The mixed category has received a prominent entry for the 2015 Craft BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma. Austria’s very own Winter Olympic athletes Benjamin Karl and Veronika Windisch, who got to know each other during their service for the Austrian Armed Forces, will tackle the seven-day mountain bike stage race (July 19th thru 25th) for the first time this summer.
Although both come from different sports, the popular duo should not be underestimated.
While two-time Olympic medallist Karl (silver 2010, parallel giant slalom; bronze 2014, parallel slalom) gears up each summer for the next winter with the help of his mountain bikes, former short track specialist Windisch already chucked her ice skates in to fully focus on her cycling career.
In 2014, the 33-year-old joined the Graz based pro team ASKÖ ARBÖ and brought home some great results right away. After she finished in sixth position at the Austrian championships she clinched the Styrian championships and the MTB Eliminator Weiz last year.
“I will change my training now for the Transalp. The Schöckel (a mountain 15 km north of Graz) is the perfect terrain for my preparations,” says Windisch.
The four-time world champion from Lower Austria is also no stranger to the world of cycling. Karl already competed three times in the Race Around Austria and is a multiple finisher of the Salzkammergut Trophy and the Dolomitenmann.
“While the winter is all about my snowboards, the summer is all about my bikes. After my participation in last year’s Race Around Austria I was looking for a new challenge and I found it with the Transalp,” explains the 29-year-old.
And there is even something more: ”I earned my first money in the world of cycling. I worked as a mechanic in a bike shop and also as a team rider.” A third rank finish at the U15 national championships equalled his first ever prize money cheque.
Want more details on Transalp? See our event page.