Huber and Stiebjahn Storm To Third Stage Win
Author : Press Release
PhotoCredit : Robert Niedring
Urs Huber (SUI) and Simon Stiebjahn (GER) have celebrated their third stage win on day four of the BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma. Just like yesterday, Team Bulls 1 prevailed in a photo finish decision after 57.66 kilometres and 2,393 metres of climbing from Bormio to Ponte di Legno clocking in a time of 2:49.16,9. They therefore edged off Tony Longo (ITA) and Johnny Cattaneo (ITA) of Wilier Force 7C 1 to second by a margin of only four tenths.
The wearer of the yellow jerseys, Markus Kaufmann (GER) and Jochen Kaess (GER) of Centurion Vaude, rolled in as third only 1,5 seconds behind of the winning pair from Switzerland and Germany therefore defending a comfortable lead of more than three minutes on their strongest pursuers in the general classification.
Team Bulls 1 had tried everything before to reduce the gap in the overall ranking placing several attacks in the last quarter of the stage.
After climbing Gavia Pass more or less in a group of six, the sextette also mastered the technical very demanding single track down to Sant' Appolonia together before Stiebjahn and Huber tried to break away several times in the up and down profile via Case di Viso and Vescasa – however, without having the desired outcome.
But in the end, Stiebjahn was pleased with the result: “It's hard against the boys of Centurion Vaude but we will keep on pushing it. Maybe we get a chance. But by now we are more than happy with three stage wins. I'm looking forward to the next three days, maybe we can still make it to stand on top in Arco,” said Stiebjahn after a strong team performance on the home stretch.
His comrade in arms Huber added: “We give it all we have every day. Two days ago, Centurion Vaude was stronger. That's why they deserve the yellow jerseys. But we still have three more days and will keep on chasing them.”
However, it will be hard to set the leading duo under pressure as the well-experienced pairing already knows how to defend a lead during a multi-day stage race. Back in 2013, 2014 and 2015 Kaufmann and Kaess became the first ever riders to secure a title three-peat in Transalp history. And also on the route to their fourth victory both played to their strengths again.
In the climb to Gavia Pass Kaufmann broke away to gain a bit of a lead which enabled him to have some more time to breath in the downhill.
“That was our tactic, we wanted to play it safe,” he explained. “When things got nasty on the last ten kilometres we also took it easy as we didn't want to risk too much until the finish line.”
Category Leaders Continue Series of Success
While Kaufmann/Kaess control the general classification in commanding style, all other category leaders were able to extend their lead in their respective classification by wrapping the day up as victor once again.
In the women's event, Janine Schneider (GER) and Stefanie Dohrn (GER) of Team Nauders Canyon/Cube clinched their fourth consecutive stage win (3:48.57,2) while Austrians Verena Krenslehner-Schmid and Philip Handl of Imst Tourismus did the same in the mixed category (3:40.13,3).
In the masters class, defending champions Massimo De Bertolis (ITA) and Dax Jaikel (CRC) of Wilier Force 7C celebrated their third stage win (3:11.12,0) just like Swiss Claudius Thommen and Thomas Girardi of Stoll Bikes in the grand masters category (3:25.01,1).
Stage Preview: Ponte di Legno – Pellizzano
The shortest stage of the BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma leads over 50 kilometres and some 2,000 metres of climbing from Ponte di Legno to Val di Sole – and for the third time in history to one of the most beautiful Transalp tracks of all times.
Alta Via Camuna is an isolated single track high above Ponte di Legno which meanders over nine kilometres through the alpine meadows to Tonale Pass providing a striking panorama into the Adamello glacier world.
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