PHOTO: Across the Alps on foot – Mikkelsen competing in 2015 Transalpine Run (Volkswagen pic)
VOLKSWAGEN World Rally Championship driver Andreas Mikkelsen is training for Coates Hire Rally Australia with a gruelling foot race in high temperatures across the German and Austrian Alps.
The 26-year-old Norwegian arrives on the Coffs Coast in a week to contest Round 10 of the WRC, in which he’s third in the drivers’ standings.
He is currently taking part in the 2015 Transalpine Run, contesting three of the total eight stages from last Saturday to today.
On Saturday, the route led 34.6 kilometres from Oberstdorf (Germany) to Lech (Australia), with 330 teams from 33 countries climbing 2083 metres in the process. Yesterday’s second stage took the competitors 24.7 kilometres from Lech to St. Anton (Austria) and featured a difference in altitude of 1083 metres.
On Saturday, Mikkelsen finished ninth out of the 15 guest starters before coming home 30th out of 35 competitors yesterday.
“Respect to the participants who do this all the time,” he said.
“That was really tiring, particularly in temperatures above 30 degrees. At the same time, however, it was also good preparation for the Rally Australia.”
Mikkelsen faces a further 39.6 kms on his third and final stage from St. Anton to Landeck (Austria) today. The remaining five stages of the Transalpine Run head towards the finish in Sulden (Italy), where the race ends next Saturday.