August 12, 2004 (Turner Valley, Alberta) – The pace picks up on the sunny fourth day of the TransRockies Challenge. The battle for first place in the toughest mountain bike race in the world, the TransRockies Challenge, continued under sunny skies today with the Rocky Mountain Team of Andreas Hestler and Karl Platt edging out yesterday’s winners Troy Misseghers and Neil Grover by just 1 minute and 15 seconds to finish the 63 km stage with a time of 3:50.07. Misseghers and Grover continue to hold onto the overall lead over today’s winners by almost 38 minutes while last year’s champions Andreas Strobel and Silvio Wieltschnig fell behind to third place in both today’s stage and the overall rankings.
“We lost too much time yesterday to do any better than third,” said Wieltschnig. “Your body can only do so much at this stage of the race.”
After yesterday’s long and muddy trek, the shorter, drier and faster course was a welcome relief to the 113 teams that started the day in Etherington Creek this morning.
Karl Arnold, 43, and Stephan Ruttimann, 40, continue to dominate the master’s category with a finish time today of 4:41:00. The Pedal/Kona team of Paul Newitt, 39, and Nels Guloien, 49, were just seven and a half minutes behind today’s category winners but extended their lead over the third place team to almost 15 minutes.
There was no change in the front runner line-up of the mixed category with Niclas Christoffersson of Canmore and Marg Fedyna from Edmonton finishing in 4:45:56. They advanced their overall advantage over Eric Warkentin and Louise Kobin to almost three quarters of an hour.
Christina Begy, a member of last year’s women’s championship team, and Joan Orgeldinger, were first today in the women’s category finishing in 5:03:07. They were almost eight minutes ahead of overall leaders Karen Eller and Sabrine Grona who have a total elapsed time of 23:34:38.
Now more than halfway through the 600K TransRockies Challenge, tomorrow’s fifth stage rolls into the hamlet of Bragg Creek, Alberta, just west of Calgary, after 105K of steep climbing and downhills totalling more than 4,400 vertical metres of mountain biking. The event will finish in Canmore, Alberta this Saturday, Aug. 14, where winners will share $20,000 in prize money.
Inaugurated in 2002, the TransRockies Challenge is based on the successful TransAlps Challenge. Both events are organized by upsolut mv. Gmbh of Munich, Germany. Sponsors of the TransRockies Challenge are Travel Alberta, Sugoi, Devinci, Glenmore Audi, The Bike Shop and Refresh.
To read daily reports from the trenches as Paul Newitt and Nels Guloien (both riding for Team Pedal/Kona) complete TR 2004, click here: http://www.pedalmag.com/index.php?module=CustomPage&action=view&custompage_id=101
For full results, click on http://www.transRockies.com/media/images/stage4_results.pdf