August 14, 2004 (Seebe, Alberta) – The Rocky Mountain Bikes Team of Andreas Hestler and Karl Platt catapulted into the overall lead of the toughest mountain bike race in the world, with a strong finish in the sixth stage of the TransRockies Challenge.
Hestler and Platt reached the finish line at the Rafter Six Ranch and Resort in a time of 3:42:36, followed by Troy Misseghers and Neil Grover 13 minutes later. Today’s performance puts Hestler and Platt back into the overall lead with a total time of 27:05:26, more than 10 minutes ahead of the Mountain Bike City/Crowsnest Red Niks team. Misseghers and Grover are now a full hour ahead of last year’s champions Andreas Strobel and Silvio Wieltschnig who are firmly in third place this year.
“We took off early and rode steady all morning,” said Hestler. “This was a hard course today but we’re feeling better and better every day.”
Karl Arnold, 43, and Stephan Ruttimann, 40, continued their domination of the masters category, crossing the finish line with a time of 5:28:38. The Swiss riders now enjoy a three-and=a-half hour advantage over the Pedal/Kona team of Paul Newitt, 39, and Nels Guloien, 49, who finished the day in 4:36:32.
In the mixed category, Eric Warkentin and Louise Kobin, rode a steady pace today to finish first in 4:42:54. They are now 21 minutes behind the mixed leaders Niclas Christoffersson and Marg Fedyna who sustained broken facial bones and a head gash yesterday but finished second today with 4:45:58 for a total time of 32:10:00.
Christina Begy and Joan Orgeldinger today edged out the overall women’s leaders Karen Eller and Sabrine Grona by just over six minutes with a finish time of 5:02:06. Eller and Grona maintain the lead of just over one hour in the category with an accumulated time of 34:44:59.
The TransRockies Challenge finishes tomorrow in Canmore, Alberta after a rolling but technical 47K track that ends up at the Canmore Nordic Centre, site of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games Nordic events before dropping down to the finish line in downtown Canmore.
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:
For full results, click on http://www.transRockies.com/media/images/stage6_results.pdf