Rocks on the Kühtaistrasse (Austria) caused problems on Monday evening. The road will be closed for a fortnight. Next Sunday August, 29th the Ötztaler Radmarathon takes place and the organization has to find an alternative head over heals.
FINAL DECISION - August 26 15:30
Sjors Burger reports:
"The route will definitely go over the Silzer Sattel. The start is 15 minutes earlier at 6:30. As usual, the first 5 kilometres are neutralized. This is only noticeable for the first starting group."
UPDATE - August 25 10:30
Our follower Sjors Burger sent us the following message:
"At this moment the organization is considering to advance the start with one hour. The extra heaviness of the course (via Silzer Sattel) will probably lead to many participants not meeting the time limits during the ride. This will cause a huge action to get the participants back in Sölden. This information was provided by Bert Dekker, a member of lid van URC Ötztal, the local cycling team which organizes the Ötztaler. He has the information first hand.
We expect that the first 40 kilometres to Haiming will be neutralised, because the start will be in the dark. The weather forecast is very bad by the way; a hellish ride is predicted."
Monday evening some 1,500 cubic metres of material broke loose. A block of about 20 cubic metres has reached the Kühtaistrasse carriageway. The road between Mühlau and Ochsengarten is expected to be closed for a fortnight in both directions.
The road is part of the first climb of the Ötztaler so it cannot be used for the time being. In the generally well-informed Facebook group Ötztaler Radmarathon Club two alternatives are mentioned.
The 'easy' option. This cancels the climb of the Kühtai and goes around the mountain. However it is a challenge from an organisational point of view, as it is a through-road connecting many villages.
The expectation is that this option will be chosen, as this road can be closed much more easily from Haiming. Moreover, it deviates only a small part from the original route. This will make the ORM tougher than ever. It is not only 10 kilometres and about 400 extra meters of elevation, but also an extremely tough climb. This variant is much tougher than the Kühtai from Oetz. A tougher route does have consequences for the road closures. Certain sections may have to be closed for longer or the start may be brought forward.
Interesting to know is that this is the climb where Emanuel Buchmann held his rejected world record everesting in 2020.
It's expected the organization will announce the new route today.