Three teams tied at the end of stage 7 at the 2010 TransAlp. After 47.7km from Malé to Madonna di Campiglio, all three squads crossed the line neutralized: overall leaders Team Bulls consisting of Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm, Multivan Merida's Hannes Genze and Andreas Kugler, and Full Dynamix's Massimo de Bertolis and Mike Felderer rolled in with the same time of 2:29:35. The BiXS iXS Pro Team, which was leading until a few hundred metres in front of the finish line, crashed and couldn't complete today's stage.
Defending champions Lukas Buchli and Thomas Stoll had conquered the peak of the Rifugio Orso Bruno, a tough climb of 20 kilometres and 1,300 metres, and entered in first the final downhill to Madonna di Campiglio with a lead of approximately 20 seconds on the pursuing group.
About 700 metres in front of the finish, the two riders cut - according to the race organisation - a curve trying to reduce the gap of 1:39 minutes in the ranking on Team Bulls. During this manoeuvre, the 27-year-old Stoll collided with a car suffering a deep slash wound which had to be stitched up in the hospital.
As the two Swiss men didn't cross the finish line after their crash, the title defenders were taken out of the ranking. Thus, the 2010 TransAlp is over for Lukas Buchli and Thomas Stoll. Due to this, the Multivan Merida Biking Team took over the runner-up position with a gap of 5:35 minutes on Team Bulls.
Winning duos shocked
Right after the shared finish all pros of the three cycling squads were shocked by how the race unfolded. On behalf of all six men, six-time TransAlp champion Karl Platt said, "I don't understand this. I don’t know for how many years I've been saying this is dangerous. The top riders in front are competing in a real race. This means, the last kilometres should be closed for traffic. Then, nothing like this could happen."
Team Cube claims win on master side
While the winning teams were still discussing the race, Udo Bölts and Silvio Wieltschnig mastered the race in 2:42:07, being the first ones to finish in pouring rain. The German-Austrian Team Cube, which has been leading the overall since stage 2, finished ahead of Mannie Heymans and Reini Woisetschläger of Garmin adidas/Bike and Soul.
Team KTM consisting of Austria's title defenders Heinz Zörweg and Ekkehard Dörschlag rounded out the podium as third.
Rothaus-Cube still with clean slate
On the ladies' side, stage seven was once again a sisters' act: Kristine and Anna-Sofie Norgaard from Denmark won the shortest 2010 TransAlp stage from Malé to Madonna di Campiglio in 3:11:30 and are still undefeated in this race.
Mountain Heroes Katrin Neumann and Danièle Troesch were able to secure the runner-up spot for the second time. Natascha Binder and Bettina Dietzen from Germany were the third ladies' team to cross the finish line. Team Felt Ötztal X-Bionic / Cannondale Store was third.
First win for credo-bikes.com mixed team
Three top mixed teams finished together with Jane Nüssli and Markus Hochstrasser taking the win in 3:09:05. The Swiss credo-bikes.com riders edged off Milena Landtwing and Heiko Gutmann of Rothaus-Cube in second and Pia Sundstedt and Daniel Gathof of the overall leading team Craft-Rocky-Mountain.
Green Valley Team 100 counters attack and claims another victory
Due to a phenomenal pursuit race, Hartmann Stifter and Josef Pallhuber of Green Valley Team 100 were able to catch up with the temporary leading Senior Master leaders finally passing them in the last third of the race. The South Tyrolean athletes clinched their fourth stage win in 3:07:36, still sitting in the runner-up position behind Ferdinand Ganser and Georg Nigglof Team Craft.
Two more Italians brought home another good result for their home region. Josef Stefan Hofer and Thomas Steger of Green Valley 101 captured the third rank thus celebrating their first Transalp podium in 3:13:10.
Stage 8 Preview: Madonna D.C, Italy to Riva del Garda, Italy
The final stage to the finish at Lake Garda demands a fully concentrated body and soul. After a very steep pushing section at the end of the ascent to Passo Bregn d'Ors, the riders have to prove their technical riding skills on a traditional high-class Lake Garda trail.
The path not only indicates the close finish and thus the end of all stresses and strains, but also calls for absolute attention. But after Varignano, everyone can start his preparation for an easy chill of evening at the lakeside - except of course for those mountain bikers who are still fighting for the podium.