The 26-year old German racer Simon Stiebjahn won today´s first Giglach Lakes stage at the 19th Alpentour Trophy ahead of the two Autrians Hermann Pernsteiner and Daniel Geismayr. Alban Lakata came in fourth and KOM winner Daniele Mensi (ITA) finished in fifth place. In the women´s, last year´s winner Christina Kollmann won ahead of fellow Austrian Angelika Tazreiter and Yana Belomoina (UKR).
400 participants from 30 countries are taking on the four-day stage race in Styria. The first stage was to the Giglach Lakes on 2000m via the Hochwurzen peak, where a “King/Queen of the Mountain” classification was held.
A completely surprised Simon Stiebjahn from Germany won today, saying at the finish that he didn’t think he would do so well at all today. “My goal was to race into the top ten, because generally I’m better in the cross-country competitions. But today I was able to get away on the second climb and stay ahead on the downhill into the finish”, said the 26-year old. For the upcoming days he hadn’t made any plans as such, as his focus had already been on the upcoming World Championships in Singen, however, he was very happy, he added.
Austrians are content with Alpentour Trophy result
The Austrian Marathon National Champion Daniel Geismayr and team mate Hermann Pernsteiner crossed the finish line only 22 seconds behind Stiebjahn and said that they are confident for the days ahead. Says Geismayr, “I’m looking forward to the next three days – Hermann and I were ahead on the first climb by 30 seconds and really were the stronger riders on the ascent. However, we lost a bit of time in the rocky section up the top. The others could follow our tracks in the soft terrain and close the gap to us, so we had to make do with second and third today. But we only have a couple of seconds to make up for, so anything can happen really.”
Also Alban Lakata was not worried, “With my gap of only 31 seconds I can be happy.” He said of his race that he had chosen tyres for wet weather which had cost him a bit of time on the uphills.
Local contender Kollmann wins the women’s division
In the women’s last year’s winner Christina Kollmann claimed a gap of 7:49 minutes with her stage win ahead of fellow Austrian Angelika Tazreiter.
“I’m very happy, this was a perfect first stage for me. There’s strong competition here and we stayed together for quite a while. But then I was able to get away on the climb. I know the trails around here very well and didn’t make any mistakes on the descents”, she said. Orignally from the Schladming Region she said that she was looking forward to the Hauser Kaibling Stage on Saturday, “That’s my local mountain, I know every meter up there.”
Second-placed Angelika Tazreiter said that she had been very well prepared ahead of the start of today’s technical stage. Her good result did surprise here though, “The second place came out of the blue, every day is different. Today was tough because it’s so wet up there and the big field of riders is something you don’t experience every day either. I’m in a good spot for the coming days.”
With tomorrow’s second and longest stage the event’s Queen Stage is on the menu: 68km and 3100vm will take the riders from Schladming high up to the Türlwandhut at the Dachstein Mountain and through the town of Ramsau. Race start is at 10am.
1. #11 Simon Stiebjahn (GER) / Team Bulls / 2:48:43
2. #15 Hermann Pernsteiner (AUT) / Picher Racing Team / 2:49:05 +00:22
3. #3 Daniel Geismayr (AUT) / Centurion Vaude / 2:49:05 +00:22
4. #6 Alban Lakata (AUT) / Team Topeak Ergon / 2:49:14 +00:31
5. #22 Daniele Mensi (ITA) / Soudal Leecougan Racing Team / 2:49:14 +00:57
1. #105 Christine Kollmann (AUT) / Team TEXPA-SIMPLON / 3:20:07
2. #115 Angelika Tazreiter (AUT) / Polizei SV Graz – Bigtime Maishofen / 3:27:56 +07:49
3. #101 Yana Belomoina (UKR) / CST Sandd American Eagle MTB Racing / 3:31:32 +11:25
4. #121 Margot Moschetti (ITA) / CST Sandd American Eagle MTB Racing / 3:35:34 +15:27
5. #107 Nadine Rieder (GER) / AMG ROTWILD MTB RACING TEAM / 3:35:51 +15:44