Lakata and Hynek with Perfect Start at The Transalp

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Sunday kicked off with a Stage One win of the 19th Annual BIKE Transalp for Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek. The Topeak-Ergon duo nabbed the victory on the first stage from Imst to Nauders and slipped into the yellow jersey. Sally Bigham and her partner Ben Thomas also had a fantastic stage victory.

Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek were in the front of the riding action the entire 88.8 kilometers. When it came down to a crucial ascent at Norbertshöhe around 78 km mark, Kristian Hynek controlled the pace, which only Alban Lakata could follow.

“Kristian was very strong today,” the Vice World Champion paid compliments to his partner Hynek (World Champion Bronze Medalist.) He had designed the final phase “perfectly”. The two were a minute ahead of the Austrian duo Hermann Pernsteiner and Daniel Geismayr, which is an excellent sign. “The first day is always about scanning the others,” said Lakata. Now the Topeak-Ergon riders know where they stand and how strong the competition really is.

Sally Bigham rides together with Ben Thomas and distanced Silke Ulrich and Sascha Schwindling by three minutes and celebrated a successful start in the seven-day stage race across the Alps.

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This article was originally posted on topeak-ergon-racing.com.

 

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4th Dolomiti Victory for Sally Bigham

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The Topeak-Ergon Racing Team continues as a regular on the podiums of the world’s most important marathon races. Sally Bigham stands at the top of the 22nd Dolomiti SuperBike in Villabassa (IT) for the fourth time. Kristian Hynek misses the win by only 19 seconds.

It didn’t cost Iron Sally much effort to deal with her competitors, although it was a tough race. She took the lead early and never looked back. Eventually, it turned out to be a lead of 13 minutes over the Italian champion and season’s 8th, Valentina Frasisti.

At the men’s elite class the Colombian Hector Paez intensified the speed during the 119 kilometers of the marathon classic in South Tyrol. When climbing to the top station of the Rotwand, he carved out a 50 second lead. However, what looked like the decision, didn’t quite work out.

Kristian Hynek from the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team never gave up. He abandoned the field and took up the pursuit and was only slowed down by riders of other distances. ”I was more careful than usual on the descends due to the slippery track. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough in the end. Paez was already in sight. When it comes to my fitness, I’m very content when looking ahead to the Transalp,” says the WC third. Second best in the world, Alban Lakata took fifth on the podium and considers himself very well equipped for the Transalp, which takes place next Sunday with the first stage from Imst to Nauders in Austria.

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This article was originally posted on topeak-ergon-racing.com.

 

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OBE play it perfectly as Matthews wins stage 10 of the Tour de France

Tour de France - Stage 10

Australian Michael Matthews sprinted to victory on stage ten of the Tour de France today capping off some outstanding work by ORICA-BikeExchange teammates Luke Durbridge and Daryl Impey.

The ORICA-BikeExchange trio rode a perfect race, infiltrating the breakaway early in the stage before excellent work by Durbridge and Impey in the closing 30 kilometres set Matthews up in an ideal position for the win.

The 2016 Paris-Nice stage winner executed a fast and precise sprint carrying the desire for his first Tour de France stage victory all the way to the line and first place.

Matthews was full of praise for his teammates after their selfless work helped the Australian rider banish some painful memories of the Tour.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Matthews. “The emotion at the moment is just sinking in. I’ve just won a stage of the Tour de France after two really bad years in this race.”

“I was really close to giving up on this race, I just thought this race is not for me and I’d focus on other races, but today my dreams came true.”

“It was never the plan to get into the breakaway, we thought it was going to come down to a bunch sprint. We have such a strong group of guys here and the way we work as a team is that everyone gives everything for their teammates.

“As you could see Daryl (Impey) and Luke (Durbridge) gave their all for me today and were both amazing all the way to the end.

Durbridge himself proudly added, “When you close out like that you could call it a technical masterpiece. We are pretty happy with that.”

“It took full commitment from everyone from kilometre zero to the finish. It doesn’t always come together like that but when it does it’s pretty special.”

To complete the perfect day 2015 Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian winner Adam Yates finished the stage in the bunch, safely amongst the race favourites, to retain his best young rider white jersey and second on the general classification ahead of stage 11.

Sport director Matt White was pleased with the win and the concentrated performance from the team.

“The boys rode incredibly well today,” said White. “It was a very elite group of riders in that breakaway including world champions and a Grand Tour winner and it was hard for us because we had three guys in there and everyone was looking to us to control it.”

“Our level of concentration was very high and Luke, Daryl and Michael all played their roles to perfection.

“Luke set a really hard tempo going onto the two short climbs before the end which was very important before Daryl forced the hands of the other riders the final few kilometres.

“Michael finished it off very well and proved that he was the fastest the guy in the sprint and we are all very happy with the stage win.”

How it happened:

Stage ten began with a 24km climb ascending straight out of the neutral zone.

Two large breakaway groups attempted to go clear after repeated attacks in the first few kilometres, but the Team Sky led peloton were not allowing any room and the field was still together after half an hour of racing.

Once over the climb the breakaway emerged and it was large group of 15 riders that included Impey, Durbridge and Matthews for ORICA-BikeExchange. Six minutes separated the leaders from the peloton after 80km of racing.

It was an elite group at the front of the race with world champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), former Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) also up there alongside the three representatives of ORICA-BikeExchange.

The rain started to fall heavily with 75km to go and the 15 leaders continuing to work well together maintaining a six-minute advantage over the peloton.

Durbridge and Impey were rotating off the front of the breakaway group with Matthews sensibly and comfortably tucked in a few wheels behind.

Going into the final 30km their lead had slipped to four minutes.

Sagan upped the pace on short rise with 20km to go and split the group of leaders in half, the trio of ORICA-BikeExchange all made it on the right side with Durbridge immediately taking over at the front.

Into the last ten kilometres and Durbridge was controlling the lead group of seven riders with the peloton some seven minutes behind.

Before the finale came two short yet sharp climbs and with his work well done for the day Durbridge pulled off on the first incline as Impey took up the charge and upped the pace.

Matthews and Impey were positioned well as the mind games began with Sagan and Edvald Boassen Hagen (Dimension-Data) both attacking then pulling off in quick succession.

The final couple of kilometres were tense as Impey jumped onto the front with Sagan second wheel and Matthews third.

Van Avermaet initiated the sprint with both Impey and Matthews taking off in pursuit, Sagan was also there but it was Matthews who came around and brilliantly took the stage victory.

Tomorrow’s stage 11 starts in medieval Carcassone and covers 162.5km to the finish in Montpellier. A mainly flat stage with some undulations in the first half before a flat finale that will probably lead to a bunch sprint.

Tour de France stage ten results:

1. Michael Matthews (ORICA-BikeExchange) 04:22:38

  2. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) ST

3. Edvald Boassen Hagen (Dimension-Data) ST

General classification after stage ten:

1. Christopher Froome (Team-Sky) 49:08:20

2. Adam Yates (ORICA-BikeExchange) 00:00:16

3. Daniel Martin (Etixx_Quickstep) 00:00.19

REVEL, FRANCE - JULY 12 : MATTHEWS Michael (AUS) Rider of ORICA BikeExchange pictured during the podium ceremony after winning stage 10 of the 2016 Tour de France a 197 km stage between Escaldes-Engordany and Revel, on July 12, 2016 in Revel, France , 12/07/2016 ( Photo by Nico Vereecken / Photonews

 

REVEL, FRANCE - JULY 12 : MATTHEWS Michael (AUS) Rider of ORICA GreenEDGE during stage 10 of the 2016 Tour de France a 197 km stage between Escaldes-Engordany and Revel, on July 12, 2016 in Revel, France , 12/07/2016 ( Photo by Jan De Meuleneir / Photonews REVEL, FRANCE - JULY 12 :

 

REVEL, FRANCE - JULY 12 : YATES Adam (GBR) Rider of ORICA BikeExchange pictured during the podium ceremony in the white jersey after stage 10 of the 2016 Tour de France a 197 km stage between Escaldes-Engordany and Revel, on July 12, 2016 in Revel, France , 12/07/2016 ( Photo by Nico Vereecken / Photonews

 

Michael Matthews escapes on stage 10 of the 2016 Tour de France

 

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Luke Durbridge escapes on stage 10 of the 2016 Tour de France

 

Luke Durbridge escapes on stage 10 of the 2016 Tour de France

 

Daryl Impey escapes on stage 10 of the 2016 Tour de France

 

Jull-Jensen and Adam Yates on stage 10 of the 2016 Tour de France

This article was originally posted on greenedgecycling.com.

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DOUBLE WIN AT LENZERHEIDE WORLD CUP

11 July 2016 | U23 World Champion Jenny Rissveds continues her winning streak beating World Champion Annika Langvad to win her first elite World Cup race. While our other World Champion Nino Schurter rides to his 20th World Cup win in his career. What an amazing day- again!Lenzerheide, Switzerland – Is it possible to top two World Champion titles in one day? Well, how about two elite World Cup wins in one day! This is the culmination of 15 years of team SCOTT-Odlo, and the future looks brighter than ever. Without question, we are the #1 cross-country team in the world!

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Lenzerheide, Switzerland – Is it possible to top two World Champion titles in one day? Well, how about two elite World Cup wins in one day! This is the culmination of 15 years of team SCOTT-Odlo, and the future looks brighter than ever. Without question, we are the #1 cross-country team in the world!

,during the Lenzerheide MTB World Cup, Switzerland.

So far this season Jenny Rissveds has outperformed expectations at the elite World Cup level. With her U23 World Champion title last week she achieved the biggest success in her, still young, career. Her latest performance at the Swiss World Cup exceeds even the highest expectations and elevates her to a totally new hemisphere. From now on everything is possible! Rio is calling!

,during the Lenzerheide MTB World Cup, Switzerland.

,during the Lenzerheide MTB World Cup, Switzerland.

,during the Lenzerheide MTB World Cup, Switzerland.

,during the Lenzerheide MTB World Cup, Switzerland.

It’s not an easy task for such a young athlete to re-focus in one week after the biggest success of her career. But the Swedish Champion showed mental power leading out the high level field on first lap. Soon after it was the newly crowned World Champion Anika Langvad who took over the command. Jenny stayed calm riding at her pace 30 seconds behind. Even when Swiss star Jolanda Neff started to close the gap, Jenny did not lose faith in herself. It was actually the opposite. Jenny attacked hard to not only drop Neff, but also closed the gap to Langvad in the last lap. From that moment on it looked like Jenny grew wings the way she stormed to the finish line. The 22 year old Swede rode home her first huge World Cup win with over a minute over  Anika Langvad. Jolanda Neff in 3rd, Katharina Nash in 4th and Maja Wloszczowska in 5th filled up the podium.

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With great excitement the Champion stated: “It’s been an amazing 8 days for me and I still can’t believe what I just achieved. It’s awesome to become U23 World Champion, but winning a World Cup against the very best in the world is unbelievable! It still feels like a dream!”

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“It’s been an amazing 8 days for me and I still can’t believe what I just achieved. It’s awesome to become U23 World Champion, but winning a World Cup against the  very best in the world is unbelievable! It still feels like a dream!”

Jenny Rissveds, U23 World Champion
SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing Team

The Spark RC 700 World Cup of Jenny Rissveds

Jenny Rissveds races the new SCOTT Spark RC 700 World Cup. Her weapon of choice is a 27.5″ geometry.

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Nino Schurter celebrates his 20th World Cup victory

Jenny’s team captain Nino Schurter was in the same boat re-focusing in a very short time after Nove Mesto. Although N1NO was in top form at worlds, it is still difficult to do a reset in time for his home World Cup.

,during the Lenzerheide MTB World Cup, Switzerland.

At the start of yesterday’s race Nino had trouble clicking into his pedal. This put him back quite a few spots. It took some energy to close the gap to last year’s winner Jaroslav Kulhavy. Once Nino arrived to the leading position with Jaro, he immediately set the tempo to make the race hard. Julien Absalon seemed to struggle, not having his best day. With the two Frenchmen, Maxime Marotte and Victor Koretky, the pressure was on up front.  The Olympic Champion Kulhavy got a flat tire, which took him out of contention for the win. In the end the champions pace was too much for the others. N1NO piloted his SCOTT Spark RC 900 safely to the finish to win with 27 seconds over Julien Absalon. Maxime Marotte, Jaroslav Kulhavy crossed the line next. Marcel Wildhaber showed a very strong finishing in 52nd out of starting position 112. Impressive! Unlucky Michiel van der Heijden broke his chain after he had a much better start than the last few races.

,during the Lenzerheide MTB World Cup, Switzerland.

,during the Lenzerheide MTB World Cup, Switzerland.

,during the Lenzerheide MTB World Cup, Switzerland.

,during the Lenzerheide MTB World Cup, Switzerland.

The winner of the last big race before Olympics in Rio said: “Obviously I’m in great shape right now. I feel super comfortable and fast on my new SCOTT Spark 900 RC. The only question was how fresh I was going to be in my head after a hectic week. Once the race went on my racing focus was back on and I had an incredible home run. Up till now everything is according to plan towards Rio. Now a big block of training is ahead of me. The huge past weekends have given me great confidence going into the next round.”

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“Obviously I’m in great shape right now. I feel super comfortable and fast on my new SCOTT Spark 900 RC. The only question was how fresh I was going to be in my head after a hectic week.Once the race went on my racing focus was back on and I had an incredible home run. Up till now everything is according to plan towards Rio. Now a big block of training is ahead of me. The huge past weekends have given me great confidence going into the next round.”Nino Schurter, World Champion
SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing

 

,during the Lenzerheide MTB World Cup, Switzerland.

In the U23 men’s race Andri Frischknecht showed his best performance of this season finishing in good 6th place. He crossed the finish only centimeters behind 5th place Georg Egger as they were sprinting to the line.

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German champion Georg Egger outsprints Swiss Champion Andri Frischknecht

With all these great performances of our team riders, it is also the time to point out that behind every successful athlete, there is an outstanding team of staff to make all this possible. Thanks to all those who do an incredible job, weekend after weekend. In  addition we can rely on great partners to supply us with the very best equipment.

Only in such a combination a #nextlevel season like 2016 is possible. Huge thanks to everybody involved in this amazing team!

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Photography: Jochen Haar.

This article was originally posted on scott-odlo.com.

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TWO WORLD CHAMPION TITLES IN ONE DAY

04 July 2016 | The World Championships in Nove Mesto mark a milestone in the history of our team- both Jenny Rissveds and Nino Schurter ride away with the Rainbow jersey.

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Nove Mesto- Czech Republic. Best day ever- that’s how Team SCOTT-Odlo will remeber the World Championships in Nove Mesto after both Nino Schurter and Jenny Rissveds claim their titles in their respective races. That’s tough to beat!

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Not only for SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing team this world championship is something for the books. An amazing athomsphere with over 20’000 enthusiastic 20’000 spectators will be remembered as the best worlds ever in the 26 year history of mountain biking. To see Jenny Rissveds winning her first ever rainbow jersey and to have Nino Schurter steping on top of the podium besides his big rivals Jaroslav Kulhavy and Julien Absalon will make this day a special one for everybody beeing part of it.

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Nove Mesto is known for three things- huge crowds, technical tracks, and Nino Schurter winning. The 5x XCO World Champion won his 4th race on the demanding and perfectly shaped track in the Czech Republic. Photography: Jochen Haar.

The reigning World Champion Nino Schurter showed nerves of steel. There was such a huge pressure on his shoulders being the top favorite for this race. He knew Jaroslav Kukhavy will be a threat having the crowd behind him and Julien Absalon proofed in the last World Cup in La Bresse that he is more dangerous than ever. Even each one of the top favorites has the Olympic Games in Rio in the back of their heads, the World Championships this year is as important as every other year. What builts more confidence than winning the World Champion title six weeks prior to Olympics?

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Olympic Champion Jaroslav Kulhavy impressed with a strong show early in the race. Only Nino Schurter was able to hold on to his wheel. Later on Jaroslav’s country man Ondrej Cink closed the gap to the leading duo. Julien Abslaon was sitting in 4th place, had the leaders always in sight. When Kulhavy slowed down in second lap, N1NO launched a first test with an attack. It looked almost too easy the way he got away. Too early to go solo- he figured- and waited for his competitors to close the gap. By that time also Julien Absalon joined the lead group while Cink had a hard time to hang on.

At all times N1NO looked focused and confident, hammering his new new SCOTT Spark RC 900 World Cup up the steep climbs and ride controled on the technical descents. Apart of the riding skills he showed good instinct finding the right moment to attack a second time shortly after Absalon was able to close the gap to him. It was the winning game plan. After N1NO got a 30 second lead, both Kulhavy and Absalon knew the Gold medal was gone and they where watching each other to fight for Silver. The duel for 2nd went to Kulhavy. Behind Absalon in 3rd there was a huge gap to Cink in 4th, Stephane Tempier in 5th and SCOTT rider Matthias Stirnemann in 6th.

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With his 5th pro World Champion title Nino Schurter is now eye to eye with the most successful rider of all times, Julien Absolon. Another mark for the books!

The old and new World Champion stated: “This race went just about perfect from start to finish. This course really suits me (after winning three out of five World Cups in Nove Mesto it’s Nino’s 4th win). I felt strong all through the race and I felt super comfortable on my new race weapon. It’s an amazing fast bike and part of this success. No time to lean back with my home World Cup in Lenzerheide coming up next weekend and Olympics in August. But it sure takes some weight of my shoulders. It feels great to have something in the books this early in the season.”

With the World Cup in Lenzerheide, nationals the week later and a HC race on the 2012 Olympic course in London the month of July is packed with racing.

Jenny Rissveds wins U23 Category in style

Our second hot iron for a World Champion title had nothing to defend but was at least as much under pressure than her team mate N1NO. After finishing second in the elite World Cup in Albstadt, Jenny Rissveds was the clear favorite in the U23 World Championship race. She though also made the experience last year that the Worlds are never easy to win, especially as the favorite. Knowing the course suits her as she layed it out herself and with the motivation riding the lightest Cross Country full suspenion bike in the world, the confidence was there to overcome the experience of last year. Similar to N1NO she had the race under control at all times. Half way trough she made the difference to her last compagnion, Swiss rider Alessandra Keller. From then on she raced to the finish in style with the focus of a World Champion.

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Jenny Rissveds dominated the race from the start to finish line. Action Photography: Jochen Haar

“This is a dream which came true! The last month was not easy dealing with my injury from Albstadt. Now I’m just happy everything played well for me. It is realy something to be called World Champion.” Whith a smile she says: “I first have to get used to it.

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Nino Schurter’s Spark RC 900 World Cup

The World Champion will ride the new Spark RC 900 World Cup, which is specced with only the strongest most lightweight parts you could ask for and is perfectly set up for the demanding course.

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Bottle cage     Topeak Shuttle Cage Carbon

Photography: Martin Bissig.

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“The new Spark is packed with race dedicated tech features, I couldn’ t ask for a more race-optimized package. The new bike is not only unbelievably light and stiff, but it also pedals like a hardtail, I feel like the pedal efficiency is even better than on the old Spark. It really feels much more compact and easier to handle.”

Nino Schurter, SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing Team

Jenny Rissveds is in the hunt for her first World Champion title, as she will compete in the U23 Women’s Category. The Swedish Champion and U23 World Cup Champion from 2015 suffered a wrist injury after the World Cup race in Albstadt, which kept her back longer than expected. Now recovered from the injury, Jenny is looking forward to hitting the race track again: “Hopefully I can show my full potential again in tomorrow’s race, I really love the atmosphere and the track here in Nove Mesto. I’m also super-excited to race my new Spark RC 700 World Cup the very first time.”

The Spark RC 700 World Cup of Jenny Rissveds

Jenny Rissveds will race the new SCOTT Spark RC 700 World Cup. Her weapon of choice is a 27.5″ geometry.

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Bottle cage     Topeak Shuttle Cage Carbon

Photography: Jochen Haar

 

This article was originally posted on scott-odlo.com.

 

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Three medals for Topeak-Ergon

The best marathon team in the world strikes again! Three Topeak-Ergon athletes land on the UCI Marathon World Championship podium in Laissac, France! Alban Lakata and Sally Bigham are decorated with silver medals, while Kristian Hynek wins bronze.

UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championship 2016 - Laissac /FRA

What a fast and furious finish by Alban Lakata! After 4 hours in the saddle, the Austrian missed defending his title by a mere 19 seconds. The shower of confetti for race winner and new World Champion, Tiago Ferreira, was not even on the ground when Alban crossed the finish line.

Alban Lakata, clinching his fist, ”Too bad, if I just would have had a little more race course, I would have caught Ferreira.” Between the 60 and 90 kilometer mark of the race, Alban was still 3:30 minutes behind the lead group, which also contained teammate Kristian Hynek.

Perfect Tactics

Lakata had a well thought out strategy. The first half, he wanted to keep the effort level minimal, then mid-way through the race hit the turbo. ”I knew that this strategy would be a gamble. Perhaps I went too easy in the early stages of the race, but this was my plan from the start,” revealed the Albanator. ”I can’t complain, Silver is okay. I congratulate Ferreira. Next year will be another shot at Gold.”

UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championship 2016 - Laissac /FRA

Kristian Hynek spoke of a similar race and ”mixed feelings”, after earning the bronze medal. Until the closing kilometers he was in four-man lead group, all which were fighting for the title. ”I felt good, even if it wasn’t good enough to take the victory. Unfortunately, yesterday in training, I felt even better. But, to win a World Championship medal is always satisfying.” This would be Kristian’s second bronze medal, the other he earned in Ornans in 2012.

UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championship 2016 - Laissac /FRA

Loosing energy, Hynek was passed by Lakata late in the race. Colombian Leonardo Paez was facing similar energy loses, which opened the door for a last second surge by Hynek to take home the Bronze medal.

UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championship 2016 - Laissac /FRA

Second World Championship silver for Sally Bigham


Sally Bigham also took the first part of the race conservatively. ”I knew the course was quite hard and I needed to hold back early,” said Bigham.

UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championship 2016 - Laissac /FRA

The Briton was racing side by side in 2nd and 3rd place with Sabrina Enaux. On the last climb, the European Champion distanced herself from the Frenchwoman. Sally would only be out done by the XC European Champion, Jolanda Neff, from Switzerland.

UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championship 2016 - Laissac /FRA

”I’m really happy with the Silver medal. To be behind Jolanda in second, I must not be disappointed,” Sally said with a smile. ”I felt very good today and I am glad I am back to my normal form.”

Erik Kleinhans and Jeremiah Bishop also deserve the utmost respect. The two Topeak-Ergon riders struggled from the start, having to line up in positions 123 and 120. The two riders would make their way up through the filed during the 4 hour race to finish a respectable 23rd and 29th.

UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championship 2016 - Laissac /FRA

UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championship 2016 - Laissac /FRA

UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championship 2016 - Laissac /FRA

 

UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championship 2016 - Laissac /FRA

This article was originally posted on topeak-ergon-racing.com.

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Bigham wins again at Sella Ronda

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Paving the way for the Marathon World Championship this coming Sunday in Laissac (FRA) — Sally Bigham from the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team wins the Sella Ronda Marathon in Val Gardena for the second time. The Brit overcomes 60 brutal kilometers riding to her triumph, but not without some difficulties …

3.200 meters gain in elevation stood in the way of the competitors at the Sella Ronda, a number which rightfully gives Stella Ronda the epithet hero. If on the top of that, extreme rainfall turns meadows and forest passages into additional challenges for man and materials, that’s when heroes are born.

Sally Bigham is the fastest on the first climb. She expands her lead more and more. But at the highest point, the Passo Pordoi, a four kilometers descent needed to be ridden, and there the dance along the edge of the razor blade started for ”Iron Sally.”

The smeary ground could be barely controlled and as a result Sally bailed several times. She was able to climb back on her bike fairly unscathed, but one time she had to fix her racing machine at first. ”This cost me about one and a half minutes, but my pursuers couldn’t touch me anymore,” says the relieved winner about the exciting minutes.

She expanded her lead again on the way to the Sellajoch and reached the finish line in Wolkenstein with a comfortable lead over the Polish Michalina Ziolkowska. She celebrates her second victory at this classic in South Tyrol. ”I felt good, but looking at the World Championships next week in Laissac, I chose not to go to the limit,” explains Bigham.

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This article was originally posted on topeak-ergon-racing.com.

 

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Finally – Gold for Sally!

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07.06.2016


Sally Bigham celebrates in an impressive manner her first international champions title at the Marathon European Championships in Sigulda. Kristian Hynek completes the successful day for the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team in Latvia with a Bronze Medal.

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60 kilometers of solo riding in the wind and minutes brimming with emotion — she desperately wanted this gold medal. After winning four times European silver and one silver at World Championships, Iron Sally wanted to finally slip over the leader jersey in the Baltic states. The Brit had such a strong will. She went solo after only 20 kilometers.

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”It was a little risky, because it also was very windy today. But I saw during the first few climbs that I was the strongest,” Sally Bigham explains her reason for taking initiative so early and then riding solo for 80 kilometers on her Canyon-Hardtail up to the title with a lead of more than 5 Minutes.

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The lead grew continuously, but the enjoyment only set in one kilometer from the finish line during the last climb when she cranked through an honor guard formed by the audience. Goosebumps included. ”It was a very special moment when I rode into the finish, simply great. Our team cheered and it was so nice that I could give them something back after all this hard work,” says Sally Bigham in a faltering voice. ”No Silver Sally today,” adds Sally laughing. No, it’s a radiant Golden Girl from the Topeak-Ergon racing stable today in Sigulda.

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It would not have taken much more for the team to return home with two European Championship titles. About 60 of 103 kilometers had been ridden when Kristian Hynek along with two companions initiated a three-man top flight. His hope that Alban Lakata would come along did not come true. He was in a less than optimal position in a trail when a Latvian opened up a gap in front of him.

Another Latvian, Peeter Pruus, and the Portuguese Tiago Ferreira follow Hynek while Alban didn’t join the leg shaking within the group in pursuit for the benefit of his teammate. While Pruus basically refused leadership work, Ferreira eventually discontinued his efforts as well. ”We had false information about our time cushion, which is why I made speed,” tells Kristian Hynek. The Czech was lacking gunpowder when he climbed the last hill one kilometer from the finish line.

Pruus and Ferreira had preserved their energy and pulled away to Gold and Silver. Bronze went to Hynek for the second time in his career. ”I have mixed feelings, a medal is always good, but I was good for the title as well,” says Hynek. More clear are Alban Lakata’s feelings. ”I’m pretty frustrated, because my fitness is very good. I’m annoyed about the lost opportunity right now, but my ambitions are just growing because of it,” reveals Lakata who came in sixth.

Now we are looking forward to the UCI World Championships at the end of June in France …

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This article was originally posted on topeak-ergon-racing.com.

 

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BACK WINNING AT THE MUDFEST

06 June 2016 | Two races, two victories for SCOTT-Odlo MTB racing. We are back winning! In muddy conditions N1NO Schurter and Andri Frischknecht win their races at the Swiss Bike Cup in Gränichen.

1, Schurter, Nino, Scott-Odlo, , SUI

Gränichen, Switzerland. It’s been a while since we’ve seen such a muddy race, but mountain biking is an outdoor sport, so we take it as it is. That being said, it’s no reason to not perform as usual. The smile on N1NO’s face tells it all, despite the mud it was a fun day racing!

Once in a while severe conditions can make a race critical, good equipment and a bit of good luck is essential to success. It played well for Nino Schurter and Andri Frischknecht this time, not so much for Michiel van der Heijden.

A rainy race day followed what was already a wet week. The Gränichen race track was actually holding up quite well despite the wet conditions. After lap one, some helmets were dirty, but other than that, all was fine.

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1, Schurter, Nino, Scott-Odlo, , SUI

The interest was in what bike N1NO was pulling out for today’s race.

N1NO pulled out the same new 29″ SCOTT bike he was riding in La Bresse to put it to a true test in severe conditions.

In his usual fast first lap there was only one who was able to follow- his former team mate now riding for FOCUS- Florian Vogel. Even though followers Reto Underhand and Matthias Stirnemann were not far behind, early on it looked like the winner could only be either Schurter or Vogel.

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That’s how Nino Schurter’s  bike looked like after the race.

In conditions like this, however, the risk of mechanicals or other mishaps increases. Michiel van der Heijden, who had a chain problem very early in the race, felt the true reality of this fact. He stopped twice for several minutes at the tech zone before he eventually dropped out in a hopeless position.

12, Van Der Heijden, Michiel, Scott-Odlo, , NED

Not the day Michiel van der Heijden was hoping for- mechanical problems stopped his race.

The expected attack of N1NO came with 1 1/2 half laps to go. He made it through the race with no crashes and the bike performed superbly. Everything came together to win his 5th race of the season with a 12 second margin over Florian Vogel and 38 seconds over BMC’s Reto Indergand.

1, Schurter, Nino, Scott-Odlo, , SUI 4, Vogel, Florian, Focus XC Team, RC Gränichen, SUI

High fives between two former team mates who made the race interesting to watch

A muddy face stated before heading to the shower, “It’s not that I like these kind of conditions and before the race it sure takes more motivation to go out. But once the gun goes off, a race is a race and this one was a good one too! Great battle with a strong riding Florian Vogel and great feel for my new bike!”

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Nino Schurter, World Champion
SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing Team

“It’s not that I like these kinds of conditions and before the race it sure takes more motivation to go out. But once the gun goes off, a race is a race and this one was a good one too! Great battle with a strong riding Florian Vogel and great feel for my new bike!”

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It was great to see Marcel Wildhaber riding into a top 10 position in the first lap. Eventually he dropped back to 27th place throughout the race.

34, Wildhaber, Marcel, Scott-Odlo, VC Eschenbach, SUI

Marcel Wildhaber in his favorite cyclo cross conditions

In the separate U23 race the competition was not very strong. Andri Frischknecht had a pretty easy go until mid race he had a crash followed by a flat tire. This circumstances made his race race interesting again.

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In the end the U23 Swiss champion made it a clear victory to get those 30 UCI points for a “hors category” win he was aiming for. This built confidence for the upcoming World Championship.

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100, Frischknecht, Andri, Scott-Odlo, , SUI

 

100, Frischknecht, Andri, Scott-Odlo, , SUI

Finally back winning- Andri Frischknecht

Jenny Rissveds was not at the start line due to her hand injury. After a hectic month of racing, riders go into a block of training to get ready for World Championships in Nove Mesto in early July.

Let’s cross fingers that N1NO Schurter get’s a fresh rainbow jersey.

The race venue’s laundry machine– click on the image below– was not sufficient enough.

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This article was originally posted on scott-odlo.com.

 

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WORLD CUP RACING IN ALBSTADT #NEX…

23 May 2016 | While a super exciting sprint finish resulted in N1NO Schurter’s 19th World Cup victory, Jenny Rissveds rode in  world class fashion to an amazing second place in the Women’s Elite Competition.

1, Schurter, Nino, Scott-Odlo, , SUI 3, Absalon, Julien, BMC MTB, , FRA

Albstadt, Germany. SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing Team’s two stars this season have delivered highlights again and again with most recently a first and second place at World Cup round 2 in Albstadt, Germany.

N1NO’s victory was no surprise, but it was the result from some very hard work up until the last meter. No less exciting was a great performance from Jenny Rissveds. In only her second World Cup race in the elite category, she showed where she wants to be seen in the future- on the podium!

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The outdoor arena of Albstadt- a great experience for riders and spectators

Someone just following results would likely say cross-country racing is boring, because the same two guys always win. Who ever follows the races live on RedBull TV or even better live on site will agree, as long as Julien Absalon and Nino Schurter- the two icons of the sport- can deliver such high level entertainment, we’ll stick to it. The Albstadt World Cup is great proof that cross-country racing is better and more alive than ever! Thanks to good organizers, exciting coverage and last but not least great athletes, spectators in Albstadt and worldwide were treated to something special yesterday.

1, Schurter, Nino, Scott-Odlo, , SUI

1, Schurter, Nino, Scott-Odlo, , SUI

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Defense of the World Cup Leader’s Jersey? Check.

For the first few laps the lead group was quite big. The third of the protagonists of past years showed that he is back after his injury. Olympic champion Jaroslav Kulhavy looked strong finishing in 4th place. It would not be a surprise if at the World Championship in Nove Mesto he is back with the two others battling it out. But for now it was the usual Absalon/Schurter train that was riding away from the rest of the field. As if they had made an agreement, they usually ride at very high pace together, not attacking each other, until the finale where the rivalry heats up!

1, Schurter, Nino, Scott-Odlo, , SUI Up and down equally strong – Schurter in front of Absalon

From than on it was no joking around. Absalon was the first to try to escape on the long climb. Schurter stayed on and did not wait long with his counter attack. As they were equally strong on the uphills and downhills, a sprint finish had to decide between first and second. Julien got to the finish straight in first position and immediately launched the sprint. While this is usually an advantage for Schurter, the finish straight was quite short and it looked like Nino was going to run out of time to overtake Julien. Somehow N1NO managed to get around his rival in the very last meters to win by very few centimeters. What a finale!

3, Absalon, Julien, BMC MTB, , FRA 1, Schurter, Nino, Scott-Odlo, , SUI

1, Schurter, Nino, Scott-Odlo, , SUI 3, Absalon, Julien, BMC MTB, , FRA What a finale!

N1NO makes not secret that Albstadt is not his favorite track. The climbs are quite long and the descents are not technical enough to really make a difference. The fact that N1NO had never before won in Albstadt makes this victory even sweeter. He stated: “Winning in a sprint finish is always extra excitement because you don’t know the outcome until you cross the line. To finally win here means a lot to me. Who knows if maybe my brand new SCOTT hardtail made the difference at the end. This bike certainly gave me some extra motivation and confidence.”

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“Winning in a sprint finish is always extra excitement because you don’t know the outcome until you cross the line. To finally win here means a lot to me. Who knows if maybe my brand new SCOTT hardtail made the difference at the end. This bike certainly gave me some extra motivation and confidence.”

Nino Schurter, World Champion
SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing Team

18, Kulhavy, Jaroslav, Specialized Racing, , CZE 3, Absalon, Julien, BMC MTB, , FRA 1, Schurter, Nino, Scott-Odlo, , SUI 2, Marotte, Maxime, BH-Sr Suntour-KMC, , FRA 6, Forster, Lars, BMC MTB, VC Eschenbach, SUI

1, Schurter, Nino, Scott-Odlo, , SUI

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Jaroslav Kulhavy (4.)-Julien Absalon (2.)- N1NO (1.)- Maxime Marotte (3.)- Lars Forster (5.)

9, Rissveds, Jenny, Scott-Odlo, Falu CK, SWE

Double pressure on Jenny Rissveds shoulders

After her crash on the start loop in Cairns, Jenny Rissveds tried to avoid the same thing by taking of from the start like a missile. In only her second Elite World Cup race she’s already gotten the taste of leading such a high level race. Soon after on second lap a crash at pretty high speed did not only cause some pain and loss of the rhythm, it also knocked her out of the top ten.

9, Rissveds, Jenny, Scott-Odlo, Falu CK, SWE

Jenny on track to her first podium

This was a big bummer that first needed to be digested. This is exactly where Jenny showed her class. After a mind set change she got going again and picked the race apart, one rider after another. Going into the last lap she was in 5th position knowing every UCI point would count towards the Olympics in Rio.

9, Rissveds, Jenny, Scott-Odlo, Falu CK, SWE

Except when crashing on her knee Jenny had everything under control during the whole race

Her last lap, which was the fastest of all riders, was something that even impressed experts who know what this girl is capable of. She moved all the way up into second place having only World Cup leader Anika Langvad ahead of her. What a ride!

9, Rissveds, Jenny, Scott-Odlo, Falu CK, SWE

Happy face crossing the liner in second

5, Spitz, Sabine, Sabine Spitz Pro Team, , GER 9, Rissveds, Jenny, Scott-Odlo, Falu CK, SWE 1, Langvad, Annika, Specialized Racing XC, , DEN 4, Pendrel, Catherine, Luna Pro Team, , CAN 19, Dahle Flesja, Gunn-Rita, Multivan Merida Biking Team, , NOR

Sabine Spitz (4.)- Jenny Rissveds (2.)- Annika Langvad (1.)- Catharina Pendrel (3.)- Gunn-Rita Dahle (5.)

The cuts on her knee are pretty deep and her finger also took some abuse from the crash, but the excitement about her awesome finish was bigger than the pain. “This was almost a perfect day, despite my crash I felt very good today. I really hope this helps now to secure a spot for Sweden, because more than anything I want to participate at the Olympic games in Rio.”

9, Rissveds, Jenny, Scott-Odlo, Falu CK, SWE

“This was an almost perfect day, despite my crash I felt very good today. I really hope this helps now to secure a spot for Sweden, because more than anything I want to participate at the Olympic games in Rio.”

Jenny Rissveds, U23 World Cup Champion
SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing Team

Andri Frischknecht who was racing in the U23 race had a similar good last lap like Jenny, only he made it from 13th up to 8th place in the finale. In his third race of this season he showed that after his injury he is not only back on track but also has the ability to fight until the very end. Unfortunately not so good news came from Michiel van der Heijden. His is dealing with some issues with his back, He finished far back in 53rd. Marcel Wildhaber starting out of 130th position had basically no chance from the start. His 86th place is not satisfying for all the effort he put in.

19, Frischknecht, Andri, Scott-Odlo, , SUI

Making his way back to top ten- Andri Frischknecht

This article was originally posted on scott-odlo.com.

 

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