The Greek road and MTB Champion Ilias Periklis dominated the field on today’s third stage of the 14th Alpentour Trophy, with 73 kilometres via the Türlwand Hut and Brandalm the longest leg. Periklis won ahead of the Austrian Alban Lakata who moved up to second place in the general classification due to a mechanical problem for Urs Huber. And a young rider from Lower Austria was on fire, racing right at the front of the field with the world class mountain bikers in Schladming.
Ilias Periklis from Greece wanted to prove himself today. Already after about 10 kilometres he rode away from the group and extended his solo lead to a good 4 minutes. Until the final descent towards the Planai WM-Stadium this lead shrunk slightly, however, the 26 year old reigned supreme across today’s finish line – his second stage win within two years at the Alpentour Trophy.
Just behind Periklis Alban Lakata reached the finish in second place. The Marathon World Champion from East Tyrol got off his bike and searched the event centre, “Where is Urs?” He was looking for the second in the general classification until today, Urs Huber, who had to get off his bike because of a mechanical problem with his back wheel at the second-last descent and so lost valuable time and also his second overall place.
“It was again a hard day out there”, said Lakata. “Everyone racing in the front is in great shape and the atmosphere is awesome. Hats off to the performance of the Greek rider. And also Kristian Hynek rode very strongly and is almost unbeatable for me this year. But I am happy that I was able to strengthen my second placing ahead of tomorrow’s final stage.”, he added.
The overall leader Kristian Hynek from the Czech Republic didn’t waste any time either coming in third. “I was able to control the race well without pushing too hard. However, when Periklis had extended his lead to a four minute gap, I encouraged my fellow racers to pick up the pace. We were able to reduce his lead considerably.”
A young rider from Lower Austria, who finished in fifth place in yesterday’s time trial at the Planai, has been getting in on the racing action right at the front of the field with the worlds’ mountain bike elite: Hermann Pernsteiner from the Team Rad.Sport.Szene. “This is my first big mountain bike stage race and it’s been going well”, said the SIlver medallist from the European Champion of the U23 category from last year. With today’s seventh stage ranking he has pushed himself also onto the seventh spot in the general classification.
In the Masters Elite field Bart Brentjens claimed his first stage win at the Alpentour Trophy. He won eight seconds ahead of the German rider Max Friedrich and about 4:30 minutes ahead of the Austrian Georg Koch. Brentjens has now taken the lead in the general masters classification.
In the Elite Women’s category the Sally Bigham claimed her third stage win and undeniably leads the general classification.
Tomorrow the fourth and last stage of the Alpentour Trophy will lead riders on 56 kilometres and 2000m of elevation across the Hauser Kaibling mountain. The finish is expected at midday in Schladming.
1. Ilias Periklis / GRE / Team Protek / 3:11:56
2. Alban Lakata / AUT / Topeak Ergon Racing Team / 3:12:21
3. Kristian Hynek / CZE / Ceska sporitelna – Specialized MTB Team / 3:12:26
1. Sally Bigham / GBR / topeak Ergon Racing Team / 3:48:55
2. Ann-Katrin Hellstern / GER / UNI TEAM – CULT / 4:10:58
3. Nadia Walker / SUI / Stöckli Swiss Team / 4:13:39
1. Bart Brentjens / NED / Milka-Superior MTB racing team / 3:32:07
2. Max Friedrich / GER / Ergon 24h Racing Team / 3:32:15
3. Georg Koch / AUT / Zweirad Janger Simplon / 3:36:44
General Classification after Stage 3:
1. Kristian Hynek / CZE / Ceska sporitelna – Specialized MTB Team
2. Alban Lakata / AUT / Topeak Ergon Racing Team / +6:03 min.
3. Thomast Stoll / SUI / BiXS-iXS Pro Team / +8:28 min.
1. Sally Bigham / GBR / topeak Ergon Racing Team
1. Bart Brentjens / NED / Milka-Superior MTB racing team
2. Max Friedrich / GER / Ergon 24h Racing Team / +0
3. Georg Koch / AUT / Zweirad Janger Simplon / +7:46