Markus Kaufmann and Jochen Käß have won the sixth stage from Kaltern to Trento at the Craft Bike Transalp. Centurion Vaude 1 completed the 98.25 km and 2,894 metres of climbing in 4:07:37.4 extending their lead over third ranked team mates Daniel Geismayr and Hannes Genze (4:10:37.4) in the overall ranking to 10:44 minutes. Second place went to Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek of Topeak Ergon Racing (4:08:49.5) again, and they were able to firm up their third rank in the overall ranking (+18:55) against fourth placed Team Bulls 1 with Karl Platt and Urs Huber who are already 21:45 minutes behind of the Yellow Jerseys.
The decisive moment for the stage win took place in the last, small but steep climb to Monte Calisio which Kaufmann and Käß had entered together with Lakata and Hynek.
Before, the two teams had been in a bigger breakaway group which got reduced team by team when Lakata upped the tempo in the first long climb via Truden to Valdonega. A bunch of racers tried to catch up again in the following long downhill via Lago Santo, Sovina and Palu to Lavis. But when Centurion Vaude 1 and Topeak Ergon tackled the last ascent again, their pursuers had to accept defeat.
Same for Topeak Ergon when Lakata couldn’t counter the attack launched by the Yellow Jerseys who opened the door wide to a back-to-back title win by bringing home their 2014 third stage win. “We stayed close to Alban’s back wheel and were aiming for the last climb. When we noticed that he got into problems we went for it, extended the lead and nailed it,” said Kaufmann who warns against an early celebration.
“We haven’t won anything yet. We first have to reach the finish line in Riva. A lot of things can happen. But we are in a good mood. If we don’t have a technical defect I don’t think we will lose the title.”
Crazy Velo Shop Scott close to career’s first
Although Cornelia Hug and Andrea Fässler lost the stage today against their main rivals for the title from Austrian Team Nakita Powermums with Silke Schrattenecker and Barbara Mayer after 5:12:21.5 with only 0.6 seconds, the main aspirants for the Transalp crown are close to their career’s first win with 30:07 minutes advantage over their competitors – with only one last stage to go. Sarah Bosch and Danièle Troesch of Mountain Heroes rounded out the podium as third also sitting in third position of the overall ranking.
While Massimo De Bertolis and Andreas Laner of AIL Trentino won their sixth consecutive stage win in the Masters category, the leading Mixed and Senior-Masters teams missed their six-peat. The wearers of the Orange Leader Jerseys Sally Bigham and Ben Thomas of Topeak Ergon Racing saw second placed team Germans Silke Schmidt and Sascha Schwindling of Herzlichst Zypern I (4:49:14.6) win the stage – coming in 1.2 seconds in front of the race leaders. In the Senior-Masters category, Henrik Cohen and Thomas Aaboe Nielsen of Scott Hareskov also celebrated their first stage win in 4:52:03.9.
The Transalp concludes with the seventh stage over 62.74 km and 2,325 metres of altitude from Trento to Riva del Garda which also features two tough climbs.
Check first official results online.