Karl Platt and Tim Böhme have clinched the opening stage of the 2012 Craft Bike Transalp from Oberammergau, Germany, to Imst, Austria, thus approving that the team management made the right decision by reconfiguring its team pairings. Team Bulls 1 mastered the 97.80 km and 2,215 meters in elevation as fastest duo claiming the Yellow Leaderjerseys in the time of 3:30.07,1 hours.
According to this, the two Germans relegated the also newly formed inter-team mix of Centurion-Vaude and BiXS iXS consisting of Markus Kaufmann (GER) and Thomas Stoll (SUI) with a lead of more than two minutes to the runner-up position (3:32.16,1).
Hannes Genze and Andreas Kugler, another German-Swiss combo riding for Multivan Merida Biking, rounded out the podium as third (3:34.12,8).
However, Genze and Kugler already lost more than four minutes on this year’s first Transalp leaders, who had attacked right at the first little climb of the eight-day event up to Mäuerle. Only Kaufmann and Stoll were able to keep up the pace and worked well together with their rivals thus keeping their lead on the pursuers constantly over some 30 seconds until the first real peak of the 2012 Transalp.
After the breakaways had entered the ascent to Marienbergjoch (1,810 m) the defending champions Urs Huber and Konny Looser caught up. But after Kaufmann and Stoll upped the tempo again, two-time U23 European Marathon Champion Looser struggled being forced to lose contact again. In the end, the Swiss high profile racers of Team Stöckli had to settle for the seventh rank with a gap of 9:24 minutes being one of many beaten pro teams today.
“Vaude and BiXS iXS did speed up things in the climb and we held the pace,” said Tim Böhme. “In the downhill, we finally were able to break away,” concluded the 30-years-old after his career’s second Transalp stage win.
His four years older comrade-in-arms Platt added: “We pushed it really hard in the downhill. Today was just amazing. We were both in super good shape. Coming back like this after a so far screwed up season is phenomenal and one of the best feelings I have ever had.”
Nevertheless, the seven-time Transalp winner and his team mate Böhme also took advantage of a flat Stoll had to handle right after the peak of Marienbergjoch. “We definitely lost some time but it could have been worse. Even so, I’m pretty pleased with the result. We work well together and are pretty strong in the climbs. I hope that we can benefit from that over the course of the next days,” said Stoll.
De Bertolis and Deho best master team
On the side of the teams with a total age of 80+, Italy’s very own Massimo de Bertolis and Marzio Deho demonstrated in a more than impressive style that both are – although being already 40+ – not part of the old guards yet. The former Marathon World Champion and his fellow countryman crossed the finish line in Imst as overall sixth ranked and thus fastest master team (3:36.12,7).
Team Adamello Ski thus has already an advantage of almost seven minutes on second-ranked Andreas Laner (ITA) and Johann Grasegger (GER) of Team Scott (3:43.10,0). 2011 master class Transalp champions from Austria, Silvio Wieltschnig and Heinz Zörweg of Cube Factory, came in third (3:48.05,8).
Landtwing and Bigham dominate women classifier
On the women’s side, Swiss race lady Milena Landtwing (Centurion-Vaude) and British Sally Bigham (Topeak Ergon Racing) met the expectations. Both arrived in Imst after 4:04.40,2 hours thus taking over the lead in the women’s table with an advantage of more than 16 minutes on runner-ups Catherine Williamson (GBR) and Louise Stopforth (RSA) of Bizhub-Fcf (4:20.49,7).
“We have been riding together several times now and really get together pretty well,” explained Landtwing who also added that “it went pretty smooth.”
Rank #3 went to Angelika Niklaus and Andrea Kuster of Swiss team Metz-Kraftwerk (4:50.50,7) who pedaled more than 45 minutes longer than the leading women.
Team Scott with successful counter in the senior master category
On the side of the teams with a total age of 100+, the main favorites for the 2012 Transalp title in the senior master class, Silvano Janes and Walter Platzgummer, did not allow themselves to be deterred by the fact of being some five minutes behind at the intermediate time taken at half of the climb to Marienbergjoch.
The two Italians of Team Scott attacked and got therefore awarded for their bravery crossing the finish line first after 4:03.11,2 hours in the saddle – only 1,6 seconds ahead of their so far leading rivals from Switzerland Bärti Bucher and Renato Burch.
Team BiXS Suisse lost the finish sprint thus being edged off to second in 4:03.12,8 hours. Former senior master Transalp winner Georg Niggl (GER) and his team mate Walter Perkmann (ITA) of CRAFT & Friends 7 finished in third position (4:14.43,9).
Black Tusk mix takes over lead
Katharina Alberti and Matthias Gärtner of the German mix Black Tusk Racing by toMotion have earned the Orange Leader Jerseys in a total time of 4:08.33,3 hours and have thus gained a pretty comfortable lead on Swiss mountain bikers Antonia Wipfli and Patrick Jauch of Team Gisler (4:11.03,3).
Italian team Press Riva del Garda with Lorenza Menapace and Claudio Segata came in third (4:16.57,5).
The second stage of the Craft Bike Transalp leads over 77.90 km and 3,274 meters in elevation through Tyrol and thus from Imst, Austria, to Ischgl, Austria, tomorrow.