Back in 2012, Alban Lakata triumphed in the BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma. Five years after his so far only win in the classic mountain bike stage race, the newly minted MTB marathon world champion from Austria is aiming for a similar coup although he knows that it will be a tough competition at the event’s 20th anniversary.
“The Transalp is true adventure with race character. Our goal is to place on the podium,” explains the 38-year-old.
But thanks to so far seven participations in the legendary race across the main chain of the Alps, the athlete from East Tyrol knows, that everything has to work out perfectly in order to take home the win in the prestigious event.
Lakata hasn’t triumphed in the Transalp since he came out victorious of the 2012 edition together with former team colleague Robert Mennen (GER). Five years later, it’s time for the fourth try alongside Czech pro Kristian Hynek.
Both came in third back in 2014 and 2015 before they had to pull out of last year’s event after a disappointing fifth race day. Before, team Topeak Ergon Racing had clinched the opening stage and been wearing the yellow jerseys for three days.
“It didn’t work out to win the Transalp with Kristian because we haven’t been able to bring our skills down to a common denominator yet. We work hard on this but it’s very hard to succeed on such a high level. In addition, our competitors, especially Centurion Vaude, are preparing themselves more meticulously,” knows Lakata who still is in cheerful spirits.
“My form is still getting better. The world championships title was also a confidence boost. It’s awesome that I will be able to ride in the rainbow jersey over the course of the whole week,” the three-time world champion concluded.