Words & Photo: Oliver Kraus
Nauders, July 21, 2014 – The second day of the 17th Craft BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma wrapped up with a top result for Team Centurion Vaude. Besides celebrating the stage win, the Meckenbeuren based squad also took over the lead in the seven-day stage races' overall ranking.
Daniel Geismayr (AUT) and Hannes Genze (GER) of Centurion Vaude 2 claimed victory in the rain battle from Imst to Nauders (87.42 km, 2,917 m) in 3:40:50.7 with a lead of 6.5 seconds on second ranked Alban Lakata (AUT) and Kristian Hynek (CZE) of Topeak Ergon Racing (3:40:57.2). Markus Kaufmann (GER) and Jochen Käß (GER) of Centurion Vaude 1 earned the third spot on the podium (3:41:05.4) and also raced into the Yellow Jerseys with 1:45 minutes advantage now over Topeak Ergon Racing in the overall standings.
So far leading Team Bulls 1 came in with more than five minutes on the stage winners in fourth position because Urs Huber (SUI) and Karl Platt (GER) struggled with the cold temperatures. Especially the German had problems and went a bit hypothermic. As a result, the two pro riders slipped out of the top-3 of the overall ranking.
In contrary, today's stage winners Daniel Geismayr and Hannes Genze climbed up to the third rank thanks to their parforce run.
During the stage, both athletes had already cumulated a gap of 1:45 minutes on the breakaway group consisting of Lakata, Hynek, Kaufmann and Käß in the second climb of the day up to Pfundser Tschey but pushed it to the limit in the following downhill.
In the last ascent to Norbertshöhe Geismayr and Genze were able to close the gap again and even step up their game once more successfully launching a sprint to victory on the home stretch.
Much to the delight of Geismayr who celebrated his career's first Transalp stage win: “It's a fantastic feeling. Yesterday, I was thinking to myself, that we could be able to podium once. I never thought a win could be possible!”
His team mate Genze, who will step back from active racing end of the year, added: “It's good and a perfect redemption for last year when I struggled so badly. It's nice to take a decent step towards my goal of finishing my last Transalp with a good result. But I hope we don't have to pay the price for our effort tomorrow.”
His squad companion Kaufmann, new wearer of the Yellow Jersey, was also pleased that he achieved his goals: “Everything went fine. We wanted to attack and now have the lead. There is nothing more I could ask for except of better weather!”
Change of lead in women's event
In the women's event, yesterday's second ranked racers from Switzerland, Cornelia Hug and Andrea Fässler, were able to underline their strength showing why both are the main aspirants for the women's title. Team Crazy Velo Shop Scott mastered the stage to Nauders in 4:54:32.3. “It was tough, but we are happy,” said Fässler.
They came in 5:25 minutes ahead of Silke Schrattenecker and Barbara Mayer who – as a result – lost the Pink Jerseys (4:59:57.7). The Austrian Team Nakita Powermums has now a deficit of 1:18 minutes on their Swiss rivals to catch up.
Mountain Heroes riders Sarah Bosch (GER) and Danièle Troesch (FRA) rounded out the podium as third in 5:18:47.7 and also took over the third rank in the women's classification. However, both capitalized on the misfortune of another team.
Barbara Liardet (SUI) of yesterday's third ranked duo Cyclone Sport/Rochat Cycles had to give up due to hypothermia.
In the other three categories, the leading teams added another stage win to their belts. In the Masters event Massimo De Bertolis (ITA) and Andreas Laner (ITA) of AIL Trentino impressed in 4:01:19.3.
In the Mixed category, Sally Bigham (GBR) and Ben Thomas (GBR) of Topeak Ergon Racing were once again unbeatable (4:20:49.0). Heinz Zörweg (AUT) and Andrew McLean (RSA) of Rad.Sport.Szene Ausseerland Racing triumphed in the Senior-Masters class (4:24:10.1).
Third stage from Nauders to Naturns
Tomorrow's third leg of the Craft BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma from Nauders to Naturns is the queen stage of this year's Transalp. 100.97 km and 3,452 metres of altitude speak for itself while also featuring an exhausting saw tooth profile. The stage starts at 8 AM CET.