By Paul Verkuylen
On the final stage of the Transalp eight-day stage race, from Folgaria to Riva del Garda, Team Bulls underlined their outstanding form. Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm won their sixth stage of the tour, in doing so, claiming the overall title, in a time of 2:59:49. Their combined time for all eight stages totaling 628.36 kilometers, which included a total of 20,836 meters of altitude gain, was 27:32:30. They finished almost half an hour in front of the second placed team of Andreas Strobel and Silvio Wieltschnig (Fiat Rotwild).
"We had planned to push it today and therefore attacked right at the start to have a more relaxing rest of the day," said Stefan Sahm after the race. "It's fantastic that we made the triple. I'm not sure if someone can repeat winning all three big mountain stage races in one year," said the 31 year-old rider, all smiles, after winning the TransAlp, the Trans Germany, and the Cape Epic stage races for 2007.
Team-mate Karl Platt, who secured his fifth overall title, added, "We have worked very hard for this. It might seem that we have an easy job out there, but you have to motivate yourself every day facing the heat and the mountains. We had to go to our limit to win and therefore we are very proud that we made it."
Sandra and Peggy Klose (Zwillingscraft) have successfully defended their 2006 title. "It's a wonderful feeling, to defend the title especially with the strong competitors this year," said Sandra Klose in the finish area. "We had a week packed with a lot of incidents and technical difficulties. In addition, I had to crucify myself into the finish yesterday and today. I also have to pay a compliment to my sister for her performance, because last year I pulled her a few times."
Alison Sydor and Carsten Bresser (Rocky Mountain/Haywood) showed the competition who ruled, taking eight of eight possible stage wins in the event and also the overall. The two recently won the TransGermany.
Team Shannifer, the team who won the contest for sponsorship by Race Face, finished seventh overall in the mixed category. Both seasoned American cross country pros, they admitted afterward that the Trans Alp was the hardest race they'd ever ridden.
For complete coverage of the TransAlp, click here.