|By: News Release|
In less than two weeks, the 15th CRAFT BIKE TRANSALP will kick off and promises a very tight race for the title as numerous pro teams have registered their riders.
Although reigning champions Urs Huber and Konny Looser of Swiss Stöckli Pro Team are still the favorites for another Transalp title, Alban Lakata (AUT) and Robert Mennen (GER) of Topeak Ergon Racing as well as Karl Platt (GER) and Stefan Sahm (GER) of Team Bulls will also have some say when it comes down to stage wins and overall rankings.
According to this, the so far most successful Transalp participant Karl Platt, who was undergoing a training camp together with team mates Stefan Sahm, Thomas Dietsch (FRA) and Tim Böhme (GER) in Livigno, Italy, until yesterday, has high expectations:
“As I have won the race seven times already, there is only one goal for me.”
However, the 2008 German Marathon Champion knows how hard it will be to achieve his goal.
“I'm expecting a very tight battle. This year, it will be extremely difficult to win as there are many newly formed teams of two lining up in Oberammergau,” said the mountain bike pro.
One of those strong competitor teams is representing the colors of Topeak Ergon Racing. Despite the fact that the reigning champions of Stöckli Pro Team are the ones to beat for Lakata, the repeated Austrian Champion is shooting for the moon: “Our goal is a top-3 ranking in the overall standings.”
To get there, Lakata has tried to get into form by mainly participating in contests and events.
“In the past weeks, I competed in many different races as well as stage races. In addition, I also did some tough and long training sessions,” said the 2010 Marathon World Champion, who won the KitzAlpBike last weekend and will also enter the Dolomiti Superbike before heading to the Transalp.
About the Transalp:
The Craft Bike Transalp is possibly the most famous stage race for mountain bike teams of two. Ever since its first edition in 1998, the routing leads the participants in eight stages from Germany across the main chain of the Alps to Italy. In 2012, the event takes place for the 15th time (July 14 thru 21).
For the first time in Transalp history, Oberammergau, Germany, will host the start. Leaving the Bavarian stage town southwards, the mountain bikers travel to Austrian stops Imst, Ischgl and Nauders. After entering Switzerland for a quick stopover in Scuol, the field aims for Italy and thus Livigno, Ponte di Legno, Madonna di Campiglio and finally Riva del Garda which traditionally hosts the finish right at the shores of Lake Garda.
This year, the racers will master a total distance of more than 600 kilometers peppered with more than 20,000 meters in elevation gain.