Defending champions Markus Kaufmann and Jochen Kaess have clinched the queen’s stage of the 2015 Craft BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma due to a stunning attack in the climb to the Felbertauern pass also taking over the lead in the overall standings.
Team Centurion-Vaude 1 mastered the 118.29 km and 3,577 metres of climbing from Mittersill to Sillian in 5:09.19,5 hours relegating teammates Daniel Geismayr (AUT) and Hannes Pernsteiner (AUT) to the second rank (+ 4.29 min).
So far wearers of the yellow jerseys Karl Platt and Urs Huber of Team Bulls 1 came in third (5:16.03,0) also sitting third position of the ranking now with a gap of 6.38 minutes on the top-ranked duo.
Joint favourites for the title Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek of Topeak Ergon Racing had to handle several flats and therefore lost almost eleven minutes on the new race leaders currently placing fourth overall (+ 10.39 min).
Last year’s third ranked duo got this huge gap on their way to the top station behind of the Tauernkreuz where a neutralised section was placed due to the ongoing construction work and traffic lights down to Schildalm.
As a result, the third stage was over for them after one third of the distance as the top-ranked teams of the 18th Transalp edition entered the second timed section of 80 km to the finish line together, and also rolled in almost together. Only Team Bulls 1 lost contact on the last kilometres paying the price for a tough stage profile.
“It was our plan to attack today after the first two stages were decided in sprint finals. We wanted to break away in the long climb as well as the pushing section to the peak and were able to gain some advantage,” said Jochen Kaess in the finish area.
The 2013 and 2014 champions will enter the fourth stage tomorrow with a comfortable lead now looking good on their road to the first ever Transalp hat-trick in history.
Especially as their rivals of Topeak Ergon and Team Bulls were thrown back by technical issues. “This might play in our hands but we would prefer to battle it out in a sportive way”, explained Kaess. “But now we have the yellow jerseys and are happy with it. Let’s see how the story unfolds.”
Team Kenda-Intense victorious in mixed category
American racers Mary McConneloug and Michael Broderick have brought home their career’s first stage win today.
Team Kenda-Intense underlined its strength and role as top-pursuer of the orange leader jerseys in 6:22.33,4 hours almost cutting down their gap on Team Herzlichst Zypern 1 to the half.
However, Silke Schmidt and Sascha Schwindling, who rolled in as second in 6:28.01,4 are still leading the ranking by six minutes.
Category leaders win again
In the other categories the leading teams were able to keep their clean score cards.
Masters leaders Massimo de Bertolis and Andreas Laner of Italian squad Wilier Force Squadra Corse 1 finished in 5:44.59,9 while grand masters dominators Hansjuerg Gerber and Baerti Bucher of Bikeholiday.ch/BiXS locked in a time of 5:58.38,1.
On the women’s side of things, Sally Bigham and Christina Kollmann of Topeak Ergon Racing triumphed again (6:31.21,1).
Tomorrow’s fourth stage of the Craft BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma leads into Italy. The field has to pedal 89.95 km and 2,538 of climbing from Sillian to Alleghe. The start is scheduled for 9 AM CET.