Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Karrera and Reiter still leads the Gore-Tex Transalpine-Run

Once again, cooler and overcast conditions prevailed, as the start of stage 4 of the Gore-Tex Transalpine-Run got underway in the small alpine village of Neukirchen. Even the tough running conditions of stage 3 could not lower the morale of the competitors, as teams made their way to the start line excited and ready to tackle the Birnlücke, the highest peak of the race.
Continuing to showcase their dominance at this year’s event, Iker Karrera and Philipp Reiter of Team Salomon International, put in another solid performance to outclass their nearest rivals once again. Maintaining a good lead from early on in the stage, Karrera and Reiter crossed the finish line in Prettau am Ahrntal in a time of 4:16.45. Earlier in the morning Reiter had commented "I know the stage pretty well but with a lot of flat running, anything can happen".The local knowledge seemed to pay off however as they never put a stride wrong and won comfortably over second place finishers Florian Holzinger and Rolfes Volkmar of Team Gore Running Wear, finishing in 4:28.49, a further 12 minutes back.
Today’s stage was also not short of its fair share of drama. The biggest shock came in the Masters category as overall leaders, Marcus Kröll and former mountain running world champion Helmut Schiessel from Team Salomon Austria Germany, were forced to withdraw due to injury, mere minutes after the start. It never ended there, as Billy Burns from Team Inov-8 began suffering knee troubles early on in the stage, leaving fellow team mate Ben Abdelnoor to finish the stage alone, meaning the team will now have to exit the race.
Another unfortunate withdrawal was that of Team Sexton Salomon, Elisabeth Egarter and Petra Theiner, changing the landscape of the Women’s category on stage 4 of the GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN. Overall leaders Gitti Schiebel and Ildikó Wermescher of Team Mountain Heroes, maintained their first place, crossing the finish line in Prettau in 5:26.55. Second place finishers, Jutta Buschmann and Kristin Berglund of Team SCLT Breitenbach finished only a few minutes back in a time of 5:28.20, taking over the second position overall.
Racing remains fierce in Mixed category as Irene Senfter and StefanTschurtschenthaler of Team Sudtirol Dolomiti Superbike, Che Bustillo and Nuria Dominguez of Team Buff and Gaby Steigmeier and Roman Nef of Team Salomon Schweiz, continue to battle one another. In the end though it was Senfter and Tschurtschenthaler who managed to open up almost an eleven minute lead over the closing stages of the route to win in a time of 4:49.44 ahead of Bustillo and Dominguez in second, crossing the finish line in 5:00.08.
With the door to the Masters category flung wide open, due to the withdrawal of Kröll and Schiessel, it was the turn of Christian Stork and Michael Veit of Team Salomon Masters to turn up the heat, running a stellar stage to finish almost 23 minutes ahead of their nearest rivals in 4:26.20. In second place, and running well to retain their overall position, but a further 22 minutes off the pace, was the German duo Stefan Zäh and Ralph Klisch of Team Stunde des Herzens, crossing the finish line in 4:48.58.
Competition seemed fierce in the Senior Masters category on stage 4 as the current top two ranked teams jostled for position relentlessly throughout the day. In the end however it was Hans Hörmann and Rudi Schöpf of Team Mountain Heroes who edged ahead in the last few hundred meters to cross the finish line in a time of 4:57.28, twenty seconds ahead of stage 3 winners Gerald Rüschenpöhler and Jörg Schreiber of Team Kempten Hildrizhausen, who finished in 4:57.48. The exciting racing between these two teams is sure to continue as the event reaches the closing stages in the Dolomites.

Stage 4 Snapshot -Prettau in Ahrntal to Sand in Taufers

Having already crossed the border into Italy stage 5 takes the runners a step closer to the Dolomites. At only 32.8 kilometers, stage 5 is the shortest of the 8 stages but competitors will not be able to take their foot off the gas just yet, as the climbing continues with almost 2000m of altitude difference across the route. On their way to the heart of the Tieserfernegruppe, runners will get to enjoy the high alpine terrain with views across the Zillertaler Alps. After a brief descent to Durra Alm, competitors will then traverse the Reintal, finishing with a scramble along theReinbach waterfalls before Sandin Taufers.

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