Riva del Garda, Italy, July 20, 2013 – 2012 Transalp winners Alban Lakata (AUT) and Robert Mennen (GER) have wrapped up the 2013 Craft BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma with their first stage win at the eight-day stage race across the Alps. Team Topeak Ergon Racing, who finished as second in the overall ranking of the 16th Transalp edition, mastered the shortest stage of the week over 38.55km and 1,269 metres in elevation from Rovereto to Riva del Garda in 1:35:20.3 hours and thus was 2:15 minutes faster than the new champions Markus Kaufmann (GER) and Jochen Kaess (GER) of Centurion-Vaude 1, who came in second (1:37:35.9).
Reigning German Marathon Champion Kaufmann and his new team mate Kaess took home the 2013 title well deserved according to seven podium finishes, including three stage wins, at the second longest Transalp race of all times. Both racers completed the whole distance of 675.98km and 20,242 metres in elevation gain from Mittenwald to Lake Garda in 27:33:02.0 hours.
“We are super happy that we achieved our goal”, said Kaufmann after his arrival in Riva. “It was my dream to win this race ever since my first ever participation in 2008. It’s nice that it worked out with my new team mate.”
Kaess also could hardly believe his luck. “It’s an incredible feeling. We came here well prepared and worked perfectly together over the course of the eight stages. Words fail me. It’s just amazing,” said Kaess who claimed his career’s first Transalp title at his second participation after 2004.
Runner-up Alban Lakata experienced similar feelings last year, however, missed a repetition by 6:47 minutes (27:39:49.1). “The field was much stronger than last year, the race super hard,” explained the 2013 European Champion riding for Topeak Ergon Racing, who had to deal with several technical problems over the last days. However, the Austrian racer refused to accept this as an excuse.
Lakata rather acknowledged the performance of winning team Centurion-Vaude 1. “They definitely deserve the title. We weren’t really a match this year. In the end, you have to be pleased with the second rank, although I had quite a few this season already,” added Lakata who had finished the 2013 World Championships as well as the BIKE Four Peaks in the runner-up position, too.
The third rank of today’s race as well as in the overall ranking went to Karl Platt (GER) and Urs Huber (SUI) of Team Bulls 1 (1:38:28.5; 27:45:40.9).
Women title for Loevset and Bigham
Although the Pink Jerseys missed their eighth stage win by four seconds on overall ranking’s runner-ups Cornelia Hug (SUI) and Andreas Faessler (SUI) of Crazy Velo Shop Scott (2:07:28.7), Sally Bigham (GBR) and Borghild Loevset (NOR) of Topeak Ergon Racing comfortably claimed the 2013 Transalp title on the women’s side of things in 33:40:51.7 hours.
“Seven stage wins and the title! This is unbelievable,” cheered Borghild Loevset after an epic trip came to an end. As a result, the Norwegian racer got another stage race title under her belt after winning the BIKE Four Peaks a few weeks ago. Her team mate Bigham, the defending women’s Transalp champion, added: “It’s so much nicer to put some sun cream on and not being forced to worry about waterproofed clothing like we had to last year. It made our time in the mountains so much more fun,” said the 2013 World Championships runner-up.
Katrin Schwing (GER) and Lisa Pleyer (AUT) of Cancer Rehab St. Veit took third today (2:07:57.6) as well as in the women’s final standings.
Top-3 master teams dominate final stage
On side of the teams with a combined age of more than 80 years, the teams who claimed first, second and third in the final ranking also took over the podium of the last stage to Riva de Garda in the same order.
Carsten Bresser (GER) and Udo Boelts (GER) of Rocky Mountain/Centurion secured their seventh stage win (1:47:21.9) and thus the title ahead of overall second and third Johann Grassegger (GER) and Andreas Laner (ITA) of Jeep Scott (1:49:33.8) as well as Claudio Segata (ITA) and Piergiorgio Dellagiacoma (ITA) of Team Tecno MTB (1:50:22.9).
Due to their overall time of 29:57:20.8 hours, the Blue Leader Jerseys not only took first in the master category but also impressively placed in twelfth overall position.
Grand master leaders unbeaten
By bringing home their eighth stage win, Walter Platzgummer (ITA) and Gilberto Perini (ITA) of Naturns Scott-Torbado (1:48:28.1) earned the title in the classifier for the teams with a combined age of 100+ (31:18:29.6) thus being the only team which successfully kept a clean sheet in their category.
The stellar oldie pairing relegated Baerti Bucher (SUI) and Doug Brown (RSA) of Bixs nine-twelve-sixtyone (1:57:02.9) as well as Georg Niggl (GER) and Felix Weese (GER) of Craft and Friends (2:00:43.5) to second and third respectively in both, the day and overall ranking.
Stage win for Craft-Rocky Mountain mix | Title for Mountain Heroes
Regina Genser (GER) and Andreas Deutschendorf (GER) of Craft-Rocky Mountain 2 wrapped up the 16th Transalp edition with their first ever stage win in 1:56:20.0 hours.
The two Germans edged off Imogen Smith (AUS) and Mike Blewitt (AUS) of Subaru-MarathonMTB.com (1:57:54.8) as well as Christiane Cohsmann (GER) and Alexander Warthmann (GER) of Centurion-VauDe II (2:03:06.4) to second and third today but missed the top-3 in the final ranking.
The title in the mixed category went to today’s seventh ranked Kristin Aamodt (NOR) and Daniel Jung (ITA) of Mountain Heroes who had taken out the race due to six stage wins already (33:22:52.2).
Kerstin Brachtendorf (GER) and Ronald Andraczek (GER) of r2-bikecom MTB RACING as well as Subaru-MarathonMTB.com took second and third respectively.