Urs Huber (SUI) and Konny Looser (SUI) have achieved their goal of winning a stage on Friday’s seventh and penultimate Craft Bike TransAlp stage. The defending champions of Team Stöckli mastered the 72,25 km distance from Ponte di Legno, Italy, to Madonna di Campiglio, Italy in 3:53:34.1 and staked their claim on third place in the overall standings.
Alban Lakata (AUT) and Robert Mennen (GER) of Topeak Ergon Racing, in second place overall, crossed the finish line two minutes later in 3:55:33.3. However, the men in yellow were able to extend their lead on Centurion-Vaude/BiXS iXS as Markus Kaufmann (GER) and Thomas Stoll (SUI) came in third, 3:50 down on the overall leaders.
Friday’s battle was likely the decisive moment in the GC. It’s unlikely that the most impressive racers of this year’s Transalp will loose the lead again.
“Our goal was to avoid any defects. So, we weren’t up to using the sledgehammer; especially as we had seen that Thomas (Stoll) had some serious troubles keeping up,” said Mennen, who is participating in his first ever TransAlp participation.
With only the final stage to come, Lakata and Mennen have a lead of 4:18 minutes on their main pursuers.
“It should be enough to make it to Riva del Garda. But it’s mountain biking and there can always be flat tires or other problems. But to be honest, we have had enough bad luck already. However, a lot of things can still happen,” added Mennen.