Alban Lakata and Robert Mennen (Topeak Ergon) are ready to defend their TransAlp mountain bike stage race title starting this weekend. The 16th edition of the TransAlp will kick off on Saturday in Mittenwald, Germany, with 1,000 racers, all part of two-person teams which will cover 675km.
"I am looking forward to the TransAlp. I am in good shape and very confident," said Lakata, who recently won a silver medal at the marathon Worlds. "This year will not be easy, a lot of the other teams are looking out for us."
Mennen said, "We want to win the title again, that is for sure! But the cards are getting re-shuffled every year. I think this will be an exciting race. Every stage counts, the race ends in Riva del Garda, we learned that in 2012."
Lakata and Mennen's teammate Sally Bigham will also be aiming to repeat her TransAlp success of last year in the women's category.
"I spent a relaxed week in the Dolomites and didn't train too much - now I am ready for this hard race," said Bigham.
The British woman will race with a different partner than usual. Her teammate Milena Landtwing underwent surgery on her thumb, so Bigham will team up with Borghild Loevset from Norway instead.
"It is important to have a good and harmonic mood inside the team. Borghild is a strong uphill rider, just like me. The course profile looks good for us."