July 22, 2006 (Madonna di Campiglio) – Bright sunshine and the shortest stage of the BIKE Transalp Challenge was coming up — it seemed to be an easy day for the participants, but the 2,411 vertical meters at such a short race-length thwarted them. The second mountain with mean ascents, topped by the Rifugio Orso Bruno in 2,148 altitude meters, claimed the last from them: Ramps with up to a 22% grade and difficult downhill parts dropped out the wanted recovering-day.
The Specialized Starlets with Jennifer O’Connor and Kate Potter have been the surprise of the day. With a 3.31.37 h time they left Team Zwillingscraft behind and could celebrate their first victory. The Australian/New Zealand team actually was a bit surprised, too: “We didn’t even realize that we were leading. I don’t know how we did it, we just drove pretty fast.” The responsibility assignment is clear. Kate pulls her mate Jennifer up the hill, and on the downhill parts the New Zealand lady shows her impressing technique. Kate was completely enthused about the BIKE Transalp Challenge: “It’s fantastic riding over here — a great race. The trails, the mountains, it’s just amazing”. 1.16 minutes later the leaders in the total results Peggy and Sandra Klose reached Madonna di Campiglio. 3rd place gained the Norwegians Gunn Hilleren and Monika Olofsen (3.36.20 h).
In the “veteran-discipline” the masters-category, the leaders Heinz ZÃ¶rweg and Ekkehard DÃ¶rschlag could enlarge their flimsy margin in the total results from 54 seconds to 4.26 minutes. Especially ZÃ¶rweg was in a great condition and even sometimes pulled his partner up the hill. Maybe the two Austrians, who had to take some holidays deliberately for the BIKE Transalp Challenge, can celebrate the total-victory in Limone first with a nice bath in lake Garda and then with their families who welcome both KTM-racers with a big applause in every town.
Their challengers Walter Platzgummer and Hansi Grasegger could’t do much against the victory. After a furious start they had some weaknesses on the the mountain part and had to feel the endeavours of the last days. They crossed the finish-line after 2.51.10 hours, but are not going to stop attacking tomorrow. Branko Grah and Thomas Widhalm finished with a 9.31 Minuten handicap.
They declared that they want to win all of the eight stages of the BIKE Transalp Challenge. Anna Baylis-Scheiderbauer and JÃ¶rg Scheiderbauer dominated the mixed-discipline and also won today within 3.04.34 hours. Their only sorrow: an overthrow, which makes a victory in the total-results impossible, as it happened at this years Cape-Epic-race in south-africa. After the Olympic Games medal-winner in Athens, Sabine Spitz and her husband, quitted the race, the 2nd place is free for the Team Cow Bells & Bear Bells of the mixed-discipline. They finished the race after 3.13.00 hours, followed by the Austrians Klocker/Pramstaller with a 4.43 minutes handicap.
Sandro SpÃ¤th and Thomas Zahnd celebrated their second victory in the daily-results after 2.43.03 hours. Because of a perfect technical performance at the downhill part, they could seperate from the new German U23-champion Benjamin Rudiger and Tim BÃ¶hme for the critical 20 meters during the finish-sprint and won the stage after 2.43.03 hours. The leaders in the total-results Platt/Bresser played the save game, but followed after only 9 seconds. Team Rabobank, number three in the total results, had to quit the race, because Michael Groenendaal’s stomach-problems got worse.
Tomorrow’s stage from Madonna di Campiglio to Limone sul Garda with 96,38 Kilometern is characterized by only one word: Tremalzo. On the world-famous trail down to lake Gada the riders may look forward to a beautiful view down on the azur-blue waters. At the finish, directly at the shore of the lake, the ninth BIKE Transalp Challenge is going to find its end. It was definitely the hottest Transalp of all: no rain, cloudless skies and high temperatures are responsible for an even thougher challenge.
Overall after Stage 7
1. GHOST Interational Racing Team 3 (Scheiderbauer, JÃ¶rg (GER) Baylis-Scheiderbauer, Anna (GER), 28:56:50
2. Cow Bells & Bear Bells (Fedyna, Marg (CAN) Kobel, Philipp (CHE) at 2:06:20
3. Probike Lienz (Klocker, Wolfgang (AUT) Pramstaller, Manuela (AUT), 2:59:26
4. SEB MTB (Biezais, Martins (LVA) Eiduka, Ivanda (LVA) , 4:30:41
5 JOAS-Fenster/Steppenwolf/RSC-GAT K 97(Marquardt, Conny (GER) Marquardt, Walter (GER), 5:05:15
39. Adrenalin Junkies (Tamburrino, Marc (CAN) Johnson, Kristen (CAN), 47:39:40
1. Rocky Mountain Business Objects (Bresser, Carsten (GER) Platt, Karl (GER), 25:50:30
2. Team Texner-Stoeckli (Spaeth, Sandro (CHE) Zahnd, Thomas (CHE), at 0:19:41
3. TEAm Rothaus-Cube 1 (Lehmann, Frank (GER) Rudiger, Andre (GER) 0:51:10
4. Bananos de Costa Rica#1 (Raabe, Henry (CRI) Ramirez, Federico (CRI) , 1:18:33
5. Limone Sul Garda (Ferrari, Gianluca (ITA) Zulian, Ivo (ITA), 1:38:14
29. Team Holcim 2 (CÃ´tÃ©, Steve (CAN) Molla, Juan Simon (ESP), 5:28:43
42. Team Whistler (Thomas, LLoyd (CAN), Anderson, Tracy (GER), 6:59:12
1. Zwillingscraft 1 (Klose, Peggy (GER) Klose, Sandra (GER), 32:14:43
2. Specialized Starlets (O’Connor, Jennifer (NZL) Potter, Kate (AUS), at 2:02:16
3. HMTBK (NÃ¸rgaard, Anna-Sofie (DNK) NÃ¸rgaard, Kristine (DNK), 4:25:35
4. Team Torshov Sport (Hilleren, Gunn (NOR) Olofsen, Monika (NOR), 4:37:35
5. JEEP LADIES (Booyens, Hanlie (RSA) Laws, Sharon (GBR), 7:30:58