August 15, 2004 (Canmore, Alberta) “” The Rocky Mountain Bikes Team of Andreas Hestler of Vancouver and Karl Platt of Germany kept up their furious pace in the final stage of the toughest mountain bike race in the world to win the overall men’s championship in the 2004 TransRockies Challenge.
Hestler and Platt were cheered on by a crowd of more than 1,000 as they crossed the finish line today in downtown Canmore Alberta. Their time of 2:22:13 was just six seconds behind last year’s champions Andreas Strobel and Silvio Wieltschnig, for an overall time over the 600K seven-day course of 29:38:39.
Second overall place was won by Troy Misseghers and Neil Grover, who finished today a little more than three minutes behind the champions. They ended the week with an overall time of 29:52:25.
“It was a big battle all week and we had to fight hard to keep our lead,” said Hestler. “I was nervous about losing our position but I felt good for the final few kilometres today.”
In the master’s category, Karl Arnold, 43, and Stephan Ruttimann, 40, remained untouchable in the final leg of the challenge, finishing in 2:55:03 for a total accumulated time of 32:49:40. Second place today and second overall was taken by Paul Newitt, 39, and Nels Guloien, 49, of Team Pedal/Kona with a total time of 36:26:31. William Letham, 47, and James Shellard, 40, were third with a total time of 36:41:46.
Niclas Christoffersson of Canmore, a member of the men’s championship team in the first TransRockies Challenge in 2002, and Marg Fedyna who rode today despite injuries from a fall in Bragg Creek two days ago, captured the mixed category championship with a finish today in 3:04:44 for an overall time of 35:14:43. They were followed one minute later today by Eric Warkentin and Louise Kobin, a member of last year’s women’s championship team, for an overall time of 35:37:08 for second. Third place went to Trish Grajczyk and Pat Doyle who were two hours overall behind the champions.
Germans Karen Eller and Sabrine Grona secured the women’s championship with a first place finish today in 3:12:00. Second place went to last year’s women’s champion Christina Begy and Joan Orgeldinger who ended up almost one-and-a-quarter hour behind the leaders. Third place today and overall went to Isabelle Dube and Maria Hawkins who finished with a total time of 42:28:15.
The champions shared $20,000 cash prizes.
The 2005 TransRockies Challenge will be held Aug. 7-13.
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 2004 TransRockies Challenge were 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/stage7_results.pdf