Aprica to Pellizzano
The weather was kind to the athletes. After the cool and damp opening stage, the Italian sun provided even more motivation and a plus in good mood. For today’s stage, this additional support from above was certainly a blessing for many participants.
Because before tomorrow’s queen stage, which will wind its way from Aprica to Pellizzano in 99 kilometres and with 3,270 metres of altitude difference, the participants already faced a huge challenge today. It is good that all the wonderful impressions and experiences of such a challenge fully compensate for these exertions.
The two Austrians from Pure HUMANPWR KTM 1 also received compensation today for their unpleasant day before, on which David Schöggl simply did not feel well, as he revealed, cooling his feet in the paddling pool. After he and his teammate Manuel Pliem had lost two minutes of their lead on the second stage, they immediately made sure they had a lead today, which they will not rest on, but will feel a little reassured.
“It wasn’t quite easy though,” David explained. “The second-placed riders really gave us a run for our money on the first climb. We had to fight hard before we could pull away, which we finally managed to do in the fast gravel descent.” In the end, the two crossed the finish line with an extended overall lead of thirteen minutes. Second place today went to KMC team riders Tim Smeenge and Roel Verhoeven. Third place went to Lennard Heidenreich and Jan-Frederik Finoulst from Team MAXXIS Velomotion.
There was a change in the lead and a premiere on the second stage in the women’s race. After a terrific chase Imke Weidemann and Anna Schmitt were able to fight their way up from fifth to second place in the women’s classification and defend it today. In this masterpiece, they made up 40 places among all participants. For this they received the Scott Attack jersey.
An all-women team in the Scott Attack jersey – that has never happened before in 23 years of BIKE Transalp history! Danièle Troesch and Lorenza Menapace from the Centro Bike Val Di Sole team held on to first place. In third place Carina Mohr and Conny Bucher from the Scott Contessa Team moved down one place after stage two.
Today’s stage was a challenging puzzle, composed of steep gravel climbs and long asphalt ascents, of slippery trails with tricky hairpin bends and fast flow trails, of stony paths and bumpy root passages. Added to this were the many metres in altitude and kilometres, as well as the sudden heat. The long La Grosina trail, one of the “5 Crazy Downs”, was particularly demanding. “The trail was very demanding. Especially the hairpin bends were very steep and there was little grip.
For some riders it was certainly a big challenge,” revealed third-placed Lennard Heidenreich, who himself had enough fun on this tricky downhill. Carina Mohr and Conny Bucher, two true enduro riders, also plunged into the depths with a smile.
“I didn’t find the hairpin bends strenuous, but the stony slope before them, where my hands almost fell off due to the vibrations,” Carina explained, not without a smile. Many participants, on the other hand, had to prove that they love their bikes on this difficult section and started to push. It is not for nothing that the La Grosina trail is one of the “5 Crazy Down”, the most demanding trails in the Valtellina mountains.
After this demanding stage today, the participants will surely look forward to their hotel, where their legs can finally relax. Tomorrow’s queen stage from Apriva to Pellizzano will make them glow again quickly enough.
More information about the race, details about the course and the stage towns can be found at https://bike-transalp.de/en/. Here you can also find live results and press images during the seven-day race, updated daily.