August 9/04 9:58 am - TransRockies Challenge: Stage 1
Posted by Editoress on 08/9/04
Report courtesy Rocky Mountain Business Objects
The Rocky Mountain Business Objects team Platt and Hestler took the Trans Rockies Leaders jersey today in a finish that came down to Platt driving them in for a 20 second lead over the Austrian team of Strobel and Wieltschnig. The course was rolling and not too technically challenging, the racers climbed 1800 meters total. Karl Platt of Germany just two weeks ago won the Trans Alp Challenge in Europe and in February, the Cape Epic. In the latter part of todays stage the Rocky Mountain Business Objects duo dropped the 2003 defending Champions Andreas Strobel and Silvio Wieltschnig of Austria. Andreas Hestler said that Karl was like superman today. Trans Alp and jet lag did not seem to be slowing him down. Platts goal is to this year win the triple crown of endurance stage races. Cape Epic in South Africa, Trans Alp Challenge in Europe and Trans Rockies of Canada.
Report courtesy Trans Rockies
Tight race for lead in toughest mountain bike race in the world
Cyclists from around the world today set a blistering pace on the first stage of the world's toughest mountain bike race, the TransRockies Challenge,The first stage of the seven-day, 600 km trek through the Canadian Rocky Mountains from Fernie, B.C. to Canmore, Alberta finished with a tight race for the lead.
The Rocky Mountain Bikes team of Andreas Hestler of Vancouver and Karl Platt of Germany led the 95-km stage and crossed the finish line in Blairmore, Alberta in 3:40:22, just three seconds ahead of last year's champions, Andreas Strobel, of Germany, and Silvio Wieltschnig, from Austria. The foursome led the field of 235 racers all day at an average speed of almost 28 km per hour.
"This was the hardest day of cycling in my entire career, said the exhausted Hestler at the finish line. "Karl kept a good pace but we were pushing to keep the lead," he said.
In the Masters' category, Karl Arnold, 43, and Stephan Ruttimann, 40, both of Switzerland, finished in 4:08:35. They were followed 31 minutes later by Canadians William Letham, 47, and James Shellard, 40.
Canmore, Alberta's Niclas Christoffersson and his team mate Marg Fedyna of Edmonton led the mixed category with a time of 4:25:24. They wereust ahead of Americans Eric Warkentin and Louise Kobin, a member of last year's women's championship team, who finished in 4:27:44.
The German women's team of Karen Eller and Sabrine Grona finished today's stage in 5:00:06 followed by Isabelle Dube of Canmore and Maria Hawkins of Banff, representing Team Drake, with a time of 5:20:01.
Although the weather at the noon start in Fernie was picture perfect, the climate changed by day's end, with colder temperatures and drizzling rain greeting riders at the finish in Blairmore.
Forest fires in the area forced a last minute change in the course by race officials last year. This year's forest fire threat is only moderate due to recent rains in the Rocky Mountain interior. The weather greased the track that made the steep climb up to the summit of Ptolemy Pass challenging for riders.
The TransRockies Challenge continues tomorrow with a slightly shorter, 84 km stage taking riders 2,600 vertical metres from Blairmore and up Racehourse Pass before decending to Dutch Creek in Kananaskis, Country Alberta. The competition will finish in Canmore, Alberta this Saturday, Aug. 14, where winners will share $20,000 in prize money.
Stage 1:Fernie to Crowsnest Pass, 95km
1. Rocky Mountain Business Objects (Hestler/Platt) 3:40:22
2. Fiat / Rotwild Adidas (Wieltschig/Stroble) at 0:03
3. Crowsnest Red Niks (Grover/Missegheres) 20:50
4. swisspower /fehr-velo (Hinrichs/Zumstein) 31:07
5. Swissbike Team (Morf/Maag) 31:14
6. Cybercycle (Doyon/Larivee) 33:12
8. Haro Cda/Cybercylcle (Poirier/Desforges) 36:35
9. Team Bianchi (Friesen/Stappler) 44:55
11. DMH Racing (Hewitt/Hewitt) 49:16
12. Enerplus (Bulcock/Erlam) 49:17