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Huber and Looser clinch shortened 5th stage in sprint

The two leaders of the overall ranking Urs Huber and Konny Looser have claimed victory on the shortened fifth stage of the 14th Craft Bike Transalp powered by Nissan from St. Vigil (ITA) to Alleghe (ITA) (2:17:17.1) after successfully competing in a sprint final of the top ranked six duos. The Swiss riders of Team Stöckli edged off Germany's Markus Kaufmann and Rupert Palmberger of Centurion-Vaude (2:17:18.1) as well as Italians Massimo de Bertolis and Johann Pallhuber of Silmax Autopolar Cannondale (2:17:18,2) to second and third.

Icecold temperatures around zero degree level, strong wind and permanent rains as well as snow fall over the course of the race had forced the organizers to shorten the originally 73.59 kilometers long stage down to some 50 kilometers, thus wrapping up at the second timekeeping right behind of Cianzope.

Especially the bad conditions on top of Rifugio Averau, this year's highest peak to conquer, which would have been next on the route, made a safe execution of the stage impossible as the race director reported a snow storm on top of the mountain. According to this, today's stage was the third in the last four years to get shortened or cancelled due to bad weather.

Due to the unavoidable early race finish and the close finish at the second feeding station, Urs Huber and Konny Looser are still leading in the overall ranking with an advantage of some 1:45 minutes over Team Bulls, consisting of Karl Platt (GER) and Thomas Dietsch (FRA), who came in fourth today with a mere 1.6 seconds delay.

Mountain Heroes best ladies

In the women's category, Martina Miessgang (AUT) and Katrin Neumann (GER) were able to bring home their third consecutive stage win (3:05:32.7). The Mountain Heroes thus extended their lead in the ranking by another four minutes to a total of five and a half minutes.

Still in runner-up position of the ranking sit Natascha Binder (GER) and Danièle Troesch of Felt Ötztal X-Bionic/Rotwild, who had been setting the agenda on the first two stages and finished today as second team (3:09:35.2).

The German Craft-Rocky Mountain pairing Yvonne Gassenbauer and Antje Hammelehle rolled in as third (3:15:12.9) and thus secured their first podium result at the 2011 Transalp.

Craft-Rocky Mountain again fastest mixed

On side of the mixed teams, Craft-Rocky Mountain triumphed once again thanks to an impressive performance of Pia Sundstedt and Carsten Bresser.

The Finnish mountain bike ace and her German companion crossed the timing mats after 2:30:44.5 hours and was 6:50 minutes faster than Kristina Weber and Daniel Jung of Mountain Heroes (2:37:34.7), who nailed their best result so far.

Milena Landtwing (SUI) and Martin Kiechle (GER) of Centurion-Vaude, which is still the second ranked team in the mixed category, mastered today's stage in third position (2:39:04.7).

Bölts/Strobel with second stage win in the master category

After yesterday's hurting knock out in the race for the Transalp crown, Udo Bölts and Andreas Strobel showed enormous fighting spirit and a will to keep on giving their best. The German Centurion-Vaude duo secured their second stage win in a time of 2:26:25.6 hours.

About four minutes later, the bearers of the Blue Jerseys coming from Austria, leading Master duo Factory Cube, came in second (2:30:16.8). Heinz Zörweg and Silvio Wieltschnig thus edged off Jogi Brunner and Hansjürg Gerber of Zellweger Architekten AG Thun to the third position (2:30:17.6) being only one second faster.

While the Swiss riders celebrated their first podium as third, so far overall third ranked master team Moserwirt Passeier had to swallow the bitterest pill of all. After Armin Auchentaller had to quit today, his partner Andreas Laner came in all alone and has to keep on racing in the individual finisher class from now on.

Due to the withdrawal of the South Tyrolean team, today's fourth ranked Italian racers Claudio Segata and Claudio Pellegrini of Trento Iii (2:31:55.3) move up in the master table to third.

Senior master leader keep a clean sheet

In the category for the oldest teams having a cumulated age of more than 100 years, Italy's Silvano Janes and Walter Platzgummer once again didn't show any weakness. Team Trient-Südtirol celebrated its fifth consecutive stage win in the time of 2:30:45.0 hours.

Austrians Erich Pross and Erwin Dietrich of Zweirad Janger Simplon finished as runner-ups (2:40:08.9) while Walter Perkmann (ITA) and Georg Niggl (GER) of Craft And Friends rounded out the podium as third (2:45:02.5)

Preview Stage 6: Alleghe (ITA) – San Martino di Castrozza (ITA)

Who ever thought that Stage Four was hard might get disabused by Stage Six (73.39 km, 3,154 m Asc). It's another Dolomites orgy, a constant up and down thus soaking up all the energy the Transalp mountain bikers might have left.

It's a steep climb up to Forcella Celat, a staccato past Cogul, Forcella Lagazzon and Tegosa to Somor which is very exhausting. After that, it's time for Flora Alpina, Passo San Pellegrino and Passo di Luisa.

The trail down to Val Venegia might bring some regeneration time before another ascent to Baita Segantini follows. At least, the last kilometres lead downwards into the finish.


Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katrin Neumann & Martina Miessgang (Mountain Heroes )3:05:32
2Natascha Binder & Danièle Troesch (Felt Ötztal X-Bionic / Rotwild)
3Yvonne Gassenbauer & Antje Hammelehle (Craft-Rocky Mountain 1 )0:09:40

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Carsten Bresser & Pia Sundstedt (Craft-Rocky Mountain 2)2:30:44
2Daniel Jung & Kristina Weber (Mountain Heroes 1)0:06:50
3Milena Landtwing & Martin Kiechle (Centurion-Vaude)0:08:20

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Urs Huber & Kenny Looser (Team Stöckli)2:17:17
2Markus Kaufmann & Rupert Palmberger (Centurion-Vaude)0:00:01
3Massimo De Bertolis & Johann Pallhuber (Silmax Autopolar Cannondale)

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Udo Bölts & Andreas Strobel (Centurion-Vaude)2:26:25
2Silvia Wieltschnig & Heinz Zörweg (Factory Team Cube 1)0:03:51
3Jogi Brunner & Hansjürg Gerber (Zellweger Architekten Ag Thun)0:03:52

General Classification - Elite Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katrin Neumann & Martina Miessgang (Mountain Heroes )22:08:03
2Natascha Binder & Danièle Troesch (Felt Ötztal X-Bionic / Rotwild)0:05:33
3Jenny Manuela & Susanne Tanner1:28:13

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Carsten Bresser & Pia Sundstedt (Craft-Rocky Mountain 2)18:39:25
2Milena Landtwing & Martin Kiechle (Centurion-Vaude)0:22:09
3Matthais Gärtner & Katharina Alberti (Moooove Racingteam 9)1:18:17

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Urs Huber & Kenny Looser (Team Stöckli)16:27:50
2Karl Platt & Thomas Dietsch (Silmax Autopolar Cannondale)0:01:43
3Massimo De Bertolis & Johann Pallhuber (Silmax Autopolar Cannondale)0:02:01

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Silvia Wieltschnig & Heinz Zörweg (Factory Team Cube 1)17:38:06
2Udo Bölts & Andreas Strobel (Centurion-Vaude)0:21:26
3Claudio Segata & Claudio Pellegrini (Team Trento Iii)1:07:12

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