Following their late stage win yesterday due to a jury decision Jochen Kaess and Markus Kaufmann have triumphed on the fourth stage of the BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma again. The German winners from 2013 to 2015 mastered the 98.44 km and 3,001 metres of climbing from St. Christina to Kaltern in a time of 3:49.09,4 edging off their Centurion Vaude teammates Daniel Geismayr and Hermann Pernsteiner with an advantage of only 0,4 seconds to second place (3:49.09,8).
The two Austrian leaders however were able to confirm their top rank in the overall with a lead of 1:49 minutes on Kaess/Kaufmann.
Third place went to Luis Mejia (COL) and Joseph Chavarria (CRC) of 7C (3:49.47,1) who were fighting hard for their second podium finish again. Until the second feed zone (km 64.61), the two Latin Americans had gained a lead of about one minute on the two Centurion Vaude duos who had lost precious time due to some detours in the descent from the first col.
However, whilst cresting up to Deutschnofen, the quartet displayed its climbing skills and Transalp experience catching up with Mejia and Chavarria and keeping on working perfectly together as a squad to break away and extend the overall lead on their pursuers with only three of seven days to go at the 20th race edition.
This move paid off as Jeremiah Bishop (USA) and Kristian Hynek (CZE) of Topeak Ergon Racing 1, who currently sit in third overall, lost more than two minutes as fourth best duo of the day (3:51.12,1).
“Our goal was to give the right answer after we had been penalised with five minutes yesterday. We wanted to teach those teams which had complained yesterday. If we would have pushed it from the start without all those detours, it would have worked out perfectly. But like that, you definitely become desperate. But we worked well together and gave it all we had in the end,” said defending champion Hermann Pernsteiner.
Teammate Markus Kaufmann racing for the second ranked Centurion Vaude support team added: “Right now, everything is perfect for us. We will do everything we can to support the boys in yellow until Riva del Garda. It’s obvious that they are the stronger and more commanding team right now.”
Category leaders remain strong at Transalp
Over in the women’s event, Esther Suess (SUI) and Jennie Stenerhag (SWE) underlined for the fourth time in a row that they came to take home the title for Meerendal CBC crossing the finish line after 4:51.20,1 hours.
Dominating masters racers of Wilier Force 7C, former world champion Massimo Debertolis (ITA) and leg-amputee Dax Jaikel (CRC) also earned their fourth in a row (4:06.35,7) – just like Silke Ulrich (GER) and Sascha Schwindling (GER) of Team Herzlichst Zypern 1 in the mixed category (4:23.08,2).
Thorsten Damm (GER) and Peter Vesel (SLO) of Scott Fahrradladen Gudensberg were able to celebrate a back-to-back win (4:18.10,6) therefore cementing their lead in the grand masters category which they had taken over yesterday.
Want full results? Head to Datasport.