After one of the most impressive prologues in marathon stage racing, the Perskindol Swiss Epic rolled into stage 1 on 13th September, with riders embarking on a 90km route with 3000m of climbing on their way to Leukerbad.
In the men’s category the BMC Mountainbike Racing Team I with Lukas Flückiger and Reto Indergand defended their leadership on the first long stage successfully, after their prologue victory yesterday. We will see in the course of the week, if Lukas Flückiger will follow in the footsteps of his brother and two times Swiss Epic winner Matthias.
For the moment, the “eternal second” of the past two years, Team CENTURION VAUDE with Jochen Käss and Daniel Geismayr, have taken their well-known position again, ready to attack at the right moment.
Nino Schurter and Matthias Stirnemann, SCOTT ODLO RACING TEAM, came 5th today, climbing on 6th place in the overall ranking.
Today’s women race was again dominated by Jolanda Neff and Alessandra Keller, Stöckli Pro Team, who were more than 11 minutes faster than Ariane Kleinhans and Corina Gantenbein. Esther Suess and Hielke Elferink are 3rd – and it turns out we may have underestimated Neff’s staying power for a stage race in our predictions. Time will tell!
Swiss Epic – through the categories
In the Masters category, Team Dani Schnider Sport is back in the lead, just like in 2015, and in Mixed Cornelia Hug and Adrian Ruhstaller have extended their lead beyond the tighter times of the prologue, with about 13 minutes on 2nd place. This is reminiscent of the 2015 race when our Subaru-MarathonMTB.com team extended a slim margin from the prologue to something healthier on stage 1. But will we see so much upheaval in this category again?
SWISS EPIC Men: Today’s Podium
1. BMC Mountainbike Racing Team, Lukas Flückiger & Reto Indergand, 4h 13min
2. CENTURION VAUDE, Daniel Geismayr & Jochen Käss, 4h 14min
3. TOPEAK ERGON RACING TEAM, Alban Lakata & Kristian Hynek, 4h 17min
SWISS EPIC Women: Today’s Podium
1. Stöckli Pro Team, Jolanda Neff & Alessandra Keller, 5h 06min
2. Team Spur Ötztal, Ariane Kleinhans & Corina Gantenbein, 5h 17min
3. Wheeler / Rocky Mountain, Esther Süss & Hielke Elferink, 5h 23min