The first stage of the 18th Alpentour Trophy saw two Italians race onto the podium in Schladming today: under cloudy skies and in wet racing conditions the Italian Marathon Champion Samuele Porro won ahead of Daniele Mensi. The Austrian Hermann Pernsteiner was third and fellow local rider Christina Kollmann won the women’s classification on the fast Hauser Kaibling stage.
Samuele Porro, fourth overall last year at the Alpentour Trophy, took out today’s marathon stage via the Hauser Kaibling with an almost identical finishing time. In 2:18:02 he secured himself the overall lead at the four-day stage race ahead of fellow Italian Daniele Mensi, who finished right behind him in 2:18:21. In third was Hermann Pernsteiner (+0:00:25) ahead of Daniel Gaismayr (+0:00:27) and Kristian Hynek (+0:00:46) who finished together with team colleague Alban Lakata (+0:00:47).
“It was pretty muddy and slippery on the downhills and I rode very cautiously, because my tyre profile was not ideal in today’s conditions”, said Lakata at the finish.
Last year’s Champion, Tony Longo of Italy was eighth on today’s stage ahead of the Alpentour Trophy old hand Alexey Medvedev from Russia.
More than 2400m of elevation had to be conquered and it was not cold high up in the mountains, despite the dense cloud cover, said a beaming Porro. “I pushed really hard on the climbs and gave it all on the downhills”, said the Italian. He had known what to expect and as a marathon rider you had to expect and deal with any condition, he added.
In the women’s elite category, the Austrian Christina Kollmann won in 2:54:51 with a gap of almost nine and a half minutes to Karen Brower from The Netherlands and Sharon Laws from Spain (+0:15:22).
Tomorrow’s 58km second stage will take our racers high up onto 2000m via the Hochwurzen mountain to the Giglach Lakes, where still a few snow fields are expected to await them.