Alban Lakata is World Champion!

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Sensational triumph for the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team: Alban Lakata fetches his second gold medal in Marathon Mountain Biking with an impressive performance at the Marathon World Championships in Val Gardena, South Tyrol.

You can’t take a world title more rightfully. During the first climb of the Marathon World Championships 2015 in South Tyrol, six kilometers up to Dantercepies, Alban Lakata from the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team took the lead of the participant field with superiority and kept it all the way to the finish line.

The Albanator kept the entire world elite of the mountain bike sport with his resistless attacks at bay. Moreover, he even expanded his lead to over 2 minutes at the end. ”Originally, I didn’t want to attack until the third climb”, says the Austrian. ”But I felt so good right from the start that I had to give it a try straight away.”

This triumph is especially deserved not only because of the framework conditions of the race with 4.700 meters difference in altitude on 87 kilometers, which are worthy of a world champion, but also the fact that Alban already took world champion in 2010 in St. Wendel on a course with different characteristics. This clearly illustrates the 36-year old is a perfectly complete mountain biker.

All in all, this was an impressive appearance of the freshly baked world champion in every respect, because even a car crash couldn’t throw him off track. Alban was brushed by an automobile during the second third of the race while descending from Passo Pordoi. He had a stroke of luck and wasn’t hurt and the brand-new Canyon prototype was left unharmed. ”It’s madness what can happen to you during a race”, says Lakata head-shaking, ”but luck was on my side today!” That’s right: No defect, no fall — only this one moment of shock. A perfect day is all it takes to become world champion.

”A tremendous dream came true for me today once more,” says the grinning two time World and European Champion. ”I finally could prove to everyone that my success at the World Championship 2010 was not a mayfly. Besides people say one title is no title!”

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

 

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Hoskins queen of the climbs at Aviva Women’s Tour

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World track champion Melissa Hoskins has wrapped up the queen of the mountains classification at the Aviva Women’s Tour following today’s final stage into Hemel Hempstead.

Swedish champion Emma Johansson also maintained her overall position to finish fourth, 13 seconds behind winner Lisa Brennauer (Velocio SRAM).

Hoskins started the day two points advantage in the best climber competition and defended her position well to finish the Tour in the same position.

“It was a little bit of fun at the start but I said to the girls the other day that I started getting attached to it,” Hoskins said of her polka dot jersey.

“I went down swinging and managed to walk away with it so I’m pretty stoked.”

The jersey, alongside a most combative award for Gracie Elvin on the fifth and final stage, were bonuses for the ORICA-AIS team having put their priority in the general classification battle.

“We did everything that we planned to do today,” Hoskins said. “We got caught on the back foot a little bit at the start but we came back together for the sprint, we just didn’t manage to pick up any seconds there.”

“We were attentive all day, we had Gracie up the road, which wasn’t bad for us.

“I think all in all we raced really well as a team and we should be pretty proud of what we have achieved regardless of not getting on the podium on general classification.”

Sport director Martin Barras was pleased with the way the team attacked the race, particularly on the final stage.

“It was a good solid Tour for the team,” Barras said. “Today’s objective was to climb onto the podium and we had targeted Jolien D’Hoore specifically.”

“The team did a very good job setting up but at the end of the day we couldn’t quite tie it up at the first sprint which put some pressure on us for the rest of the day.

“Over the second queen of the mountain, Emma went for broke. That move was not about getting on the podium that was about trying to win the bike race. She went all or nothing and I love that, in my book that is always the better way to race.”

Overall, Barras said the team leaves another popular Aviva Women’s Tour satisfied.

“We did everything that we could, we did everything that we had to,” Barras said.

“Trying to get on the podium was part one of our objectives, but what we also did well was to hold onto the polka dot jersey so that in itself is a very positive outcome.

“I was very pleased with the way the team raced and I guess we just have to come back next year and get those extra couple of spots for the top of the podium.”

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This article was originally posted on greenedgecycling.com.

 

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Alpentour Trophy ’15: Victory for Sally, Alban takes 2nd

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The Topeak-Ergon Racing Team dominates the Alpentour Trophy 2015. Sally Bigham wins the 4-day stage race in the women’s class, Alban Lakata missed the overall victory by only one second, and Robert Mennen takes an excellent 5th place.

The Alpentour Trophy 2015 seamlessly integrates itself into the list of very successful events for the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team: Sally Bigham won the race around Schlandming, Austria for the 3rd time now. Alban Lakata taking second was extremely tight with only a one second deficit. Robert Mennen took 5th.

Three of the four stages around Schladming, with 212 kilometers in total and close to 9.000 meters difference in altitude, were dominated by ”Iron” Sally in a unique way. Only for the final uphill time trail, did the favorite have to be content with 2nd place. In the end she won the overall victory 17 minutes and 18 seconds ahead of second place.

The men of the Koblenz based racing team were on a triumphant sweep as well. The Austrian state champion, Alban Lakata, lacked only one second to an overall victory. ”The last four days with great and outstanding conditions were offered here in Schladming”, summed up the local matador, who naturally would have liked to win the race after all.

However, the Albanator was not disappointed: ”The stage win on the 3rd day and the 2nd place at the overall classification shows that my shape is right and I can look with confidence toward the Marathon World Championship in two weeks in South Tyrol — I look forward to it!”

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

 

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“No Pain, No Gain”

While Jenny Rissveds celebrated her second World Cup victory of the season, Nino Schurter lost his race in one of the last corners.

Albstadt, Germany. What an exciting racing weekend we saw at the second round of the UCI MTB World Cup. A huge, enthusiastic crowd of around 15,000 spectators got to see pure racing. In the women’s U23 category the Swedish Champion and SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing athlete Jenny Rissveds was unstoppable and extended her World Cup lead. In a head to head battle with World Champion Julien Absalon, Nino Schurter looked like he is going to win his first World Cup race of the season, but crashed in one of the last corners to end up in second position.

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Pure Racing in Albstadt

The Swiss Champion went into the race with lots of respect for his contenders Julien Absalon and Jaroslav Kulhavy. On the climber’s course Julien always came out first in the previous years, Jaroslav showed in Nove Mesto that he is in the shape of his life. Nino on the other hand is Nino and put the hurt on the rest of the field right from the start. It was clear from the first meter of the race that the SCOTT-Odlo star was not there to see what was possible, he wanted to show what was possible.

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Nino’s choice for the “German autobahn” course- the SCOTT Scale hardtail

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The duel of the day: Schurter v Absalon

Early on in the race, World Cup leader Kulhavy was not ready for Schurter’s pace and had to let go. It was the same was for former team mate Florian Vogel. Fighting at the front of the race was the familiar duo from last year. The outcome of this battle was unpredictable. Both of them looked like they were riding at their best. The World Champion attacked several times on the climbs- without success. The Swiss Champion sometimes got a few seconds on the descents, but not enough to make a difference. It all had to come down to the very last climb and descent before the finish. The thousands of spectators sure got something for their money. This was pure racing at the highest level!

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Nino looking strong showing his race face

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Close to 15,000 spectators enjoyed pure racing

Absalon launched his attack on the last climb. Again, Nino was glued to his rear wheel. More than this- on the top before the last descent Nino even overpassed Julien to take the last descent in the leading position. Riding with all the risk it takes to win a race, he managed to get a few seconds out of his rival. It looked like Nino was riding to his first World Cup win of the season. Then a painful mistake changed things for the worse. With only 300 meters to go in one of the very last corners on gravel, Nino lost control of his SCOTT Scale and went down hard. He was back on the bike quickly, but at the same time Julien passed him to take the victory away. Mentally and physically, it was a very painful moment. We never saw something like this happen to the technically superb and controlled riding of Nino Schurter. But it just shows how much they have to ride at their limit to win a race at this level.

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Florian Vogel (4th) – Nino Schurter (2nd) – Julien Absalon (1st) – Jaroslav Kulhavy (3rd) Mathias Flückiger (5th)

Disappointed about his mistake but still good for a joke Nino stated, “This hurts! Just when a thought I had it, I went down in a place where someone who wants to win races should not be crashing! It’s double painful to loose a race like I just did. Never mind- no pain no gain! I had an awesome race day out there riding at my best. Especially on this course to be eye to eye with Julien shows I was top today!” Nino was hospitalized after the race with some deep cuts on the hip. He is fine, but it will take a few days to get over the injuries. The World Champion by the way has massive respect from the MTB racing scene winning his 30th World Cup race.

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Nino Schurter, 3x World Champion
SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing Team

“This hurts! Just when a thought I had it, I went down in a place where someone who wants to win races should not be crashing! It’s double painful to loose a race like I just did. Never mind- no pain no gain! I had an awesome race day out there riding at my best. Especially on this course to be eye to eye with Julien shows I was top today!”

 

Behind the podium we saw some progress from Michiel van der Heijden. He finished in 26th and is headed in the right direction. Marcel Wildhaber instead is having a hard time starting so far back. His hopes for a top rank are usually destroyed already in last lap getting stuck in a traffic jam. He finished again in 63rd. Also U23 rider Andri Frischknecht was not happy about his performance. After his 3rd place in Nove Mesto he was hoping for more than his 14th place.

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Dutch Champion Michiel van der Heijden

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Marcel Wildhaber

 

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Andri Frischknecht

 

2nd World Cup Win for Jenny Rissveds

A top race from start to finish saw Swedish Champion Jenny Rissveds finishing on the top step. After her victory last week she looked very confident showing from the first meter that she is the girl to beat. This time she was the master of the game up and down. It almost looked too easy watching her winning her second World Cup race within a week. She is no doubt the fastest U23 rider out there at the moment.

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 World Cup leader Jenny Rissveds riding at her best.

Happy about her race she said, “This time I was even more convinced I could win, even though the course here in Albstadt is very demanding physically. This was an awesome start for the World Cup season. I now look forward to the European Games in Baku, where I can compete against some of the best elite riders.”

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

“This time I was even more convinced I could win, even though the course here in Albstadt is very demanding physically. This was an awesome start for the World Cup season. I now look forward to the European Games in Baku, where I can compete against some of the best elite riders.”

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Jenny’s SCOTT Scale 700

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Alessandra Keller (2nd) Jenny Rissveds (1st) Kate Courtney (3rd)

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

 

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1st, 2nd and 3rd in Nove Mesto

With Jenny Rissveds winning the U23, Nino Schurter in 2nd and Andri Frischknecht finishing 3rd in U23, the XCO World Cup season couldn`t have started any better for SCOTT-Odlo.

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

Like every year the SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing Team travelled to Nove Mesto knowing each one of them had done their homework. The results prior to the World Cup looked promising, but until the first World Cup race, there are always question marks. Having riders on the podium of each race we entered is a good sign that we are on track. This confidence makes us hungry for more.

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

Jenny Rissveds- 1st

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Nino Schurter- 2nd

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Andri Frischknecht

Jenny Rissveds very noticibly took a huge step forward in 2015. She looks much more focused in the cross-country races this year as she is not using up her energy in eliminator races anymore. This focus is starting to pay off now. In the first round of the World Cup she showed an excellent performance all around to come out as the winner of the day. Not that she was the strongest out there, but riding with well taught tactics, using her technical skills to make a difference and to lead her to victory. Her biggest threat was U23 vice-World Champion Margot Moschetti of France. Margot, well known as a great climber, was for most of the race able to close the gaps Jenny created after the descents. But when the Swedish champion shifted up one gear on the final lap, there was no doubt anymore who would take the crown. With her last lap being the fastest of all laps, Jenny was flying towards the finish to win her second U23 XC race of her career.

1, Moschetti, Margot, Betch.nl Superior Brentjens, , FRA 2, Rissveds, Jenny, Scott-Odlo, Falu CK, SWE 8, Courtney, Kate, Specialized, , USA

Margot Moschetti- 2nd, Jenny- 1st, Kate Courtney- 3rd. 

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Jenny was excited about her race saying, “My tactics played out well for me. Each descent I tried to gain some seconds on my competitors. This allowed me to recover a bit before they caught up again and I had no problem riding with Margot on the climbs. I’m excited to go to Albstadt in the World Cup leaders jersey.”
Not only is Jenny fast on an XC bike, but she can handle the Genius just as well. Check out the following edit of Jenny riding at home in the offseason!
The mens race looked a bit like it has in past years, just with a different outcome. As a three time winner in Nove Mesto, Nino Schurter went into the race as the big favorite. Everybody was looking for a remake of the battle between Nino and World champion Julien Absalon. Though there was indeed a battle, this time it was Nino against Olympic champion Jaroslav Kulhavy.

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What a great battle between Jaroslav Kulhavy and Nino Schurter.

While Julien Absalon and former SCOTT-Odlo rider Florian Vogel were clearly behind, the two guys in front were giving each other stick the entire race. Nino on his SCOTT Spark 700 looked fast on the descents as usual. He tried to put Jaroslav onto the defensive whenever possible. The Olympic champion on the other side showed impressive power on the flats and climbs.  Each time he was able to close those gaps quite easily. Until last lap both of them looked equally strong. Previous history was on Nino’s side, the 20’000 fans were on the local Jaroslav’s. It came down to the final half lap to find out who had the most juice left after this energy wasting game. Just when Nino tried to get away of the local hero, Jaro launched a counter attack that even an in form Nino Schurter could do nothing about. With the short distance remaining to the finish, Kulhavy took an impressive 24 seconds out of Schurter to win in front of his home crowd.

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Nino celebrating his 2nd place in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

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The podium with Florian Vogel in 4th, Nino Schurter in 2nd and Jaroslav Kulhavy in 1st.

Nino’s statement after the race: “This was an spectacular battle between Jaro and myself. First of all I’m pleased about my great performance, even if it wasn’t enough at the end to defend my victory from last year. Now with Jaroslav back in top shape it is going to be a very interesting season to come. And I’m going to be one of the key players in it!”

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Nino Schurter-  3 Time World Champion
SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing Team

“This was a spectacular battle between Jaro and myself. First of all I’m pleased about my great performance, even if it wasn’t enough at the end to defend my victory from last year. Now with Jaroslav back in top shape it is going to be a very interesting season to come. And I’m going to be one of the key players in it!”

For both Michiel van der Heijden and Marcel Wildhaber it was not the race they were hoping for. Michiel was investing a lot of energy for a good position on the first lap and was looking good for a while. Unfortunately he was not able to keep the pace and dropped back quite far finishing in 49th. Marcel started way back and never made it towards the top ranks. He finished in 63rd.

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Start with Michiel Nr.16.

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Michiel on his SCOTT Spark 700.

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Marcel Wildhaber

Exciting news came from the U23 race where we saw Andri Frischknecht racing better than ever. His season so far has not run perfectly, but he knew that he had more to offer. Prooving this at the Word Cup, he choose the perfect time to do so. His best World Cup finish to date was an 8th place in Albstadt last year. After a great start Andri took the lead of a group of five. Leading a World Cup race was a first in his U23 career. Going into the last lap Frischi junior was racing for 4th place together with Nr.1 Grant Fergusson, but they had the breath of the chasers in their necks. With the pressure from behind and going all out, Andri actually got closer to 3rd place Sam Gaze. After he had him in sight he was charging big time to overcome the Kiwi. Together with Lars Forster and Pablo Rodriguez he got his first U23 World Cup podium  This sure is #nextlevel!

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Andri in the Rock n’ Roll section.

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Excited about his top finish.

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Happy with the winner and training partner Lars Forster.

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

 

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Alban becomes Austrian Champion for the 6th time

Granitmarathon 2015

Not even the most adverse conditions can keep Topeak-Ergon’s Alban Lakata from winning his 6th Austrian State champion title in MTB Marathon. Robert Mennen delivered a stellar performance and won the Ardennes Trophy in La Reid (BEL).

Alban Lakata from the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team brought back his 6th Austrian State champion title this Sunday in Kleinzell, Austria at the 15th Granit Marathon. After his absence due to an injury last year, the world champion and two time European champion left no doubts as to who would finish the race at the top of the podium.

Although it was not a walk in the park, the Granit Marathon lived up to it’s name. Continuous rain for days and adverse temperatures transformed the 78 km long route with a 2.500 meter difference in altitude into a slippery course of mud and gravel. Even in good conditions, the hilly course through the Mühlviertel is a challenge for the participants, but this time the race demanded everything from the athletes. During firm inclines and technically demanding trails, even pros like Alban started skidding and weren’t able to reach the finish line without bailing.

So much greater was the celebration afterwards: ”I’m really happy, anything can happen in these conditions”, says the dirty beyond recognition Albanator. And he didn’t forget who to thank regardless: ”Thank you, ’Beda’ and Canyon for the amazing bike and perfect teamwork!”

Congratulations to Robert Mennen as well, who took home the Ardennes Trophy in La Reid, Belgium, riding the 97 kilometers very impressively. After 85 kilometers, the 29-year old from Nörvenich had shaken off his hardest opponent and rode home alone for the final 12 km. And also Sally Bigham was successful last weekend at the MTB Marathon in Rhayader, Mid Wales. She was the fastest woman over the course with 75km and 2.000m of climbing. All in all again a very good weekend for the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team.

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

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Bronze for Lakata at the European Championships

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After winning two European Champion titles, Alban Lakata secures his second bronze medal at the Marathon-EM in Singen. Robert Mennen takes fourth, Kristian Hynek takes ninth place after a setback, and in the women’s class Sally Bigham achieves sixth place after a highly competitive final.

Our Topeak-Ergon Racing Team did not land the biggest bounty at the Marathon European Championship in Singen. Even though Alban Lakata picked up a bronze medal for the second time after 2012, it could have worked out better for the racing team from Koblenz. Once again, Kristian Hynek wound up getting hit with tough luck. He was in a promising position 49 kilometers into the race, but then he had to deal with technical issues and could not keep up with the top flight.

The Albanator also felt that he could have done better: ”I had great legs, but with Kristian in the front with the top flight, Robert and I had to stay back and were only able to apply pressure at the end.” Under those circumstances, it’s a great success that he was able to take the bronze medal. Robert Mennen would have liked to win one too, but the Nörvenicher is still satisfied with fourth place: ”Yes, unfortunately, I got the wood medal, but I’ve never been so close to an international medal before!”

Sally Bigham also failed to polish up her balance with four silver medals. However, it was especially close, Sally was defeated by only 9 seconds after a thrilling final with all favorites. At the end she wasn’t really happy with her sixth place, but she didn’t have any reason for regrets: ”I gave it everything and there was nothing more I could do!”

The next chance for our team to catch some medals are the UCI Marathon World Championships at Sellaronda Hero in South Tirol on 27th of June.

 

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

 

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Matthews capitalises on a faultless team ride to win Giro d’Italia stage 3 in pink

Michael Matthews wins stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy Michael Matthews wins stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy

Race leader Michael Matthews has capitalised on a perfect team ride by ORICA-GreenEDGE to win the third stage of the Giro d’Italia in the pink jersey.

The inclusion of Simon Clarke and Esteban Chaves in a strong early breakaway of 24 riders and the gatekeeping duties of Clarke until the final three kilometres set up the finale for the Australian outfit.

Completing the effort, Pieter Weening contributed to the chase alongside Tinkoff-Saxo whilst Simon Gerrans provided the final lead out before Matthews completed the perfect day to cross the line ahead of Fabio Felline (Trek Factory Racing).

It was another case of déjà vu for Matthews, who also won on stage six in the Maglia Rosa last year.

“It was only a short stage but they made it quite hard for us,” Matthews said. “We were lucky we had the two guys in the break from the start so we didn’t have to chase for most of the stage.”

“Then Simon Gerrans and the boys worked really hard to set me up perfectly for the sprint and I can’t thank them enough.

“The Giro d’Italia so far is a dream come true for me.”

The victory was ORICA-GreenEDGE’s second of the 2015 Tour, following the team time trial win on the opening stage. It ensures the race lead for another 24hours, bonus seconds giving Matthews a six second lead over teammate Clarke.

“We couldn’t imagine this Giro starting any better,” sport director Matt White said. “You come to races with plans and goals and we have achieved them so far.”

“Our team has always been very tight, they are very well drilled and they are very loyal to each other and that’s a big factor we have.

“It’s one thing having a plan but you need guys with the ability and commitment to carry it out, they all should be very proud of their ride.”

The lumpy stage three was expected to be a tough one and when the strong breakaway went on a rise within the first five kilometres, there was no question that would be the case.

Amongst the lead group was ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Chaves and Clarke, whilst Tinkoff-Saxo stood up for the bulk of the chasing to protect their general classification ambitions.

As the gap sat under a minute both the break and the peloton dwindled from behind as the parcours took its toll on riders.

Over the final climb of the day, a category two peaking with less than 45km to go, Pavel Kochetkov (Team Katusha) led from his former breakaway companions who splintered under the pressure of the ascent.

Kochetkov led for a long time before three riders, including Clarke as the gatekeeper, bridged across to make a new group of four riders in front with ten kilometres to go.

Clarke continued to follow the moves until eventually the race came back together with three kilometres to the finish for the reduced bunch sprint.

Tomorrow’s stage four begins in Chiavari before moving through three category three climbs on the 150km journey to La Spezia, the last of which peaks inside the final ten kilometres.

 

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Michael Matthews wins stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy Michael Matthews wins stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy

 

Michael Matthews on stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy Michael Matthews on stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy

 

Esteban Chaves on stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy Esteban Chaves on stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy

 

Esteban Chaves on stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy Esteban Chaves on stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy

 

Michael Matthews wins stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy Michael Matthews wins stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy

 

Michael Matthews on stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy Michael Matthews on stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy

 

Michael Matthews wins stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy Michael Matthews wins stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy

 

Michael Matthews wins stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy Michael Matthews wins stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy

 

Michael Matthews wins stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy Michael Matthews wins stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy

 

Michael Matthews wins stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy Michael Matthews wins stage three of the 2015 Tour of Italy

 

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This article was originally posted on greenedgecycling.com.

 

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Double Victory in Riva

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Extremely successful weekend for the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team: Kristian Hynek wins the Ronda Extrema at Bike-Festival in Riva, Italy and Alban Lakata takes second. Robert Mennen was fourth facing tough luck at UCI-Marathon in Houffalize while Jeremiah Bishop took silver at the US Nationals in Columbia, GA.

Kristian Hynek from the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team still had a score to be settled in Riva, Italy. While leading the race last year, the 34-year old got lost at the Bike-Marathon in Riva del Garda right before the finish line and came in fourth. The score has now been settled by the Czech as part of the racing team from Koblenz. With a stellar performance of 4:23:08 hours, the European Marathon champion of 2012 secured the victory at the Ronda Extrema over 90,43 kilometers and 3.838 meters difference in altitude.

”This victory is very important to me, especially since I was so unfortunate here for the last two years,” explains Kristian at the finish line. ”But I’m also happy in regards to the European championship next week in Singen, it shows that my fitness is prime.”

Teammate Alban Lakata delivered a strapping performance as well and took second even though he had to deal with a flat tire and chain problems and was behind 43 seconds. ”I’m very satisfied with my fitness, but less with my result”, admits Alban afterwards. ”I think, without the flat tire, I could have won, although Kristian rode a very strong race.”

So did Robert Mennen. He showed a smashing performance at UCI-Marathon in Houffalize, but then the 29-year old Topeak-Ergon-Rider was hit by the same fate as Alban in Riva. Robert, who was leading, suffered a tire defect about 3 kilometers before the finish line and fell back to fourth place. Also Jeremiah Bishop, our new American team member, looks back on a successful weekend. The USA National Marathon Champion from 2008 took the silver medal at the 2015 USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike Nationals in Columbia County, GA, last Saturday.

Regardless — the team’s fitness is outstanding and promises hope for the European championship this coming Sunday at Rothaus Hegau Bike-Marathon in Singen. With Kristian, Alban, Robert and Sally, who didn’t start at the British championships this past weekend because of health issues, we have four hot irons in the fire …

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ziener bike festival Garda Trentino 2015 - Rocky Mountain BIKE Marathon Siegerehrung Ronda Extrema Men, 1. Kristian Hynek (CZE), 2. Alban Lakata (AUT), 3. Urs Huber (SUI) XXX Honorarfreie Nutzung im Zusammenhang mit der redaktionellen Berichterstattung zum ziener bike festival riva del garda 2015, Kontakt: Oliver Kraus (Kraus PR),  +49 (0)178 1321656, info@kraus-pr.de XXX

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

 

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Two in a row for Albasini in Romandie

Michael Albasini wins stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie Michael Albasini wins stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie

 

(30-4-2015) Yesterday’s stage winner Michael Albasini has made it two in a row at the Tour de Romandie, winning stage three in Porrentruy this afternoon.

The three-time 2014 stage winner was ably supported by a committed ORICA-GreenEDGE outfit for much of the day, including in the final stages by 2014 Liege-Bastogne-Liege champion Simon Gerrans.

The victory extends Albasini’s overall lead in the UCI WorldTour event to 20seconds, ORICA-GreenEDGE also with Italian Ivan Santaromita (2nd) and Briton Simon Yates (4th) in the top four.

“First of all we have to realise what my team did for me today,’ Albasini said. “They really drove strong in the first half of the race and in the final even Santaromita was around to make sure nobody was riding away.”

“Then I had one of the best riders in the bunch lead me out, so I just had to win it.”

Asked if he believed he could pull off his fifth stage victory in two years, the 34-year-old said he was confident.

“Sure,” Albasini said. “I knew the two consecutive climbs, they were really hard and most of the really fast guys wouldn’t survive them so I knew I would be one of the faster guys left.

“Then the team did everything for me to make a sprint.”

For sport director Neil Stephens, it was the complete team contribution that proved most satisfying.

“It’s a nice situation when you have had a win and you have the jersey, all the other teams expect you to ride, you do it, and you win,” Stephens said. “They gave it everything, sure they are tired now but they wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“Everyone had a piece of the stage win today and Gerrans was the one who did the last killometre.

“Those last couple of climbs were really hard and Gerro was actually 20seconds off the back of the bunch on the last hard climb, the second last climb of the day, and he fought his way back.  Then in the final Albasini was shadowing everywhere Simon took him and it’s great to see Simon back in good form and doing the right thing for the team.”

As racing got underway, ORICA-GreenEDGE took position at the head of the peloton in defence of the yellow jersey worn by Albasini courtesy of yesterday’s victory.

Kristof Vandewalle (Trek Factory Racing), Cheng Ji (Team Giant Alpecin) and Brian Bulgac (Team Lotto-Jumbo) established the day’s break and were allowed over eight minutes advantage in the first 30km before the Australian outfit lifted their intensity to start to eat into their advantage.

With 67 of the 173km stage remaining, riders made their first passage through the finish line before embarking on a large lap that contained three classified climbs. The advantage to the lead trio was less than three minutes.

Movistar joined ORICA-GreenEDGE’s chase efforts and with a little under 50km remaining the race was back together.

Despite countless attempts to snap the elastic, including by serious general classification contenders, the race remained all-but together for the remainder of racing.

Tomorrow’s fourth stage continues with another punchy parcours, including two classified climbs in the final 30km into the finish town of Fribourg.

In other news, after the elation of yesterday’s stage win courtesy Michael Albasini, ORICA-GreenEDGE received confirmation that Canadian champion Svein Tuft suffered injuries from a crash that will rule him out of the Giro d’Italia.

Tuft crashed at the back of the peloton yesterday having collected bottles for his teammates. He was able to remount and complete the stage but was later sent to hospital for assessment.

Scans have revealed a minor wrist fracture and injured sternum and at the recommendation of medical staff, the team will take a cautious approach to his recovery.

Michael Albasini wins stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie Michael Albasini wins stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie

 

Orica-Green Edge chase on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie Orica-Green Edge chase on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie

 

Michael Albasini on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie Michael Albasini on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie

 

Simon Yates on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie Simon Yates on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie

 

Peter Kennaugh and Ivan Santaromita on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie Peter Kennaugh and Ivan Santaromita on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie

 

Simon Yates and Michael Albasini on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie Simon Yates and Michael Albasini on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie

 

Brett Lancaster chases on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie Brett Lancaster chases on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie

 

Michael Hepburn paces Michael Albasini on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie Michael Hepburn paces Michael Albasini on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie

 

Orica-Green Edge chase on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie Orica-Green Edge chase on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie

 

Michael Hepburn chases on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie Michael Hepburn chases on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie

 

Simon Yates and Michael Albasini on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie Simon Yates and Michael Albasini on stage three of the 2015 Tour de Romandie

This article was originally posted on greenedgecycling.com.

 

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