Moritz Milatz (BMC) and Adelheid Morath (Sabine Spitz-Haibike) took the first round victories of MTB-Bundesliga International in Bad Säckingen, Germany on Monday. Milatz beat Emil Lindgren (Giant Pro XC) and the young Markus Schulte-Lünzum (Focus), while Adelheid Morath surprised her rivals to win ahead of Katrin Leumann (Ghost Factory Racing) and Alexandra Engen (Ghost Factory Racing).
While the juniors and U23s had raced on Easter Sunday in muddy, but ride-able conditions, the elite racers enjoyed cold, but sunny weather on Monday.
Adelheid Morath got the hole shot and led into the singletrack. During the first of five laps, she was joined by Katrin Leumann and by Kathrin Stirnemann and the three formed the lead group. Their teammate Sabine Spitz, raced in fourth place, only 10 seconds behind, and she was fighting to catch them.
On the second lap, Stirnemann suffered from a flat tire and dropped back.
Engen bridged up to Spitz on the third lap and it seemed like she could catch the leading two. But then the eliminator world champ made a mistake and crashed in a difficult technical section.
At the front, Leumann was better in the technical parts while Morath was stronger on the climbs. On the fourth lap, Leumann was no longer able to catch back up in the technical parts.
"Although I was stronger technically, I didn't know how long I could keep up the speed," said Leumann. I was happy we had gotten such a big gap so second place was safe."
Morath kept focused on her race, increasing her advantage by up to 43 seconds, when she crossed the finish line.
"I am so happy, I nearly cannot believe it," said Morath. "Before the start, I was so nervous, because these technical sections don't suit me. I tried to be calm and everything worked out."
It was Morath's second win this season for her new team Sabine Spitz-Haibike.
Spitz and Engen were left to battle for third, and Engen came out on top with a very fast last lap of the 3.9km course. She caught Spitz some hundreds of meters before the finish line and sprinted to third by just half a wheel length.
"It's unbelievable, how Alex is able to go over her limits in such situations," said Spitz, full of respect. In front of her home crowd, the London Olympic silver medallist was not unhappy with her race. "I didn't expect the win today. My training had no intensity up to now. So, for me it's okay."
Moritz Milatz needed three of six laps to make it up to the lead group. The BMC rider had slipped out of his pedal at the start, dabbing his shoe on the pavement. He was left with a 30-second deficit to make up after the first half lap.
But Milatz remained focused. At the end of lap one, the European Champion realized that he was closing on the three man lead group of Emil Lindgren, Nicola Rohrbach (Goldwurstpower-Stöckli) and Markus Schulte-Lünzum.
"That gave me a bit more motivation. At the beginning my legs were not so good, but during the first lap, it went fine," said Milatz.
He joined the three leaders at the end of lap three and immediately went to the front. Riding as his own pace, he opened a small gap. "When I saw that, I decided to go. On this tricky course, it is not an advantage to ride in a group."
Slowly, Milatz extended his lead, keeping the focus on the difficult course. The last 100 meters he took to celebrate in front of the crowd. He beat Lindgren by ten seconds and Schulte-Lünzum by 18 seconds.
"It was my first race this year, and it's great to get the win for me and my team. This gives more motivation for the upcoming weeks," Milatz said.
Lindgren called Milatz "super strong" and seemed satisfied with his own race. "It was a good race for me."
He also admitted that he was slightly distracted as his girlfriend is expecting their second baby any day now. "I just checked my phone, and if it is so far along, I will leave for home."
Schulte-Lünzum was the big surprise in the game. The German U23 rider held the speed of the world class riders during the whole race. "It's completely crazy. I couldn't expect that," he said.
Fabian Giger, who finished eighth had a bad day. "I didn't feel good today and it's much harder to fight way back from the podium. Anyway, I had a lot of fun on this funny course."
Julian Schelb (Lexware-Rothaus) won the U23 race on Easter Sunday. He beat his teammate Martin Gluth, while former junior European champion Jens Schuermans took the third spot on the podium.
Schelb closed the gap of 30 seconds to Gluth and then was reigning easily in the front position. "I still am missing some high intensity, but I am very happy to start with a victory."
Schuermans suffered from two flat tires, but one kilometre before the finish, he profited from the mechanical of Christian Pfäffle. The third Lexware-Rothaus rider was sitting in confortable third place, when his rear derailleur broke. He had to run for one kilometre and ended up finishing fifth, behind Belgian Didier Bats.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Moritz Milatz (Ger)||0:01:18|
|2||Emil Lindgren (Swe)||0:00:00|
|3||Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger)||0:00:00|
|4||Matthias Stirnemann (Swi)||0:00:00|
|5||Ondrej Cink (Cze)||0:00:01|
|6||Martin Fanger (Swi)||0:00:01|
|7||Nicola Rohrbach (Swi)|
|8||Fabian Giger (Swi)||0:00:02|
|9||Thomas Litscher (Swi)||0:00:02|
|10||Karl Markt (Aut)||0:00:03|
|11||Stephen Ettinger (USA)||0:00:03|
|12||Mathias Flückiger (Swi)||0:00:03|
|13||Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita)||0:00:03|
|14||Olof Jonsson (Swe)||0:00:03|
|15||Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi)||0:00:04|
|16||Reto Indergand (Swi)||0:00:04|
|17||Torsten Marx (Ger)||0:00:04|
|18||Simon Scheiber (Aut)||0:00:05|
|19||Pascal Meyer (Swi)||0:00:05|
|20||Luke Roberts (RSA)||0:00:06|
|21||Heiko Gutmann (Ger)||0:00:06|
|22||Patrik Gallati (Swi)||0:00:07|
|23||Sebastian Lehr (Ger)||0:00:07|
|24||Franz Hofer (Ita)||0:00:08|
|25||Matthias Leisling (Ger)||0:00:08|
|26||Tim Wynants (Bel)||0:00:08|
|27||Harold Flandre (Fra)||0:00:09|
|28||Gerrit Rosenkranz (Ger)||0:00:09|
|29||Daniel Eymann (Swi)||0:00:09|
|30||Marcel Fleschhut (Ger)||0:00:09|
|31||Timo Modosch (Ger)||0:00:11|
|32||Zdenek Vobecky (Cze)||0:00:12|
|33||Benjamin Joerges (Ger)||0:00:12|
|34||Shlomi Haimy (Isr)||0:00:12|
|35||Steffen Thum (Ger)||0:00:13|
|36||Simon Gegenheimer (Ger)|
|37||James Reid (RSA)||0:00:13|
|38||Jeffrey Andris (Ger)|
|39||Florian Willbold (Ger)|
|40||Patrick Tresch (Swi)|
|41||Steffen Greger (Ger)|
|42||Sonke Wegner (Ger)|
|43||Marc Odrosek (Ger)|
|44||Martin Larsen (Den)|
|45||Benjamin Oesterle (Ger)|
|46||Timo Häfner (Ger)|
|47||Samuel Rosenkranz (Ger)|
|48||Jochen Coconcelli (Ger)|
|49||David Van Orsdel (USA)|
|50||Ragnar Wirths (Ger)|
|51||Oliver Schär (Swi)|
|52||Tobias Blum (Ger)|
|53||Stefan Schairer (Ger)|
|54||Daniel Kaufmann (Swi)|
|55||Florian Schön (Ger)|
|56||Ahmed-Ridvan Reichling (Ger)|
|57||Christian Bernshausen (Ger)|
|58||Benjamin Stark (Ger)|
|59||Matthias Seitz (Ger)|
|60||Luca Formoso (Swi)|
|61||Alexander Kumpf (Ger)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Adelheid Morath (Ger)||1:21:03|
|2||Katrin Leumann (Swi)||0:00:44|
|3||Alexandra Engen (Swe)||0:01:43|
|4||Sabine Spitz (Ger)|
|5||Irina Kalentieva (Rus)||0:02:12|
|6||Esther Süss (Swi)||0:02:39|
|7||Githa Michiels (Bel)||0:04:17|
|8||Kathrin Stirnemann (Swi)||0:04:39|
|9||Elisabeth Osl (Aut)||0:05:04|
|10||Hanna Klein (Ger)||0:06:07|
|11||Anja Gradl (Ger)||0:07:49|
|12||Linda Indergand (Swi)||0:08:08|
|13||Lena Putz (Ger)||0:08:50|
|14||Michelle Hediger (Swi)||0:10:17|
|15||Jenny Rissveds (Swe)||0:11:17|
|16||Judith Pollinger (Ita)||0:13:00|
|17||Barbara Benko (Hun)||0:13:30|
|18||Hielke Elferink (Ned)||0:13:33|
|19||Lisa Rabensteiner (Ita)|
|20||Candice Neethling (RSA)||0:13:52|
|21||Deborah Inauen (Swi)||0:14:53|
|22||Helen Grobert (Ger)||0:15:39|
|23||Britt Van Den Boogert (Ned)||0:15:56|
|24||Majlen Müller (Ger)||0:16:55|
|25||Lena Wehrle (Ger)||0:22:33|
|26||Nadine Rieder (Ger)||0:22:37|
|27||Michele Wittlin (Swi)|
|28||Vanessa Kleih (Ger)|
|29||Ashleigh Parker-Moffatt (RSA)|
|30||Sophia Panzer (Ger)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Julian Schelb (Ger)||1:16:40|
|2||Martin Gluth (Ger)||0:00:52|
|3||Jens Schuermans (Bel)||0:02:29|
|4||Didier Bats (Bel)||0:03:08|
|5||Christian Pfäffle (Ger)||0:03:28|
|6||Christopher Platt (Ger)||0:03:38|
|7||David Simon (Ger)||0:04:18|
|8||Kevin Panhuyzen (Bel)||0:04:29|
|9||Jonas Pedersen (Den)||0:05:04|
|10||Louis Wolf (Ger)||0:06:14|
|11||Maxi Maier (Ger)||0:07:02|
|12||Rens De Bruin (Ned)||0:07:05|
|13||Marcus Nicolai (Ger)||0:07:11|
|14||Severin Sagesser (Swi)||0:07:36|
|15||Sam Weber (Ger)||0:07:57|
|16||Stefan Peter (Swi)||0:08:33|
|17||Martin Frey (Ger)||0:08:39|
|18||Philipp Hediger (Swi)||0:09:00|
|19||Aaron Beck (Ger)||0:09:15|
|20||Bryan Allemann (Swi)||0:09:31|
|21||Andrea Righettini (Ita)||0:09:50|
|22||Ronny Koller (Swi)||0:10:13|
|23||Romain Corti (Swi)||0:10:33|
|24||Kevin Krieg (Swi)||0:10:45|
|25||Yannik Brischle (Ger)||0:11:01|
|26||Mike Schuler (Swi)||0:12:02|
|27||Claude Koster (Swi)||0:12:40|
|28||Simon Schilli (Ger)||0:12:45|
|29||Tim Rosenkranz (Ger)||0:13:42|
|30||Marcel Guerrini (Swi)||0:13:52|
|31||Marvin Schmidt (Ger)||0:14:15|
|32||Fabian Costa (Aut)||0:14:23|
|33||Michael Stünzi (Swi)||0:15:29|
|34||Heiko Hog (Ger)||0:15:30|
|35||Ulisse Fieschi (Swi)||0:15:31|
|36||Alexander Gläser (Ger)||0:16:18|
|37||Fabian Obrist (Swi)||0:17:43|
|38||Joel Koller (Swi)||0:18:50|
|39||Nicolas Chopard (Swi)||0:20:42|
|40||Lukas Kaufmann (Aut)|
|41||Steve Scheffel (Ger)|
|42||Niklas Grobert (Ger)|
|43||Tobias Sindlinger (Ger)|
|44||Markus Siebert (Ger)|
|45||Jonas Müller (Ger)|
|46||Florian Kortüm (Ger)|
|47||Pirmin Kuß (Ger)|
|48||Thomas Rasmussen (Den)|
|49||Michael Feinauer (Ger)|
|50||Rico Von Burg (Swi)|