METER: Power2Max
BIKE COMPUTER: Garmin 920