The Multivan Merida Biking Team won the fifth stage of the 2010 TransAlp. Hannes Genze and Andreas Kugler set the decisive attack in the climb to Passo Mortirolo, finishing the 106.9km stage from Livigno to Ponte di Legno in 4:42:39. Therefore, the German-Swiss pairing also took over the lead in the overall ranking.
Previous leaders Lukas Buchli and Thomas Stoll came in fourth, loosing all of their comfortable lead of 4:08 minutes. The team is now in second at 25 seconds.
Teams Full-Dynamix with Massimo De Bertolis and Mike Felder and Team Bulls consisting of Germany's Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm came in as second and third respectively.
Like the day before, the climbs played a major role in the battle for victory. At first, 2007 and 2008 TransAlp winners Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm attacked at the Passo Verva. However, Team Bulls couldn't really break away. "This was the best preliminary work we could have asked for on this stage," said Genze later on in the finish area.
The high pace set by the Bulls pilots, who kept on pushing the pedal also up to the well-known and notorious Passo Mortirolo - which is know after being in several Giros d'Italia - split the lead group to pieces. When the BiXS iXS Pro Team was involved into a crash, its riders finally lost contact with the pacesetters.
In the end, the Multivan Merida Biking team had the greatest staying power, was able to hold back all attacks of Team Bulls and countered in an impressive way up to the last peak. "It was nice to dominate a climb. From the beginning on, I had the perfect rhythm and Andi fought himself uphill," said Genze.
However, the 2005 European Champion also knows the race is not over. "Nothing is decided yet. We knew that today would be the day but we also had to give everything we have. So, we have to make sure tomorrow that we don't stand around like parking metres."
Tomorrow, it's time for 72 kilometres in not the easiest conditions for defending a small lead.
Team Cube consisting of Udo Bölts and Silvio Wieltschnig impressively kept hold of their lead in the masters race by winning stage 5 today. The duo finished in 5:18:16.7. Team KTM with Austria's Heinz Zörweg and Ekkehard Dörschlag were second and Mannie Heymans and Reini Woisetschläger of Garmin adidas/Bike and Soul were third.
First win for Landtwing/Gutmann in mixed class
Milena Landtwing and Heiko Gutmanncelebrated their first stage win in the mixed category today. Team Rothaus-Cube edged out current leaders of Craft-Rocky-Mountain Pia Sundstedt and Daniel Gathof to the runner-up position. Jane Nüssli and Markus Hochstrasser of credo-bikes.com rounded out the podium as third.
Ganser/Niggl back to business
Reigning senior master champions Ferdinand Ganser and Georg Niggl made an outstanding comeback in the 2010 TransAlp. After having suffered two bad days on stage three and four, the two Germans of Team Craft were victorious on the fifth stage in 5:47:412. Max Bertschinger and Thomas Rüegg of Thomax Bike rolled in as runner-ups, Hartmann Stifter and Josef Pallhuber of Green Valley Team 100 were third.
Another win for Norgaard sisters
Kristine and Anna-Sofie Norgaard are still unbeatable on the ladies' side. Team Rothaus Cube from Denmark mastered today's stage in 6:11:46. After several third places so far, Mountain Heroes Katrin Neumann and Danièle Troesch brought home their best result as second. Natascha Binder and Bettina Dietzen of Felt Ötztal X-Bionic / Cannondale Store finished the race as third.
Stage 6 preview: Ponte di Legno, Italy to Malé, Italy
After an exhausting stage 5, the sixth stage pays back some nice mountain bike moments every racer is here for - it's time for some pure trail art with a 12km trail section including panoramic views. The last 30km are more relaxing, with descending from Malga Boai onward.