By bringing home his second consecutive stage win at the 2012 CRAFT BIKE TRANS GERMANY Christoph Sauser has impressively underlined his ambitions for the title three-peat. The Swiss pro from Specialized Racing mastered the 78.39 km and 2,295 meters in elevation from Pfronten, Germany, to Lermoos, Austria, in 3:05.39,1 and was thus about one minute faster than his last year’s win at the same place. The reigning Marathon World Champion relegated Matthias Leisling of Black Tusk Racing to the second spot (3:05.52,9) beating his German rival by 14 seconds in an exciting finish. German Marathon Champion Markus Kaufmann of Centurion Vaude rounded out the podium as third (3:06.07,5).
Due to his win on the second out of four Trans Germany legs, the 2000 Olympic Bronze medalist was able to extend his lead in the overall ranking; especially as so far second ranked Matthias Bettinger (Centurion Vaude) finished in 14th position today loosing some four minutes on the men in the Yellow Leaderjersey.
Sauser now leads the elite ranking by two minutes on South Africa’s David George (Nedbank Team 360life), who came in seventh today but was able to cement his lead in the best climber classifier for the Green Jersey of the Bayerischen Staatsforsten powered by fi’zi:k having earned 45 out of a maximum of 100 points so far. Thomas Dietsch (FRA) of Team Bulls, today’s fifth ranked athlete, moved up to third position of the ranking being three minutes behind of Sauser.
According to this, “Susi” Sauser was pretty pleased about the outcome of a very edgy race. Over the course of the day, the 36-years-old from Sigriswil had to close the gap to several breakaways and wasn’t able to set an attack himself against his seven rivals in the leading group until the very last descent.
“The level of riding is outstanding this year, there is no resting at all. Today it was a back and forth and also very tactical. But I was able to break away when I attacked in the final downhill.”
Downwards to Lermoos, Sauser took advantage of his technical abilities and his knowledge of the terrain: “It was right the same spot where I attacked last year. I knew that the finish would be pretty cross country like with a lot of shifting involved. I finally was able to gain some more seconds.”
Those seconds made the top aspirant for this year’s Trans Germany crown feel more secure: “That’s very important. You can have a flat on the very last day and lose everything very quick.”
Elisabeth Brandau has clinched her first 2012 Trans Germany stage win today. The Schoenaich resident, who won the four-day event two years ago, mastered today’s distance in 3:30.36 hours, and was thus 1:45 minutes faster than the women in the Pink-Red Leaderjersey, who placed second in 3:32.18,8 hours.
However, Milena Landtwing (SUI) of Centurion Vaude has still a comfortable lead of some eight minutes on Brandau, who took a giant stride in the ranking taking over the runner-up position just squeezing in ahead of her notebooksbilliger.de team mate Silke Schmidt, who came in third today (3:38.27,5).
With her parforce run, the 26-years-old was also able to live down yesterday. Physical problems had rendered a better performance impossible.
“I didn’t feel good at all,” said Brandau. “I had some decent back problems and had to walk in between quite often. Today was way better although I still noticed my back. However, I was able to outpace Milena (Landtwing) in the last climb after we had been head to head for the whole race before.”
Other than Brandau, Pia Sundstedt of CRAFT – Rocky Mountain didn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. Already yesterday, the defending champion suffered from a bad stomach which didn’t get better over night. According to this, the Finnish racer was finally forced to drop out of the race.
Andreas Laner (ITA) of Team Scott has secured his first Trans Germany stage win today in 3:11.40,9 hours. The South Tyrolean thus was two seconds faster than Andreas Strobel of Centurion Vaude (3:11.42,8).
Strobel, the man in the Blue Leaderjersey of the 40+ classifier, was in turn 2:25 minutes ahead of today’s third ranked rider Carsten Bresser of CRAFT – Rocky Mountain (3:14.07,9) who is still his strongest pursuer in the overall ranking.
In the category for the oldest participants, Walter Perkmann was again unbeatable. The CRAFT and Friends rider from South Tyrol needed 3:36.14,6 hours for the second Trans Germany stage and thus relegated – just like yesterday – Henrik Cohen (DEN, 3:41.00,8) of Team Geels and Werner Hoepperger (AUT, 3:44.17,1) of Team Tiroler Zugspitz Arena to second and third.
Full results can been seen online at the Datasport website