The Bike Four Peaks has finished brilliantly for the Scott team, with Franz Hofer (ITA) claiming victory on the final stage. The Team Scott racer mastered the 71.15km and 2,122 metres of climbing from Nassfeld/Troepolach to Weissensee in 2:57.22,1 hours with Texpa-Simplon athletes Christian Schneidawind (GER, +4,5s), Wolfgang Mayer (GER, +4,7s) and Matthias Leisling (GER, +5,4s) to second, third and fourth, respectively, in a finish sprint.
Hofer’s team mate and wearer of the yellow jersey Juri Ragnoli (ITA, 2:57.41,7) wrapped up the rainy stage in fifth position bringing home the title from his very first stage race participation. The 26-year-old completed the total distance of the four-day event (270.83km, 8,861m) in 11:29.51,1 hours.
Defending champion Christoph Sauser (SUI, Specialized Racing) who lost some time due to two flat tyres on the downhill to the east shore of Lake Weissensee today, finished his career’s last stage race as runner-up (+5.32,8min) with winner of best climber category ‘Peak Hero’ Uwe Hochenwarter (AUT, Bikearena Obertraun, +8.03,3min) rounding out the overall podium as third.
The ‘Speed Hero’ title for the fastest racer in the MAXXIS Enduro Challenge went to Andreas Hartmann (GER) of Craft-Rocky Mountain which also came out successful as best team of the Four Peaks.
However, it was Team Scott with the most reasons to celebrate in the finish area. Juri Ragnoli said after the final stage which saw some nervous racing and plenty of attacks on the yellow jersey: “I’m very happy that it worked out with the title. It was a perfect day for the team. Franz [Hofer] was very strong in the last downhill. I knew that he would win.”
Hofer who had supported his team mate over the last days on his way to the title was also pleased with today’s outcome; especially as the win was his redemption for a disappointing news:
“I got informed yesterday that I won’t be part of the team of 14 representing Italy at the up-coming world championships. Today, I had the right answer for this decision.”
While Hofer will miss the major event in Groeden, Italy Christoph Sauser is optimistic for the up-coming weekend which will feature his very last race as a pro:
“I’m very pleased with how my shape developed over the past days. I got better and better every day. The level was very high, and I was in control of everything except the first day.”
Van Paassen triumphs in women’s event
Sanne van Paassen (NED) has brought home the title in the women category in 14:21.00,2 hours. After three consecutive stage wins the Dutch racer of Specialized secured her victory by finishing in second position today (3:32.16,6) right behind of overall second ranked Austrian Angelika Tazreiter (SV Kuernberg, 3:29.41,1).
“The second rank is OK. I’m happy that I defended the yellow bib,” said van Paassen.
Cornelia Hug (SUI, Crazy Velo Shop Scott) placed third on the stage and overall ranking.
In the masters and grand masters category also the leading racers came out successfully. In the classification for male participants with an age of 40+ Udo Boelts (GER, Craft Rocky Mountain) secured his title coming in second behind of Hansjuerg Gerber (SUI, bikeholiday.ch).
Heinz Zoerweg (AUT, KTM Rad.Sport.Szene Ausseerland) also claimed the title in the 50+ category by finishing second today behind of Reinhard Braun (GER, RSV Fischerbach).
All results are available online.