The 15th edition of the Craft Bike Transalp augurs some high tension from July 14 thru 21. Besides several international top teams featuring the likes of Team Bulls, Topeak Ergon Racing or Multivan Merida Biking also the Stockli Pro Team will line up again with reigning Transalp champions Urs Huber and Konny Looser.
According to this, the goal of the two Swiss mountain bike pros, who surprised all by winning not only four out of eight 2011 stages at their first shared Transalp participation but also the whole race with a lead of some nine minutes after 670 kilometers and more than 21,000 meters in elevation gain, is pretty obvious.
“We want to repeat the win,” says Urs Huber, with 26 years of age the older of the two marathon specialists, while his three years younger team mate adds that “that’s the goal for sure. Everything else would be a disappointing result.”
However, both, the reigning Swiss Marathon Champion as well as the last two year’s U23 European Marathon Champion can imagine that it will be a hard task to meet those high expectations.
Especially Looser, who faces his first elite year, knows why: “There were many riders who didn’t expect that I – being pretty young – could persevere the high pace over the whole distance and eight days. I guess we proved them wrong. But due to this, no one will allow us to pull away this time.”
To be the #1 again, the training for this mountain bike calendar’s major event plays a big role.
Although both note that they are full on target, Huber lost some vital training units End of April, beginning of May due to a flu (“It’s been important that I had enough time to recover, which I actually did.”). And also Looser admits to be a little bit out of shape right now.
“I’m still waiting for my peak form. Although it’s getting better and better, it seems that I can’t put it all together in the races.”
Still, both have enough time to gain the necessary stamina and fitness which will be important for being able to win the Transalp again; the more so as the battle for the crown is estimated to be a tough and close one this year.
“Team balance is all that matters,” explains Huber. “We definitely benefitted of being equipollent. In every other team there was at least one team member who faltered at least once. But although I reckon that the most top teams won’t show any weakness this time, we will be hard to beat this year again.”