Team Stöckli-Bixs's Buchli and Flückiger win the Swiss Epic overall

The Stöckli-BiXS and Centurion Vaude teams both became engaged in battle for the leader's jersey during the final stage of the Swiss Epic. Lukas Buchli and Mathias Flückiger, from Team Stöckli-BiXS, secured the win just before they reached the finish line and made it to first place on the podium in the men's category in Zermatt.

In the women's category, Annika Langvad and Ariane Kleinhans, from Team Specialized II, obtained the coveted championship belt. The first edition of the six-day mountain bike stage race thus came to a successful close on Saturday, after a total of 400 kilometers, including 15,000 meters of climbing at the base of the Matterhorn.

Saturday's final stage of the six-day mountain bike stage race from Grächen to Zermatt spanned across 60 kilometers, with 2,400 meters of climbing, once again progressing on flowing single trails through high alpine scenery, surrounded by impressive 4,000-meter mountains and glaciers. With a top-quality starting field on hand, the standard for the final stage was once again extremely high and was challenging and arduous, even for the elite riders.

An exciting battle for the overall victory

After a thrilling battle in the men's category, Team Stöckli-BiXS, consisting of Lukas Buchli and Mathias Flückiger secured the stage victory with an outstanding time of 3:11, and in so doing, they also narrowly obtained the overall victory. In the final stage, they were able to separate themselves from Jochen Käss and Daniel Geismayr from Team Centurion Vaude by almost two minutes, and thus relegated them to second place overall by a difference of 50 seconds. The third overall position was achieved by the BMC Mountainbike Racing Team of Lukas Flückiger and Ralph Näf.

"It was a hard battle from the very start," Buchli said concerning the day's final result. "Centurion Vaude is a strong adversary and the climbs were difficult. That demanded a lot of mental work. The technically-intensive final descent was then something very familiar to us, so that we were able to obtain the decisive lead. Since the beginning of the year, the Swiss Epic had already been my goal for the season and I wanted to compete for victory with a strong partner. The combination of a long-distance specialist and a cross country pro worked out well."

"It really was a long and taxing race," Mathias Flückiger said. "For the first time, I have experienced a stage race of this kind. Every single meter was challenging. It is a tough race with strength-draining climbs. Even for the pros. In any case, I can only say positive things about the race. So many charming trails, excellently planned routes and an outstanding organization - and all that while running a first edition of the race. Switzerland is a biking nation, a stage race like this is awesome for our sport."

On the women's side, matters were much more clearly defined from the outset: Annika Langvad and Ariane Kleinhans from Team Specialized II amassed a 56-minute lead throughout the week and they thus won the golden championship belt in resounding fashion. Esther Süss and Elferink Hielke from Team Wheeler iXS took second place, and third place went to Team Mountain Heroes, featuring Andrea Kuster and Kristin Aamodt.

In the mixed category, Milena Landtwing and Bärti Bucher from Team BiXS – Wheeler obtained the gold.

In the masters category, the overall victory went to Team Scott Road, consisting of Pierre Bourquenoud and Serge Robadey.

In the Epic flow racing format, Phil Meier and Florian Golay from Team CrossRoad Cycles were the clear winners in the men's category. As for the women, the lone team in the women's category, Vaude Heavy Pedal, with Nathalie Schneitter and Alexa Hüni, obtained the title. Simon Ruchti and Monika Büchi, from Team Pivot Cycle / Specialized, claimed the Mixed category title for themselves decisively.

The first edition of the race took riders through the Swiss Alps, including 15,000m of climbing. Riders from 27 countries and five continents competed.

The next running of the Swiss Epic will take place on September 14-19, 2015, through the same host villages but with new route designs.

Video from the final stage

Brief Results

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Duo men final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
2Team Centurion Vaude0:00:50
3BMC Mountainbike Racing Team 10:27:45
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Duo women final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Spezialiced II24:26:14
2Wheeler-Bixs Team0:56:07
3Mountain Heroes,4:06:09
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Duo mixed final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1BiXS - Wheeler24:19:16
2Team Kenda - Stan's NoTubes0:34:25
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Duo masters final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Scott Road24:40:47
3Last Minute0:24:57
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Individual final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nino Schurter19:54:39
2Thomas Bundgaard Jensen2:32:11
3Reto Saner9:07:56
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Men flow classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1CrossRoad Cycles13:57:06
3Team Brino0:55:03
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Women flow
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1VAUDE Heavy Pedal19:20:18
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Mixed flow classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Pivot Cycle / Specialized15:28:04
3WBR - World Bicycle Relief1:13:00
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Individual flow classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Peter Felber22:00:35
2Andy Hottinger0:11:14
3Thomas Gassler1:26:24

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