On the first day of the 18th Craft BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma, Karl Platt and Urs Huber have stormed into the yellow jerseys. After 101.88 km and 2,260 m of climbing from Ruhpolding, Germany to Saalfelden/Leogang, Austria and 3:29.34,1 hours in the saddle, Team Bulls 1 came out victorious of a sprint finish for the stage win edging off Topeak Ergon racers Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek to the runner-up position.
Daniel Geismayr and Hannes Pernsteiner of Centurion Vaude 2 rounded out the podium as third (+ 1,7 sec) with their team mates and defending champions Markus Kaufmann and Jochen Kaess placing fourth (+ 4,4 sec).
The leading group of four teams, which had a tight fight on the last, slight uphill into the finish at Saalfelden/Leogang, had been able to already break away in the first climb to the famous Winklmoos-Alm.
“But in the descent, the chasing group was able to come back again”, said Karl Platt after the race. “In the second climb to Loferer Alm, things got more intense and selective again. That was a quick one.”
After working well together over the long false flat to the finish, the Team Bulls pros had the best outcome in the sprint finish.
“It was a very tactical race today, either very fast or very slow. I knew we would have the last punch in a photo finish. The others might be stronger in the climbs but we have more power. We seized the moment and brought home the yellow jerseys,” explained Platt, a seven-time Transalp winner who races his 15th Transalp this year.
“Earning a win at my anniversary is very special. I won my very first Transalp stage 15 years ago,” re-called the 37-year old from Osthofen after his career’s 38th stage win at the Alps crossing classic.
While Platt was happy about the win, second rank marathon world champion Alban Lakata was also very pleased with the result:
“This is what we were hoping for. We aimed for the podium but didn’t really wanted to earn the yellow jerseys as this would mean a lot of pressure for the next days. Everything went as planned. It would be nice if we could tie on to this over the next couple of days.”
Topeak Ergon Racing best women team
It’s been a statement which could have been posted by Lakata’s teammates Sally Bigham or Christina Kollmann. The Topeak Ergon ladies might only race together in a team since this March, but they definitely dominated today’s women’s classification in 4:05.07,2 hours.
26 minutes behind of the main favourites for the women’s title, Ann-Katrin Hellstein and Bettina Uhlig of BQ Cycling Team/Sportpark Freiburg (4:31.19,4) took the second rank while Barbara Liardet and Stéphanie Gutknecht of Rochat Cycles/Cyclone Sport followed in third position (4:36.37,3).
In the masters category (combined team age of 80+) defending champions from Italy, Massimo de Bertolis and Andreas Laner of Wilier Force Squadra Corse 1 came in first (3:53.09.0). Less than one minute behind: German racers Christoph Listmann and Michael Anthes of BIKE Magazin (3:54.07,3).
In the grand masters classification (combined team age of 100+) the two main aspirants for the title were able to clinch the opening stage: Swiss Hansjuerg Gerber and Baerti Bucher of Bikeholiday.ch/BiXS impressed in 3:53.02,6 hours.
In the mixed category, Silke Schmidt and Sascha Schwindling of the German Team Herzlichst Zypern 1 mastered the first stage in 4:00.23,4 hours going into the second day with an advantage of 4:03,3 minutes over second ranked US racers Mary McConneloug and Michael Broderick of Kenda-Intense (4:04.26,7).
Tomorrow’s second stage of the 2015 Craft BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma will lead over 64.34 km and 2,405 metres of climbing from Saalfelden/Leogang to Mittersill.