The second Transalp title in the books in the third year of racing together in a team: Hermann Pernsteiner and Daniel Geismayr © Miha Matavz
The Austrian Centurion Vaude duo therefore became the fourth pair in history to defend its title.
The old and new champions completed their masterpiece coming in second of the 20th Transalp's from Lavarone to Riva del Garda (79.12 km; 2117 m) in a time of 3:08.45,2 – just behind of their teammates from Germany Jochen Kaess and Markus Kaufmann (3:08.44,4) who therefore made the race week a perfect one for the squad based in Swabia.
The top four riders of the past seven days not only took home every stage win but also celebrated a 1-2 finish in the overall classification.
Today's third rank (3:09.52,7) and the third place in the final ranking (22:52.36,4) went to Jeremiah Bishop (USA) and Kristian Hynek (CZE) of Topeak Ergon Racing 1, who had been teaming up as pair just two days prior to the start of this year's race across the main ridge of the Alps.
Just like the days before, the dominating racers of an event, which most certainly earned its chapter in the history books, paved their road to success in the climbs.
All four Centurion Vaude athletes had the strongest legs especially in the steep ramps like the ones of today up to Coé Pass and Mount Faé where the quartet broke away each time thanks to a perfect team work.
“Our strategy paid off perfectly again. We set a high pace in the first ascent in order to get a gap between us and the pursuers who then caught up again in the flat. In the final climb we took it serious again and broke away again. The victory was never at risk. It was a superb feeling enjoying the home stretch as a squad of four,” said Pernsteiner.
The 26-year-old added: “The first win is always something special. It's hard to keep hold to a title but that was our goal. We knew that we could do it as our season had been doing well already.”
His companion Geismayr explained: “It's such a good feeling to confirm the title and that the first one wasn't earned by accident. It's a great satisfaction.
We are now racing in a team together for three years, and we know what we have to do in specific moments. That has made us stronger for sure.”
Asked for the dominance of the Centurion Vaude squad, this year's world championships bronze medallist answered: “We underlined that we are part of the best.”
Esther Suess and Jennie Stenerhag stood out in women's category with seven stage wins © Miha Matavz
Meerendal CBC dominates women's category
Over in the women's event, Esther Suess (SUI) and Jennie Stenerhag (SWE) celebrated a similar dominating win for Meerendal CBC by keeping a clean sheet thanks to their seventh stage win in a row (4:05.27,1).
The Swiss racer and her teammate from Sweden sat 29:33.43.7 in the saddle to cover the total distance and bring home their respective third and first Transalp title.
“It's nice to come back after twelve years and win another title. We had a great week without any crashes or technical problems,” said 43-year-old Suess who had already triumphed in the Cape Epic in South Africa with Stenerhag earlier this year.
“It would be nice if there would be more and stronger teams entering the Transalp. But the climbs are really long and tough which is scaring a lot of women,” she added.
It was an statement which 42-year-old Stenerhag, who had teamed up with Suess this year for the first time, could easily confirm: “I have done more climbing than ever before in my life. I'm very, very tired but also very happy.”
Category leaders succeed
In the masters classification, former world champion Massimo Debertolis (ITA) and leg-amputee Dax Jaikel (CRC) racing for Wilier Force 7C also pulled off the feat of seven out of seven today (3:25.06,7) to bring home their title (24:55.06,9).
In the mixed category, Silke Ulrich (GER) and Sascha Schwindling (GER) of Team Herzlichst Zypern 1 clinched their week's sixth (3:38.07.3) and therefore third title (26:53.08,0) after 2014 and 2015.
In the grand masters event, Thorsten Damm (GER) and Peter Vesel (SLO) of Scott Fahrradladen Gudensberg brought home their fourth stage win (3:38.07,3) also securing the title in a total time of 26:15.03,1.
All results of the seventh and final stage as well as the overall rankings of the 20th BIKE Transalp powered by Sigma can be viewed here.