Hermann Pernsteiner and Daniel Geismayr triumph again © Miha Matavz
The defending champions from Austria underlined their strength again in the long climbs along the route from Brixen to St. Vigil finally rolling in the finish in a time of 2:43.18,5. Their Centurion Vaude teammates Jochen Kaess (GER) and Markus Kaufmann (GER) secured a double win for their squad finishing in second position some two minutes behind (2:45.16,1).
Rank three went to 7C pairing Luis Mejia (COL) and Joseph Chavarria (CRC) who mastered the 62.99 km and 2,688 metres of climbing through the Dolomites in 2:46.18,1.
Before, the racers from South and Central America had worked hard to secure their career's first Transalp stage podium as Mejia and Chavarria had been the ones upping the tempo after passing the Plose gondola station in the valley during the climb to Rossalm, the first of three cols today.
Until the peak of Brixen's local mountain, the Latin Americans as well as the yellow jerseys had already gained a lead of about one minute on the rest of the pro teams entering the descent together. In the subsequent ascent to Wuerzjoch, Geismayr and Pernsteiner were able to invest more and decisively broke away from their belligerent rivals.
All other favourites for a top result in this year's event edition then tried to close the gap as much as possible with Transalp triple winners Kaess and Kaufmann being the ones to capitalise on a misfortune of yesterday's second ranked Topeak Ergon Racing duo Jeremiah Bishop (USA) and Kristian Hynek (CZE) who had to settle for sixth in the end with a gap of more than six and a half minutes (2:49.51,3).
Kristian Hynel leads the chasing group in front of a stunning scenery © Markus Greber
“Topeak Ergon had technical problems 15 km prior to the finish which opened the door wide for us to bring home the second rank. It couldn't have worked out any better for us,” commented Kaess after arriving in St. Vigil.
Hermann Pernsteiner drew a similar line: “Overall, it's been a very good day for us. We tried to extend our lead on the last metres.” With success as the two Austrian marathon specialists are already 5.08 minutes ahead of Centurion Vaude 2 before going into tomorrow's third stage which will lead the field to St. Christina.
However, the 26-year-old had also to admit that “a stage like this is never easy. I definitely noticed it today. The tempo in the first climb was very fast although we never were close to blow it up.”
Favourites also dominating other categories
Like the athletes in the yellow jerseys, also the leaders of the masters category, former world champion Massimo Debertolis (ITA) and Dax Jaikel (CRC) of Wilier Force 7C, triumphed again (3:02.42,2).
In the grand masters category, Swiss racers Hansjuerg Gerber and Daniel Christen of bikeholiday.ch/bike arena emmetten were able to counter the attack of runner-ups Thorsten Damm (GER) and Peter Vesel (SLO) crossing the finish line only 8.5 seconds ahead of the duo riding for Scott Fahrradladen Gudensberg (3:10.43,6).
Mixed leaders Silke Ulrich and Sascha Schwindling of German based Team Herzlichst Zypern 1 came in also as first (3:12.55,2) while women's top favourites Esther Suess (SUI) and Jennie Stenerhag (SWE) of Meerendal CBC triumphed in a time of 3:45.00,6.
All results of the second stage of the 20th BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma can be viewed online.