New Pairing for Team Bulls
Author : Press Release
PhotoCredit : BIKE Transalp
Year after year, Team Bulls is among the circle of aspirants for the BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma title. Also this year, the squad from Cologne is a good bet for the win at the world's first ever mountain bike stage race – however, the 2018 duos are a surprise.
Other than expected, Karl Platt (GER) won't compete in the legendary event which takes place from 15 to 21 July, 2018, for the 21st time. It's the first time since 2001 that Mr. Transalp is missing out on the race.
After 17 years of consecutive BIKE Transalp racing, seven titles and 37 stage wins in the men's category, the MTB veteran has decided to opt for something new after the last two editions didn't turn out as expected:
“The BIKE Transalp is still an amazing race. The race has given me a lot but I need a break as I want to ride something else, too,” explains Platt who will participate in events in Canada and Columbia this summer.
As a result, his team has to position itself anew.
Multi-time Swiss Champion Urs Huber will team up with Simon Stiebjahn (GER) while Martin Frey (GER) and Simon Schneller (GER) will rider together as second pairing.
With Stiebjahn, Huber gets a strong teammate to pedal together with. The 28-year-old has not only triumphed three times in a row in the German Cross Country Bundesliga (2014 – 2016) after snatching the Gold at the U23 European Championships back in 2012. He also underlined that he is strong in stage racing two years ago.
Back in 2016, the Baden-Wuerttemberg resident came out victorious of the so far last edition of the Four Peaks, a four-day event in Austria.
His ally Urs Huber, however, knows how to celebrate in one of the world's toughest MTB stage races. Back in 2011, the 32-year-old triumphed in the BIKE Transalp together with his fellow countryman Konny Looser. Ever since, he failed to repeat this feat but placed on the podium in four of the last six event editions.
While Team Bulls 1 therefore is one of the main aspirants for the win lining up in Imst in two months, Team Bulls 2 is a promise for the future of the MTB marathon sport.
Martin Frey and Simon Schneller are arguably the biggest talents Germany has produced recently.
Especially as Frey is no stranger to the BIKE Transalp. The 24-year-old student from Pforzheim has finished the classic across the main chain of the Alps twice and brought home the win in the U23 classifier two years ago – a success which was pivotal for his decision to take the path of a marathon specialist.
Having been part of the Team Bulls junior roster for many years, the two-time U23 German Cross Country Championships runner-up is now in his second year as a pro aiming for the next steps for the “men in black”.
Together with teammate Simon Schneller he already demonstrated that the future is theirs placing 14th at the Cape Epic.
And Schneller – only 21 years of age – is just at the start of his career. But due to many years in the BIKE Junior Team powered by Bulls he already has gathered quite some experience.
Being strong in long climbs the student from Karlsruhe could tip the scales in the battle for a top-5 finish in the overall ranking as Frey prefers a more Cross Country like terrain.
And if Schneller is able to live up to his potential as real fighter in the climbs, he definitely is a hot favourite for the U23 win – in his first year as a pro.
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