Huber and Looser clinch fourth stage win

Switzerland's Urs Huber and Konny Looser have impressively reinforced their call on the 2011 title at the Craft Bike Transalp powered by Nissan. Team Stöckli mastered the 73.39 kilometers and 3,156 meters in elevation from Alleghe to San Martino di Castrozza in 3:33:48.5 hours, thus extending their lead in the overall ranking. Italians Mike Felderer and Johnny Cattaneo of Team Full-Dynamix came in second (3:35:00). Team Bulls followed in third position (3:35:20). According to this, runner-ups in the overall ranking Karl Platt and Thomas Dietsch are now already a mere 3:15 minutes behind of the Yellow Jerseys with only two more days to come.

After the neutralized section had ended after a few kilometers, the top athletes of this year's Transalp, Huber and Looser, had set a high pace when the field entered the first climb to Forcella Celat and kept on racing fast.

"We thought that offense is the best defense," explained Konny Looser in the finish area. "We felt pretty good and had very strong legs." Due to the high tempo the field quickly strung out thus also claiming some prominent victims. Right after Falcade, the men in Yellow were only accompanied by Team Bulls and Full-Dynamix.

Even obstinate pros like Hannes Genze and Andreas Kugler of Multivan Merida Biking as well as Italians Massimo de Bertolis and Johann Pallhuber of Silmax Autopolar Cannondale lost contact. However, it came even harder for the team of former Marathon World Champion De Bertolis: in the end, the 2004 champ ended up with a delay of eight minutes thus also loosing the third overall position to Full-Dynamix.

But the young guns from Switzerland weren't fully pleased with riding in a leading group of three teams. At the end of the ascent to Passo San Pellegrino, Team Stöckli attacked for the first time and was able to jump away. "That was the last hard stage. So, we had expected the others to attack. When nothing happened, we decided to give it a go," said Urs Huber.

Indeed, Mike Felderer and Johnny Cattaneo were able to close the gap again in the following downhill. But in the final climb to Baita Segantini Team Stöckli set another hurtful and successful pin-prick, pulled clear and stormed into the finish bringing home their fourth stage win. According to this, Konny Looser was very pleased with how the day wrapped up: "It was super. We completely dominated the race and were always in the spot."

Rivals pay respect

It was a statement ever so true and thus quickly got confirmed by Mike Felderer, who had tried everything but had to admit defeat again.

"We wanted to attack whenever it's possible. But the two Swiss of Team Stöckli were too strong in the last ascent. They simply had more power in their legs. We couldn't do anything against it," summed up the South Tyrolean mountain biker.

However, Felderer wasn't really disappointed although he won't have a chance to achieve the goal Team Full-Dynamix had entered the 2011 Transalp with as there are only two more easier stages to come.

"We came to win the race. But we lost it already when I had a flat on day one and Johnny (Cattaneo) a small crisis on the second stage. According to this, we are very satisfied that we were able to move up to third in the overall rank."

The reigning French Marathon Champion riding for Team Bulls drew a similar line although he was also one of the beaten ones. "I was at my limit. I for sure would have loved to attack but Team Stöckli was too strong. But I'm happy to be in front," said Thomas Dietsch.

Binder, Troesch attack Pink Jerseys

On the ladies' side, the two leading teams also went for it. Especially Team Felt Ötztal X-Bionic/Rotwild tried to attack thus grabbing their chance to reduce the gap in the overall ranking on the brand new leg into the new stage town San Martino di Castrozza.

In the end, Natascha Binder and Danièle Troesch got awarded with their third stage triumph (5:09:51) and a mere 3:23 minutes lead on second ranked overall leaders of Mountain Heroes (5:13:29).

"We thought that this stage could be the one for us. So we gave it a go, ready to find out if it would be worth it," said Natascha Binder. Due to the successful attack of the German-French duo, the ladies in Pink, Martina Miessgang and Katrin Neumann, have only 2:10 minutes advantage over Binder/Troesch left.

Swiss Manuela Jenny and Susanne Tanner of Velorado Racingteam rounded out the women's podium as third (5:21:29).

Bölts, Strobel with strong performance in master class

Also on the side of the masters, the class for the teams with a total age of more than 80 years, the runner-up duo of the overall ranking was also able to reduce the deficit on the leading team. Udo Bölts and Andreas Strobel ended up with 3:57:45.2 hours for the 73 kilometers and more than 3,000 meters in ascent thus shortening the gap by a mere nine minutes.

But today's second ranked overall leaders of Factory Cube (4:06:53), Austrian's Heinz Zörweg and Silvio Wieltschnig, who had some technical problems along the course and also had to handle a crash of Zörweg, are still more than comfortable twelve minutes ahead of their rivals of Centurion-Vaude.

A fact, which former cycling pro Udo Bölts commentated like this: "Their lead is too big. We have to ungrudgingly accept this. Both are so strong and well-experienced that they definitely know how to bring home the title."

Claudio Segata and Claudio Pellegrini of Trento Iii finished the stage as third ranked duo of the master category (4:10:11).

Team Trient-Südtirol still unbeaten in senior master class

Silvano Janes and Walter Platzgummer of Trient-Südtirol have also claimed victory on stage six (4:05:14) and keep on playing the starring role among the teams with a total age of more than 100 years.

Overall ranked second and third teams of Zweirad Janger Simplon (4:29:31) with Austrian's Erich Pross and Erwin Dietrich as well as Craft And Friends (4:51:07) with Walter Perkmann and Georg Niggl also placed second and third, respectively, today.

Sundstedt/Bresser with fifth victory in mixed category

In the mixed classifier, Pia Sundstedt and Carsten Bresser of Craft-Rocky Mountain have celebrated their fifth stage win rolling over the finish line after 4:18:36 hours thus outpacing their challengers once again.

Milena Landtwing and Martin Kiechle of Centurion-Vaude finished in second position (4:23:24) while Kristina Weber and Daniel Jung of Mountain Heroes secured the third spot on the podium (4:23:26).

Preview Stage 7: San Martino di Castrozza – Trento

Stage Six was a pronged test of the physique; the second to last day will put the psyche to the proof. The 122 kilometers from one new stage town to the other, are, with some 2,600 meters in elevation, very hard.

The first climb starts right in San Martino – on a long gravel road ascent into the ski area Malta Tognale. Then, the route leads over a partly blocked and partly easy to ride trail to Caoria.

Subsequent to this, another highlight of the 2011 Transalp follows: Passo Clinque Croci, an old military road, which was once part of the race long time ago.



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Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Natascha Binder & Danièle Troesch (Felt Ötztal X-Bionic / Rotwild)5:09:51
2Katrin Neumann & Martina Miessgang (Mountain Heroes )0:03:23
3Manuela Jenny & Susanne Tanner (Velorado Racing Team)0:11:37
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Carsten Bresser & Pia Sundstedt (Craft-Rocky Mountain 2)4:18:36
2Milena Landtwing & Martin Kiechle (Centurion-Vaude)0:04:48
3Daniel Jung & Kristina Weber (Mountain Heroes 1)0:15:49
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Urs Huber & Kenny Looser (Team Stöckli)3:33:48
2Mike Felderer & Johnny Cattaneo (Team Full-Dynamix)0:01:11
3Karl Platt & Thomas Dietsch (Team Bulls I)0:01:32
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Udo Bölts & Andreas Strobel (Centurion-Vaude)3:57:45
2Silvia Wieltschnig & Heinz Zörweg (Factory Team Cube 1)0:09:07
3Claudio Segata & Claudio Pellegrini (Team Trento Iii)0:12:26
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General Classification - Elite Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katrin Neumann & Martina Miessgang (Mountain Heroes )27:21:18
2Natascha Binder & Danièle Troesch (Felt Ötztal X-Bionic / Rotwild)0:02:10
3Manuela Jenny & Susanne Tanner (Velorado Racing Team)1:36:28
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Carsten Bresser & Pia Sundstedt (Craft-Rocky Mountain 2)22:58:01
2Milena Landtwing & Martin Kiechle (Centurion-Vaude)0:26:58
3Daniel Jung & Kristina Weber (Mountain Heroes 1)1:34:07
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Urs Huber & Kenny Looser (Team Stöckli)20:01:38
2Karl Platt & Thomas Dietsch (Silmax Autopolar Cannondale)0:03:16
3Mike Felderer & Johnny Cattaneo (Team Full-Dynamix)0:06:27
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Silvia Wieltschnig & Heinz Zörweg (Factory Team Cube 1)21:44:59
2Udo Bölts & Andreas Strobel (Centurion-Vaude)0:12:18
3Claudio Segata & Claudio Pellegrini (Team Trento Iii)1:10:30

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