Posted by Editoress on 08/11/04
Stage 2:Crowsnest Pass to Dutch Creek, 95km
Leaders chase to win second leg of TransRockies Challenge
Last year's TransRockies Challenge champions, Andreas Strobel, of Germany, and Silvio Wieltschnig, from Austria, chased yesterday's first stage winners Andreas Hestler of Vancouver and Karl Platt of Germany for most of today's 95 km course from Blairmore to Dutch Creek, Alberta. They finally caught up and crossed the finish line to capture the stage jersey with a time of 3:58.45, one second ahead of yesterday's leaders.
"Our pace was probably too fast at the start so we faded towards the finish," said Hestler, who also had chain problems towards the end of the stage. "Stobel and Wielstchnig just kept up their strong and steady rhythm to catch us."
Karl Arnold, 43, and Stephan Ruttimann, 40, both of Switzerland, continue to lead the master's category finishing the day in 4:36:57. Canadians Francois Amyot, 47, and Daniel Auclair, 45, completed the stage in 5:16:16 to hold second place.
In the mixed category, there was no change in the ranking, with Niclas Christoffersson of Canmore and Marg Fedyna of Edmonton maintaining their lead with a finish today of 4:46:14 over Eric Warkentin and Louise Kobin, both from California, who finished in 4:57:31.
Yesterday's women's winners Karen Eller and Sabrine Grona from Germany, maintained their lead, finishing today's stage in 5:29:41. They were followed by Christina Begy, a member of last year's women's championship team and her partner Joan Orgeldinger who moved up to second place with a time of 5:42:56.
Tomorrow's third stage of the TransRockies Challenge features more than 2,700 metres of climbing and fast downhills over 97 km of track between Dutch Creek and Etherington Creek campground in Kananaskis Country, Alberta. Riders will be treated to some of the most beautiful vistas in the Canadian Rocky Mountains when they reach the summit of Rye Ridge The event will finish in Canmore, Alberta this Saturday, Aug. 14, where winners will share $20,000 in prize money.
Stage 3: Dutch Creek to Etherington Creek, 93 km
Mud makes third day of TransRockies Challenge toughest yet
Muddy trails from yesterday's rains made the 97 km track of the third stage of the TransRockies Challenge the longest and most challenging yet for riders in the toughest mountain bike race in the world.
The mud was largely responsible for many mechanical problems that upset the overall standings. Troy Misseghers of Blairmore, Alberta and Neil Grover
The second team to cross the finish line under today's sunny skies were the Swiss Masters' team of Karl Arnold, 43, and Stephan Ruttimann, 40, who finished in 6:37.44. They now have a commanding overall lead of more than two hours over the Pedal/Kona team of Paul Newitt,39, and Nels Guloien, 49, of Vancouver.
"I've never seen mud like that before and I never want to see mud like that again," commented Arnold on the wet clay that clogged many bikes today.
In the mixed category, Niclas Christoffersson of Canmore and Marg Fedyna from Edmonton continued their overall lead with a finish today of 7:19.11. They are now almost 36 minutes ahead of Eric Warkentin and Louise Kobin, both from California, who finished fourth today.
Germans Karen Eller and Sabrine Grona maintained their lead over Christina Begy, a member of last year's women's championship team, and her partner Joan Orgeldinger, finishing today's stage in just under eight hours for an overall time of 18: 22:47.
The fourth stage of the TransRockies Challenge will cover 63 km of trail where riders will experience a total of 3,400 metres of vertical ascent and descent before fording the Sheep River at before the finish line.
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