Platt and Dietsch grab first stage win in TransAlp

Karl Platt and Thomas Dietsch clinched the seventh stage of the 2011 TransAlp from San Martino di Castrozza to Trento in Italy. The 120km stage was the first won by Team Bulls this year. They crossed the line in 4:00:41, ahead of Swiss overall leaders Urs Huber and Konny Looser of Team Stöckli in second just 0.6 seconds later. Huber and Looser held on to the overall lead by 3:14.

Third place went to Hannes Genze and Andreas Kugler of Multivan Merida Biking,who won the sprint of three teams for the last podium spot (4:04:21), thus holding off Germans Markus Kaufmann and Rupert Palmberger of Centurion-Vaude as well as Massimo De Bertolis and Johann Pallhuber of Silmax Autopolar Cannondale, who regained third place overall.

Huber and Looser made a big step toward their first overall title. They were the only ones able to keep up the high pace set by the more experienced Team Bulls on the 20km long climb up to Passo Cinque Croci (2,017m).

Platt and Dietsch tried to pull clear several times but to no effect. "We noticed pretty fast that they couldn't break away," said Huber, who is now close to bringing home the coveted TransAlp title in his very first participation.

"That is - of course - an unbelievable feeling although I'm a little bit afraid of technical defects or other problems. But if it's running as normal as over the last days, it should work out," said Huber. "The title would be the perfect start for us as a team. We could go towards the future with confidence."

Team Bulls raises its hats

However, the two dominant mountain bikers of the 14th Transalp shouldn't feel too safe. Unlike in big road stage races, there is no gentlemen’s agreement or "non-aggression pact" for the final stage across the main chain of the Alps to Riva del Garda.

Nevertheless, seven-time Transalp champion Karl Platt doesn't believe in wonders. "Of course you aren't done until you rolled over the finish line. But they (Huber and Looser) look good. So, I guess they will bring home victory."

And the father of three also delivered some decent arguments for his forecast. "It was very hard today. We tried to attack several times but noticed pretty quickly that it just doesn’t add up. So we rode the rest of the course together." Platt also explained the close finish, "There was no sense in sprinting coming down fast the downhill. So, Team Stöckli decided to yield and dedicate the spot of honor to us."

Mountain Heroes lay foundation for first TransAlp crown

After they had lost some of their advantage yesterday, Martina Miessgang and Katrin Neumann laid the foundation to their first TransAlp title by winning their fourth stage; despite the fact bad luck for both.

While Miessgang was complaining about a broken derailleur, it was one disaster after the other for Neumann. "My chain broke and I pedaled into nothing thus flying straight over the handle bar," the German said, who was lined through bruises and grazes.

Even so, the Mountain Heroes rolled over the final timekeeping, which was placed some six kilometers outside of Trento, in first position (5:13:10). The leaders of the women's ranking thus were 2:38 minutes faster than their main pursuers of Felt Ötztal X-Bionic/Rotwild, Natascha Binder and Danièle Troesch, who followed as runner-ups (5:15:48). Switzerland's Manuela Jenny and Susanne Tanner of Velorado Racing Team rounded out the podium as third (5:27:35).

In the ranking, the Mountain Heroes is now close to a major coup having a lead of almost five minutes over their strongest rivals. "It was our goal to place on the podium once and ride one day in pink. We never thought that we could be that close to winning the race," Miessgang said.

Centurion-Vaude masters earn second consecutive stage win

Just like yesterday, Udo Bölts and Andreas Strobel were in an incredible shape again and secured another stage win in the master classifier (4:15:44). With a lead of more than five minutes, the German pairing of Centurion-Vaude thus relegated the the blue-clad leaders Factory Cube pros Heinz Zörweg and Silvio Wieltschnig to the runner-up position (4:20:54).

However, the two Austrians still have a comfortable advantage in the master ranking of more than seven minutes over Bölts and Strobel.

Italians Claudio Segata and Claudio Pellegrino of Trento Iii came in as third fastest team (4:21:56).

Centurion-Vaude mixed team is also victorious

In the mixed category, the top-ranked duos finished like in the elite class. After the leaders in the orange jerseys, Pia Sundstedt and Carsten Bresser of Craft-Rocky Mountain, had been riding together with Milena Landtwing and Martin Kiechle over the whole course, both yielded to the Centurion-Vaude riders, who thus claimed their second stage win at this year's TransAlp.

German's Daniela Storch and Patrick Müller of Kröning Scott Generation Team were able to celebrate their first podium finish as third (4:54:36).

Senior master leaders again unbeaten

Italian stallions Silvano Janes and Walter Platzgummer of Trient-Südtirol have also nailed the seventh of so far seven possible stage wins in the time of 4:18:46.

Both absolutely dominating leaders were trailed by Erich Pross and Erwin Dietrich of Zweirad Janger Simplon (4:37:30) as well as Walter Perkmann and Georg Niggl of Craft And Friends (5:03:36) as the second and third best senior master duos.

Stage 8 Preview: Trento, Italy to Riva del Garda, Italy

The final act is a true cross country course over 75 easy kilometers.

From the start, a climb leads up to Monte Bondone, where the Legendary Charly Gaul, a cycling race dedicated to a former cyclist from Luxembourg, takes place. However, the mountain bikers won't use the paved road, but will ride some very steep gravel and forest roads up to Malga Brigolina.

Thereafter, a downhill leads into Valle dei Laghi and thus to many little mountain lakes which are located North of Lake Garda.

Then, the field follows the Terlago Bike course to Lago di Lamar until Ranzo, which offers a beautiful view on Lago di Toblino, the stone sea called "Marrocche" and Lake Garda - the traditional finish of the TransAlp.

Brief Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team Bulls I (Ger/Fra)4:00:41
2Team Stöckli (Swi)0:00:01
3Multivan Merida Biking Team (Ger/Swi)0:03:40
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mountain Heroes 2 (Ger/Aut)5:13:10
2Felt Ötztal X-Bionic / Rotwild, (Ger/Fra)0:02:38
3Velorado Racing Team, (Swi)0:14:26
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Centurion-Vaude (Swi/Ger)4:37:26
2Craft-Rocky Mountain 2 (Ger/Fin)0:00:01
3Kröning Scott Generation Team (Ger)0:17:10
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Centurion-Vaude (Ger)4:15:44
2Factory Team Cube 1 (Aut)0:05:11
3Team Trento Iii (Ita)0:06:13
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Senior masters
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Trient-Südtirol (Ita)4:18:46
2Zweirad Janger Simplon (Aut)0:18:43
3Craft And Friends (Ita/Ger)0:44:50
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Men's general classification after seven stages
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team Stöckli (Swi)24:02:20
2Team Bulls I (Ger/Fra)0:03:15
3Silmax Autopolar Cannondale (Ita)0:13:43
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Women's general classification after seven stages
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mountain Heroes 2 (Ger/Aut)32:34:28
2Felt Ötztal X-Bionic / Rotwild (Ger/Fra)0:04:48
3Velorado Racing Team (Swi)1:50:54
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Mixed general classification after seven stages
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Craft-Rocky Mountain 2 (Ger/Fin)27:35.28,5Row 0 - Cell 2
2Centurion-Vaude (Swi/Ger)28:02:25
3Mountain Heroes 1 (Ita/Ger)29:34:21
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Masters' general classification after seven stages
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Factory Team Cube 1 (Aut)26:05:54
2Centurion-Vaude (Ger)0:07:07
3Team Trento Iii (Ita)1:11:32
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Senior masters' general classification after seven stages
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Trient-Südtirol (Ita)26:29:50
2Zweirad Janger Simplon (Aut)1:59:08
3Craft And Friends (Ita/Ger)3:23:28

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