Canadian Cyclist


August 1/02 11:32 am - TransAlp Challenge: Canadian Victory

Posted by Editoress on 08/1/02

TransAlp Challenge
Courtesy Rocky Mountain Bicycles

Rocky Mountain Bicycles wins both the men's and woman's category of the "the world's toughest race", the TransAlp Challenge!

Three countries, 8 stages, 569 kilometers and 19,700 meters in elevation gain: the Adidas BIKE TransAlp Challenge is renowned amongst many as the race that brings together heaven and hell. This year's event was bigger and tougher than ever with 749 competitors taking on what has been billed, "the world's toughest race".

Rocky Mountain German marathon specialist Karl Platt and Carsten Bresser, one of Germany's best mountain bikers and a former German Champion, (TransAlp team Xenofit - Rocky Mountain/ T-Mobile) put on the yellow leader jersey on the first day and did not take it off until the finish. With a total time of 26:30.27,9 hours, they won the 5th annual Adidas BIKE TransAlp Challenge superior over 22 minutes ahead of the second place finishers to take the prestigious title.

Rocky Mountain also had the fastest Women of the event, Cross Country pros Lesley Tomlinson from Canada and Gretchen Reeves from the USA (Rocky Mountain/ Marzocchi). With an outstanding riding performance, they reached the finish 23 minutes prior to wearers of the blue leader jersey, the Germans Karen Eller and Nicole Heine to become the Adidas BIKE TransAlp 2002 Champions. For 35:32.54,8 hours, the two women fought hard on their mountain bikes over the incredibly demanding course. After being sick for first few days, they finally found their strength and won the last four stages, struggling for every additional minute in the overall time to finally win on the last day of the race. "It is so great, I am so happy! This was such a tough race! We gave everything, fought hard until the very last minute. And we were getting better every day." Lesley Tomlinson explained after the race. "We are glad that we could win. This event was wonderful - the people, the organization, everything was just perfect."

Lesley and Gretchen were both riding the new ETSX bike platform from Rocky Mountain, which is specifically designed for long distance rides like the TransAlp Challenge. The patented new design is super efficient on climbs actually helping to drive the rider forward over rough terrain. The men's team of Karl Platt and Carsten Bresser were riding Rocky Mountain Element TSC and Vertex TSC bikes respectively.

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