Lakata and Mennen come back from nine minutes down to win TransAlp; Landtwing and Bigham dominate women's race

Alban Lakata and Robert Mennen triumph at 2012 Craft Bike TransAlp; Milena Landtwing and Sally Bigham win women title undefeated

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Alban Lakata and Robert Mennen triumph at 2012 Craft Bike TransAlp; Milena Landtwing and Sally Bigham win women title undefeated

Alban Lakata and Robert Mennen have claimed this year’s victory at the internationally attended mountain bike stage race Craft Bike TransAlp. Team Topeak Ergon Racing secured their first TransAlp title after coming in second in the final 75.10 km final stage (1,778 meters elevation) of the eight-day event (3:09:47.7). The Austrian-German pairing mastered the total distance from Oberammergau, Germany to Lake Garda, Italy in 27:35:17.5 .

Urs Hube and Konny Looser celebrated their second consecutive stage win on the final stage from Madonna di Campiglio to Riva del Garda in 3:08:23.0. Team Stöckli finished third in the general classification.

Markus Kaufmann and Thomas Stoll of Centurion-Vaude/BiXS iXS wrapped up the 2012 TransAlp in second.

Black Tusk Racing by toMotion Torsten Marx and Matthias Weisling rounded out the stage podium in third, fifth overall.

First ever TransAlp win for Lakata and Mennen

When the two Germans came in, neither Lakata nor Mennen ever thought they would be able to celebrate after losing more than nine minutes to their rivals on the first stage.

“When we faced two flat tires, I already had written off the title. So, we decided to go for some stage wins,” recalled Lakata.

“Fueled by anger, the 2010 marathon world champion and his comrade-in-arms stormed to four consecutive stage wins and also took over the overall lead, which they defended until the very end of the race. According to them, it was a dream came true.

“A Transalp title is for sure something you should have in your belt as marathon racers,” Lakata said. “I’m happy that we made it.”

His teammate Mennen was also very glad about the triumph in his first ever TransAlp. “I never thought of this at the beginning of the season. It’s amazing, that we did it!”

Landtwing and Bigham dominate women category

Milena Landtwing and Sally Bigham earned their title in the women’s race with even more dominance. Team Centurion-Vaude/Topeak Ergon also won eight out of eight stages.

The Swiss-British duo had won the final stage in 3:49:38.5, securing their overall title.

“Obviously we wanted to take the overall victory but we kind of liked maybe another team to take a stage win. It wasn’t to be. It’s nice to take all eight but it wasn’t necessarily what we set out to do. But it was great,” said Bigham.

Catherine Williamson and Louise Stopforth of Bizhub-fcf took the second spot overall, and Andrea Kuster and Angelika Niklaus of team Metz-Kraftwerk were happy to bring home third in the stage and the overall.

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.