Alban Lakata (AUT) and Robert Mennen (GER) have claimed victory at the worldwide well-respected mountain bike stage race Craft Bike Transalp. Team Topeak Ergon Racing secured their first Transalp title by coming in second on the 75.10 km long final stage (1,778 meters in elevation) of the eight-day event (3:09:47.7). The Austrian-German pairing mastered the total distance from Oberammergau, Germany, to Lake Garda, Italy (619.39 km; 21,091 meters in elevation) in 27:35:17.5 hours.
Urs Huber (SUI) and Konny Looser (SUI) celebrated their second consecutive stage win concluding the leg from Madonna di Campiglio to Riva del Garda in 3:08:23.0. Team Stöckli thus ranked third in the overall ranking (27:56:41.9).
Markus Kaufmann (GER) and Thomas Stoll (SUI) of Centurion-Vaude/BiXS iXS wrapped up the 2012 Transalp in the runner-up position (27:45:53.9).
Overall ranked fifth team Black Tusk Racing by toMotion Torsten Marx (GER) and Matthias Weisling (GER) rounded out the stage podium as third (3:12:08.1).
First ever Transalp win for Lakata and Mennen
When the two Germans came in, the dominating riders of this year’s Alps classic had already answered the first questions in the mixed zone. However, both, Lakata and Mennen, never had thought to be in that position after they had lost more than nine minutes on their rivals on the first race day due to several defects.
“When we faced two flat tires, I already had written up the title. So, we decided to go for some stage wins,” recapped Lakata.
“Seethed with anger, the 2010 Marathon World Champion and his comrade-in-arms stormed to four consecutive stage wins and also took over the overall lead which both defended until the very end of the stage race. According to this, a dream came true.
“A Transalp title is for sure something you should have to your belt being a marathon racers”, Lakata said. “I’m happy that we made it.”
His team mate Mennen was also very glad about the triumph, especially as it was his first ever Transalp participation. “I never thought of this at the beginning of the season. It’s amazing, that we did it!”
Landtwing and Bigham dominate women’s category
In comparison to the men’s classifier, Milena Landtwing (SUI) and Sally Bigham (GBR) earned their title on the women’s side in an even more impressive way. Team Centurion-Vaude/Topeak Ergon accomplished the feat of winning eight out of eight stages.
After the Swiss-British duo had won the final stage in the time of 3:49:38.5 hours, their first shared title had been fixed (33:18:54.2).
“Obviously we wanted to take the overall victory but we kind of liked maybe another team to take a stage win. It wasn’t to be. It’s nice to take all eight but it wasn’t necessarily what we set out to do. But it was great,” said Bigham.
Catherine Williamson (GBR) and Louise Stopforth (RSA) of Bizhub-fcf took the second spot in the overall ranking (37:46:38.3) as well as today’s second (4:16:39.9) while Andrea Kuster (SUI) and Angelika Niklaus (SUI) of team Metz-Kraftwerk were happy to bring home the third rank today (4:23:42.3) as well as in the overall women’s table (39:39:04.2).
De Bertolis and Deho undisputed master winner
Although coming in “only” second in today’s master ranking (3:20:16.5) Massimo De Bertolis (ITA) and Marzio Deho (ITA) clinched the overall title in the classifier for the teams with a total age of 80+ in the impressive time of 28:28:39.4 hours.
Rank two went to Andreas Laner (ITA) and Johann Grasegger (GER) of Team Scott (30:14:39.8) who were granted to place first on the final stage to Riva del Garda (3:18:27.8) thus celebrating their first stage win in 2012.
Today’s third ranked Viktor Paris (ITA) and Thomas Piazza (ITA) of Sunshineracers Nals (3:26:47.1) also rounded out the overall master podium as third (31:20:27.9).
Team Gisler wins mixed category
Antonia Wipfli (SUI) and Patrick Jauch (SUI) of Team Gisler, who came in third today (3:46:08.9), have claimed their first Transalp title in the mixed category in the total time of 33:28:15.2 hours.
Lorenza Menapace (ITA) and her fellow countryman Claudio Segata (ITA) of Press Riva del Garda ranked overall second (33:47:22.8) while finishing also as runner-ups on the leg into their home town with a deficit of only 20 second on today’s winning mix Black Tusk Racing by toMotion (3:45:00.6).
Katharina Alberti (GER) and Matthias Gärtner (GER) thus cemented their third position in the overall ranking (34:28:19.4).
BiXS Suisse triumph on senior master side
Today’s third ranked senior master duo BiXS Suisse (3:57:39.4) Renato Burch (SUI) and Bärti Bucher (SUI) celebrated the 2012 Transalp title in the category for the teams with a total age of 100+ (33:27:14.9).
Georg Niggl (GER) and Walter Perkmann (ITA) of CRAFT & Friends 7 finished in second position of the overall ranking (34:50:46.7) while claiming victory on the final stage (3:54:12.6).
Thomas Herrmann (GER) and Hartmann Stifter (ITA) of Team Sigma, who came in second today (3:55:31.0), rounded out the overall podium as third (35:41:07.0).