Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sprint Finish From Karrera and Reiter To Claim Stage 5 Record

With the stage town of Prettau in Ahrntal marking the halfway point of the Gore-Tex Transalpine-Run, the tiny village centre was buzzing with the realization that the back of the race had officially been broken. Competitors readied themselves in the chilly morning air, preparing for the relatively short yet steep stage that lay ahead. With skies somewhat clearer then the previous four days, and with the surrounding Alpine peaks towering prominently above the race village, racing got underway at 8.00am sharp.
Once again it was the Spanish-German duo of Team Salomon International, Iker Karrera and Philipp Reiter, proving their extreme running pedigree as they claimed the stage win in a lightening quick time of 3:37.51, breaking the existing stage record by just over a minute. Second place finishers Florian Holzinger and Volkmar Rolfesof Team Gore Running Wear, continued their impressive effort, finishing a further 10 minutes back, in a time of 3:47.22, maintaining their second place overall.
With under a kilometer to go until the finish line, Reiter and Karerra soon realized they could break the record. Karrera described the decision saying "I looked over at Philipp and shouted, come on, we can do this!" At the post stage interview, Reiter laughed and commented that "I thought Iker was trying to kill me, but I’m happy that we broke the record." Iker and Philip extended their lead of the 2012 GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN to one hour 14 minutes after five stages and 207km of racing.
The GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN continued to claim further casualties as yet more teams withdrew. Rumors began emerging about whether or not the Team Inov-8 pairing of Billy Burns and Ben Abdelnoor would continue after stage 4. Burns has suffered excruciating knee pain in the early stages of stage 4, with Abdelnoor finishing alone. At the start line in Prettau however it was evident that the injuries were severe as a lone Abdelnoor toed the start line.
Overall race leaders Gitti Schiebel and Ildikó Wermescher of Team Mountain Heroes, continue their impecable running at the GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN, crossing the finish line in Sand In Taufers in 4:54.13. With so many teams having already dropped out, Schiebel and Wermescher decided that they would ease of the pace and run a conservative stage. Second place finishers, Jutta Buschmann and Kristin Berglund of Team SCLT Breitenbach finished 20 minutes laterin a time of 5.14.01 however the duo lie one hour and 56 minutes behind Team Mountain Heroes in the overall standings.
Stage 5 saw some exciting changes in the Mixed category, where the competition remains fierce. Team Buff took the stage victory with Che Bustillo and Nuria Dominguez finishing strong in a time of 4.07.25. Crossing the finish line eight minutes behind them, today’s second finishers Irene Senfter and Stefan Tschurtschenthaler ofTeam Südtirol Dolomiti Superbike are only four minutes and 38 seconds behind in the overall standings, making for some very tight and exciting racing in final three stages. Team Salomon Swiss, of Gaby Steigmeier and Roman Nef finished today’s stage in 3rd place in 4.33.36.
Christian Stork and Michael Veit of Team Salomon Masters once again prove their near flawlless racing strategy to notch up their second stage win 3.57.39, eight minutes ahead of their nearest rivals, Stefan Zäh and Ralph Klisch of Team Stunde Des Herzens. Stork and Veit managed extend their new ovearall lead to over an hour and lie 14th overall in the GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN. Second placed Zäh and Klisch crossed the finishline in 4:06.03, with Thomas Drechsler and Stefan Lang from Team Orthomol Sport in 4.17.08.
The duel for positions in the Senior Masters category continued on stage 5 with Trail team Kempten Hildrizhausen of Gerald Rüschenpöhler and Jörg Schreiber putting in a commanding performance to finish today’s stage first, 18 minutes and 42 seconds ahead of Team Ahrntal of Peter Steinhauser and Herman Schaiter. Hans Hörmann and Rudi Schöpf of Team Mountain Heroes finished today’s stage in third place in 4.44.32 but remain second overall in the standings of the GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN senior master category.

Stage 6 Snapshot -Sand in Taufers to St. Vigil

Just when runners thought that it was all downhill to the finish, stage 6 delivers the the most brutal day of climbing with almost 2300m of altitude difference. Crossing the east slope of Taufers Tal ,runners head towards St. Vigil via Unteregelsbach, Gais and Dietenheim and Bruneck. After crossing the Reinz, runners will tackle the seemingly neverending ascent to Kronplatz, offering beautiful vistas towards the Dolomites in the south. The final section towards St. Vigil is steep and unprotected so runners will need to remain surefooted.

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