New Zealand's Rosara Joseph and German Moritz Milatz won round three of the German MTB-Bundesliga series in Saalhausen last weekend. Joseph finished ahead of a surprising young Silke Schmidt. Milatz defeated Christoph Soukup and Wolfram Kurschat.
In women's race Joseph (Ghost International) and Enaux (Lapierre) took the lead after the second of six laps. Together they held a gap of less than one minute to U23 racer Silke Schmidt (Fujibikes), who was having a good day.
Joseph waited until the beginning of the last lap. Then she forced the pace on the climb and got a gap, which she maintained until the end. "I really enjoyed the race. It was great to be here," said Joseph. "When I realized that I got the gap, I tried hold it." It was her first Bundesliga win.
Enaux said she had "no good legs" after intense training the days prior. But despite that, she held her lead in the overall. While going better than expected, Ivonne Kraft was suffering backaches.
In the men's race a group of three emerged in the lead after two laps. Milatz (Multivan-Merida), Soukup (Fujibikes) and Kurschat (Topeak-Ergon) extended their lead lap by lap, but on the third lap, Kurschat encountered technical problems with his fork. He lost contact on the downhills and would close again on the uphills. But this strategy only worked only until lap five, which was the same lap when Soukup flatted his front wheel and fell behind Kurschat.
That left Milatz alone in front, and he extended his lead up to 1'50". Soukup was unable to catch Kurschat. Milatz crossed the line and celebrated his first Bundesliga victory ever.
"I felt really good," said Milatz. "[I'm] sorry for Christoph, I would have liked to compete with him.
Soukup said he felt Milatz was riding "very strong" but he himself was slowed by training after worlds, where he had finished sixth.
"I hope the next week at German Nationals I can show it during the whole race," said the hopeful third place finisher Kurschat.
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the German MTB-Bundesliga series in Saalhausen.