Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek of Topeak Ergon Racing won the last stage of the TransAlp thereby wrapping up their so far disappointing stage race with a good result. The overall title went to Markus Kaufmann and Jochen Käss of Centurion Vaude 1, who secured the first successful TransAlp title defence since Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm did in 2008. The overall winners were third on the day.
Third placed overall finishers Lakata and Hynek mastered the 63km from Trento to Riva del Garda in 3:00:32; one minute ahead of overall second ranked Daniel Geismayr and Hannes Genze of Centurion Vaude 2.
All three most dominating teams of this year's seven-day Alpine classic had broken away on the climb to Monte Bondone, leading the pack together across the second ascent. When the sextet entered the enduro segment at Castagnera, Lakata and Hynek launched an attack and were able to get some 10 seconds advantage over their rivals, which then got extended kilometre by kilometre to the finish line at Lake Garda.
"Fortunately it paid off. We gave everything and were rewarded with the stage win. It's kind of a redemption for us after we had suffered some technical problems on the third day. That was very disappointing. Coming off third of the overall ranking isn't bad but we came here to win the TransAlp," said Lakata who had won silver medal at the Marathon World Championships a few weeks prior to the event.
While the Austrian tried to offer a positive summary, Jochen Käss and Markus Kaufmann, who became the third elite team's ever to claim a back-to-back title win, celebrated their second TransAlp victory.
"It was our main goal this year to win the race. That we did it in such a great manner is perfect," said Kaufmann.
"It still feels unreal to repeat the title. Since my first ever TransAlp I have been dreaming of winning it. It's a dream come true to do it even once more."
His teammate Käss said, "We are very, very happy. It's been five years since the last successful title defence. It's great that we did it, especially facing such a strong field of competitors."
Crazy Velo Shop Scott earns first women's title
In the women's event, Cornelia Hug and Andrea Fässler have been able to step up their game compared to last year when Team Crazy Velo Shop Scott finished as runners-up. This time, the Swiss racers brought home their career's first win (34:10:04) while also winning their sixth stage after 4:15:24.
"I'm super happy and speechless," said Hug. "I really don't know what to say except that I have the best team partner you could ask for."
Silke Schrattenecker and Barbara Mayer of Nakita Powermums came in second (4:25:14) and also finished the TransAlp as second best women's team.
Celina Carpinteiro and Isabel Caetano of BTT Loulé/BPI/Berg Cycles/Sram managed to bring home their first top-three result at their TransAlp debut as today's third.
Sarah Bosch and Danièle Troesch of Mountain Heroes, who placed fifth today, rounded out the overall podium as third.
In the mixed classification, wearers of the orange leaders' jerseys Sally Bigham and Ben Thomas of Topeak Ergon Racing celebrated their title the best way possible: rolling in to Riva del Garda in first position (3:42:12).
Jochen Weisenseel of Team Sigma Rox Rocky won the best climber classification while Florian Schön of Scott Bike24 MTN Team 1 earned the enduro title.
Frank Demuth of Centurion Vaude 3 defended the white jersey for the best U23 racer.
For full results, click here.