Planai Time Trial – 14km / 1100m
Yesterday’s victory took its toll on the Columbian rider Leonardo Paez. During today’s second stage of the 16th Int. Alpentour Trophy in Schladming he came third and lost too much time against the Italian stage winner Tony Longo, who takes over the lead overall. The Austrian Hermann Pernsteiner had a great race and placed sixth. In the women’s classification the Belgian National Champion Githa Michiels secured herself the stage win on today’s 14km time trial onto the Planai mountain.
Again perfect weather conditions at the spectacular second stage of the 16th Alpentour Trophy and its 14km time trial (1,100m elevation) from the Planai Stadium to the Schafalm Hut. And the crowd high above Schladming welcomed a grinning Italian! Tony Longo who was third yesterday, clocked in a 52:36 minute record race time and put the Swiss rider Lukas Buchli into second place by 1:12 minutes. Third with a gap of 1:15 was the overall leader from yesterday, Leonardo Paez (COL). The Austrian Hermann Pernsteiner was sixth with a gap of 1:44 behind the Dutch rider Hans Becking and double-World Champion Roel Paulissen.
“Today was my first mountain time trial and my legs felt great. Right from the beginning I found my rhythm and was able to keep up a good pace”, said the happy reigning Italian MTB Marathon National Champion Longo at the finish. At the 2009 Alpentour Trophy the rider from the Trentino region finished in third and since has proven his talent at numerous Worldcup races. In contrast to Longo’s strong performance was the Columbian Paez’ race today, “Today I rode at my limit. My legs were heavy from yesterday’s stage.” The old-hand Roel Paulissen from Belgium faced a quarrel of a different kind: a technical mistake right at the start slowed him down and caused him a third spot in the overall classification behind Longo and Paez (33 seconds gap), “I should have checked out today’s track beforehand. The ascents were so steep and lighter tires would have been a big advantage.”
Pernsteiner in top form
The young Austrian Hermann Pernsteiner completed a very ambitious stage once again, “Sure, I still felt tired from yesterday’s first stage, but after the first steep initial climbs I got into it today. I’m absolutely content with my result and hope that I’ll be able to defend my top-five overall placing until Sunday.”
Female stage winner from Belgium
The reigning Belgian National Champion Githa Michiels was unbeatable today. She won with a gap of 1:15 minutes ahead of the Ukrainian overall women’s leader Yana Belomoina. Third was the Swiss rider Milena Landtwing. In the overall classification the Ukrainian National and European Champion as well as World Cup winner Belomoina is ahead of Landtwing with an impressive lead of 7:17 minutes and 8:43 minutes ahead of Michiels. “I lost my chances to win the race overall yesterday, because of bad stomach cramps. I’m racing for the second overall place now. Unless Yana still has a really bad day I think the top spot is out of reach now”, said the Belgian stage winner Michiels today.
Dachstein mountain in tomorrow’s stage
Tomorrow’s third stage of the 16th Int. Alpentour Trophy starts again at 10am at the Planai Stadium. With 69km and 2,800m of elevation it will be the longest stage in the race and will take riders high up to the Türlwand Hut at the foot of the Dachstein mountain and then on to the picturesque towns of Ramsau, Pichl and back to the finish in Schladming.
Thanks to Sportograf for all photos.
All results of the second stage: http://www.alpen-tour.at/52.0.html