Posted by Editoress on 07/18/05
Stage 3 report by Team Rocky Mountain Business Objects member Lesley Tomlinson
Today's stage was a bit epic. In the 4 years I have been here. We have had the occasional small hike across some mountain pass. Today though, we hiked what seemed like forever up scree slopes into snow, past the Alpine Bovines, more snow to the top of St Pöltener Hütte after 47km of climbing (5km of hiking). It worked in the favour of good hikers for sure.
Andreas Hestler and partner Alison Sydor got to utilize their hard winter hiking on the North Shore of Vancouver and closed the gap to first place and jersey wearers Anna Baylis of Australia and her husband (Jorg Scheiderbauer). They battled all the way to the finish. After passing them on the downhill, Andreas put his head down to TT at 38km per hour for as long as he could into a head wind. There were 40km to the finish from the base of the climb. They almost made it when the Baylis team, who had picked up a good fast group of men, caught them coming into the town. Their race finished in a sprint and Hestler and Sydor took the stage. It should be noted that the mixed teams are allowed to use a towing method to maximize their speed. Hestler and Sydor are going without a tow system, making it very challenging as Alison gets no assistance except for Andreas' wheel to hang onto for the fast flat portions.
They are still 4 minutes 50 down overall and in second place.
Karl Platt and Carsten Bresser had a crash coming into the finish when 5 teams were left together at the finish for the sprint. Bart Brentjens was just off the group, so they added a very small amount of time to their lead over the Giant Team. The Rocky Mountain Business Objects duo are still in the Leaders jersey for day 4.Their finish time was 5 hours and 4 mins.
Lesley Tomlinson ad Gretchen Reeves of RockyMountain Business Objects had a more challenging day taking second place, as after the hike the 3rd and 4th place teams reached the summit at the same time. Although the Canadians put time on them all on the long downhill, they reached the long 40km drag in alone and TT'd by themselves until finally picking up a small group with 10km to go. The other teams were chasing hard in a fast group and the finish gap as small. But Reeves and Tomlinson were second for the 3rd day in a row and keep a significant lead over 3rd, 4th and 5th places.
The duo of Enoccson and Süss are riding incredibly well and maintain their first position with a good lead.
Tomorrow is apparently the hardest stage in the Trans Alp this year and it is currently pouring rain. Stage three was very long due to the massive hike. The distance was just under 100km.
Tuesday will be Lienz Austria to Sexten. 70.4 km but 3684 meters of climbing. The start goes right into an 11km climb of 15 to 22%. How fun is that?
More to come
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