The second stage of the 2013 TransAlp wrapped up with a finish sprint. After 100km and 2,497 metres of climbing from Mayrhofen to Brixen, Christoph Sauser and Max Knox (Specialized Racing) crossed the finish line first (3:37:40), thus celebrating their career's first TransAlp stage win.
Karl Platt and Urs Huber (Team Bulls 1) secured second place in 3:37:40, thus defending their lead of 3:36. Markus Kaufmann and Jochen Kaess (Centurion-Vaude 1) rounded out the podium in third.
Defending champions Alban Lakata and Robert Mennen (Topeak Ergon), had to settle for fourth again (3:37:41), however, were able to step up to third place in the overall ranking behind of Team Bulls 1 and Centurion-Vaude 1.
All four teams dominated the whole course of the race, which kicked off with at a high pace right after Mayrhofen where the field entered the 25km long main climb of the day up to Pfitscherjoch (2,258m).
Platt and Huber took over control in the beginning, keeping a fast tempo and forcing most of the teams to drop off. Only the day's top four teams were able to cross the main chain of the Alps and the Italian border together while extending their lead into the finish.
In the end, Sauser and his teammate Knox launched a final attack in the very last part of the stage, which featured a new design with the 400m climb on Kaiserberg to Spinges, but weren't able to really break away together with Kaufmann and Kaess. Especially as the men in the yellow jerseys felt comfortably strong.
"They didn't really break away," said Huber in the finish zone. "We always knew that we would catch up again. So the attack didn't really bother us."
In the end, Specialized Racing at least brought home the stage win. "It's nice to have a win," said Sauser. "But having one stage win under our belt doesn't mean that we will go home. We will keep on chancing our luck while keeping the pressure high."
Borghild Loevsetand Sally Bigham (Topeak Ergon Racing) clinched their second stage win in the women category (4:22:60). The wearers of the pink jerseys once again relegated Swiss racers Andrea Faessler and Cornelia Hug of Crazy Velo Shop Scott to the second.
Katrin Schwing and Lisa Pleyer (Cancer Rehab St. Veit) took the third spot again.
In the men's 80+ category, Carsten Bresser and Udo Boelts were once again unbeatable. Team Rocky Mountain/Centurion mastered the almost 100km long stage to Brixen in 3:45:42.
Johann Grasegger and Andreas Lander (Jeep Scott) took second (3:54:54) while Claudio Segata and Piergiorgio Dellagicoma (Team Tecno MTB) jumped on the podium as third for the first time.
Italian duo Scott-Torbado with Walter Platzgummer and Gilberto Perini brought home their second stage win in 4:04:25. Like yesterday, Baerti Bucher and Doug Brown (Bixs nine-twelve-siytyone) as well as Americans Kevin Hines and Alec Petro of Corner Cycle (4:28:16) rounded out the grand master podium as second and third.
In the mixed category, Norway's Kristin Aamodt and Italy's Daniel Jung were the mountain bikers with the strongest legs. Team Mountain Heroes, which had placed third yesterday, crossed the finish line after 4:16:05 and thus some five minutes ahead still leading mixed www.1place.com/Wheeler iXS (4:21:13).
Bettina Uhlig and Mathias Nothegger, however, are still leading the category some five minutes ahead of today's best team. Australia's Imogen Smith and Mike Blewitt of Subaru-MarathonMTB.com claimed the third rank (4:31:23) thus placing in the top-three for the first time.
The 2013 TransAlp continues with stage 3 on Monday which will lead over 56.9km from Brixen to St. Vigil.
For full results, visit http://services.datasport.com/2013/mtb/Transalp/stage2.