After yesterday’s misadventures Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek have claimed victory on the fourth stage of the 2015 Craft BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma. Topeak Ergon Racing 1 conquered the 89.95 km and 2,538 metres of climbing from Sillan across the Italian border to Alleghe in 3:34.18,7 and were able to make up some time and ranks in the overall standings.
About two minutes later, Team Bulls pros Karl Platt and Urs Huber finished the most beautiful stage of this year’s Transalp race which led though the Dolomites, a World Cultural Heritage into the Veneto region, as second ranked duo.
The third rank went to Markus Kaufmann and Jochen Kaess who came in after 3:37.03,3 hours and had lost some precious time just four kilometres before the finish line due to a flat on Kaufmann’s bike.
The race leaders had also lost contact to the top teams in the climb from Toblach to Passo Cimabanche already due to a flat for Kaess.
“The others tried to capitalize on it and pushed it,” explained Kaufmann after the race. “It was a real time trial for us and compared to the last two years the toughest defending of our overall lead. The level is insane”, added the defending champion.
Although both were able to close the gap again and also – alongside Topeak Ergon – set the pace in the climb to the real mountain of the stage called Rifugio Averau later on another flat in the last descent threw a spanner in their comeback plans.
Nevertheless, Centurion-Vaude 1 is still leading the pack in the overall classification with almost six minutes on second ranked racers Platt and Huber.
Today’s winners of Topeak Ergon Racing were able to jump into third position as they benefitted from technical defects Centurion-Vaude 2 had to handle.
“It’s for sure some kind of redemption after we lost the Transalp yesterday. It’s nice that we were able to make the race for the podium a little bit more exciting again with our win. I hope we can tie on to this tomorrow and maybe bring home some more stage wins,” said reigning marathon world champion Alban Lakata in the finish area of Alleghe.
Category leaders underline their strength
In all other categories the best-ranked teams were able to extend their lead in the standings.
Masters leaders Massimo de Bertolis (ITA) and Andreas Laner (ITA) of Wilier Force Squadra Corse 1 (4:02.59,0), Grand Masters leaders Hansjuerg Gerber (SUI) and Baerti Bucher (SUI) of Bikeholidays.ch/BiXS as well as the fastest women in the field, Sally Bigham (GBR) and Christina Kollmann (AUT) of Topeak Ergon Racing (4:27.52,3), are still undefeated.
In the mixed category Team Herzlichst Zypern 1 consisting of national champion Silke Schmidt (GER) and Sascha Schwindling (GER) brought home their third stage win (4:16.22,5).
Tomorrow’s fifth stage of the Craft BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma is the only one of this year’s routing which has been part of the show before (2011 and 2013). The field has to pedal 73.28 km and 3,137 of climbing from Alleghe to San Martino di Castrozza. The start is scheduled for 9 AM CET.