Kristian Hynek and Martin Stošek won the 2nd stage of the 2020 Swiss Epic, after timing their attack to perfection, climbing away from the rest of the leading group inside the final 10 kilometres. While Future Cycling Northwave won the stage, they could not do enough to unseat the race leaders, SCOTT-SRAM.
The second stage of the 2020 Swiss Epic took the teams from Laax to Arosa. It was a day backloaded with climbing, which suited the strengths of the Czech pair, Kristian Hynek and Martin Stošek. The Future Cycling Northwave team claimed the stage honours and moved up one general classification position in the process. SCOTT-SRAM, however, did enough to extend their overall advantage over the rest of the Elite men’s field.
Nino Schurter and Lars Forster started the stage like a team knowing they would be put on the defensive later in the day. The SCOTT-SRAM riders roared from the blocks, quickly establishing a 1-minute lead.
In a unique turn of events, they were joined by Simon Andreassen, of Specialized Racing. The young Dane shadowed the leaders for much of the stage; wracking up time penalties and a warning from the race officials for exceeding the 2-minute separation rule, which should have kept him closer to his partner Jaroslav Kulhavý.
A large chase group formed behind Schurter and Forster; led in turns by Centurion Vaude, Future Cycling Northwave, BMC Fischer and the BULLS Heroes. Through collaboration, they were able to keep the deficit manageable and eventually reel SCOTT-SRAM in before the foot of the day’s major climb.
Passing Service Station 2, at the 51-kilometre mark, four teams were in direct contention for stage honours. They were Centurion Vaude, SCOTT-SRAM, Future Cycling Northwave and BULLS Heroes. The BULLS Youngsters and Maloja Pushbikers were 30 seconds off the pace, while Trek Pirelli 1 was a further 8 seconds back.
On the 20-kilometre-long climb that gained 1 000 metres from Chur to Rot Tritt, Daniel Geismayr initially set the pace. The Austrian’s efforts looked to be putting pressure on Forster in particular, but the Swiss rider resolutely clung to Ben Zwiehoff’s wheel.
The non-technical nature of the descent from Rot Tritt to Arosa aided Hynek and Stošek. The Czech team maintained the advantage, which they held at the summit, over SCOTT-SRAM and Centurion Vaude.
“Sure, after yesterday when we were very frustrated, it feels good to win today” Hynek confessed, after crossing the finish line. “Yesterday we were feeling good on the climbs but lost minutes and minutes in the technical downhills. Today was much, much, better. We expected the scenario of how the stage unfolded. And being able to plan for it paid off.”
Future Cycling Northwave’s winning time of 3 hours, 17 minutes and 3 seconds was 36 seconds faster than SCOTT-SRAM’s time.
2020 Swiss Epic ResultsStage 2 Results:
Future Cycling Northwave: Kristian Hynek & Martin Stošek (3:17:03)
SCOTT-SRAM: Nino Schurter & Lars Forster (3:17:39 | +36)
Centurion Vaude: Daniel Geismayr & Ben Zwiehoff (3:17:47 | +44)
BULLS Heroes: Urs Huber & Simon Stiebjahn (3:19:49 | +2:46)
Trek-Pirelli 1: Fabian Rabensteiner & Samuele Porro (3:21:52 | +4:49)
General Classification after Stage 2
SCOTT-SRAM: Nino Schurter & Lars Forster (6:18:48)
Centurion Vaude: Daniel Geismayr & Ben Zwiehoff (6:20:21 | +1:33)
Trek-Pirelli 1: Fabian Rabensteiner & Samuele Porro (6:24:20 | +5:32)
Future Cycling Northwave: Kristian Hynek & Martin Stošek (6:25:37 | +6:49)
BULLS Heroes: Urs Huber & Simon Stiebjahn (6:29:47 | +10:59)
Specialized win stage two of the Swiss Epic in women’s
Annika Langvad and Haley Batten raced to a second successive Swiss Epic stage victory on Stage 2 of the 2020 race. The Specialized Racing pair were dominant in the singletrack and clung onto their advantage on the long final climb to extend their general classification lead.
The pair exerted their dominance on the singletracks in the first 50 kilometres of the stage and then Batten gritted her teeth on the 20-kilometre-long main climb. By digging deep, she aided Langvad in the bid to hold off the fast-finishing Centurion Vaude Radon team and win Stage 2.
The stage started in Laax and traced the Rhine Gorge in a singletrack-filled opening couple of hours. In that terrain, as they did on Stage 1, Langvad and Batten proved unstoppable. They were, however, joined by Nicole Koller. Koller’s partner, Sina Frei, withdrew shortly after the start, due to a knee injury she sustained in a fall the day before. This left Koller to race solo. The Swiss rider was happy to showcase her technical skills alongside the women in the orange leader jerseys, but she could also not interfere with the way the race unfolded. So, she had to follow rather than set the pace.
By the 20-kilometre mark, Specialized Racing’s advantage was 1 minute, over the day’s surprise package the Maloja Pushbikers. Linda Indergand and Karla Stepanova had struggled on the opening day but Stage 2 proved more to their liking. Nonetheless, they, like Centurion Vaude Radon and Andermatt Spur behind them, were unable to close the gap to Langvad and Batten.
At the foot of the day’s major climb, which ascended from Chur to the highest point of the day at 2 007 metres, Specialized Racing held a near 5-minute advantage on Stefanie Dohrn and Elisabeth Brandau. The 20-kilometre-long pass gained nearly 1 000 metres in elevation, which was tipped more in the favour of the chasers by the fact that the first half was on asphalt. Centurion Vaude Radon passed Indergand and Stepanova within the first 5 kilometres of the ascent. Then went to work reducing the lead of Langvad and Batten. In total, they managed to knock the best part of 3 minutes off Specialized Racing’s advantage. It was not enough to bring them in sight of the race leaders, however. Langvad and Batten could thus descend, without significant pressure from the summit, at Rot Tritt, to the finish line, in Arosa.
By the time they crossed the line they had extended their lead once more. Specialized – Racing’s time of 4 hours, 11 minutes and 17 seconds was 2 minutes and 21 seconds faster than that of Centurion Vaude Radon.
2020 Swiss Epic ResultsStage 2 Results
1. Specialized – Racing: Annika Langvad & Haley Batten (4:11:17)
2. Centurion Vaude Radon: Stefanie Dohrn & Elisabeth Brandau (4:13:38 | +2:21)
3. Maloja Pushbikers: Linda Indergand & Karla Stepanova (4:19:24 | +8:07 )
4. Andermatt Spur: Ariane Lüthi & Alice Pirard (4:20:19 | +9:02)
5. jb BRUNEX Felt Factory Team 2: Sophie von Berswordt-Wallrabe & Jacqueline Schneebeli (4:21:53 | +10:36)
General Classification Results after Stage 2
1. Specialized – Racing: Annika Langvad & Haley Batten (8:00:14)
2. Centurion-Vaude Radon: Stefanie Dohrn & Elisabeth Brandau (8:15:37 | +15:23)
3. Andermatt Spur: Ariane Lüthi & Alice Pirard (8:18:55 | +18:41)
4. Maloja Pushbikers: Linda Indergand & Karla Stepanova (8:23:12 | +22:58) 5. jb Brunex Felt Factory Team: Nina Benz & Kim Ames (8:25:00 | +24:46)