Ötztal Bike-Festival Haiming / Swiss Bike-Cup Schaan / Marathon Kempten:
Double Bedroom winners
Max Brandl and Luca Schwarzbauer of Team Lexware Mountainbiking were able to win the U23 race at the Ötztal Mountainbike-Festival in Haiming, Austria. Georg Egger with strong performance in the Elite race. Matthias Bettinger misses victory in Kempten only by a tiny little.
During the three weeks at the World Cup and the training camp in South Africa Max Brandl and Luca Schwarzbauer were sharing a double bedroom. Seemingly they have grown together – at least it took until the second round in the U23 race of the Ötztal Mountain Bike Festival, before the two riders from the team from the Black Forest got separated. But this was at a stage of the race, where the rest of the competition was already distanced. And this competition was not a bad one at all including e.g. Neilo Perrin Ganier (Fra) who finished third at the Stellenbosch WC.
Luca Schwarzbauer had led the field into the longest climb, Max Brandl was able to follow. Leading at the top of this hill, they were able to increase the lead to 25 seconds by the middle of the second lap.
„I thought, either you went way too fast now or you’re in a really good shape,“ Schwarzbauer said after the race. He really was in a pretty good shape – although he could not keep up with his team-mate in the technical passages.
„I realized that I was able to go faster in some places, so I passed Luca hoping that he could follow my flow,“ Brandl said. „This indeed worked out until the middle of the second lap, but then there was a gap and I tried to control the ride with constant pacing.“ This had already been his strategy before the race. With 1:34 minutes ahead of his Lexware team-mate Luca Schwarzbauer and 2:09 minutes ahead of Frenchman Clément Berthet, Brandl was able to win for the first time in the season. With 1:19:17 he set a new course record.
The doublebe room was blown up, but Luca Schwarzbauer was able to keep up his pace and even gain some time against his followers. „I really had a wonderful start, but got some technical difficulties later on. Max was better in these sections. The last part of the race was hard but I never needed to go beyond my limits. I’m really happy.”
The German Junior Champion David List came in seventh (+3: 40). This is also a remarkable success for the Lexware rider from Friedrichshafen. After a strong start but “had to pay tribute for that and get off the gas“ List said. From then on he tried to keep his own rhythm, without losing too many positions. „Fortunately, that worked out quite well“, he was commenting on his result, which was also satisfying for the German national coach Peter Schaupp.
Teammate Jannick Zurnieden finishing 16th (+9: 39) did not disappoint,
Vinzent Dorn did not start.
Elite race: Egger finishes as best German rider
In Nals there was already some indication that Georg Egger’s shape was in
upward trending. But race as good as delievered in Haiming was not to be
expected. Egger had a good start and was in the leading group after lap
one. Although he “had to breathe pretty much” he was able to continue on
a high level. After World Cup winner Sam Gaze from New Zealand had to
give up, Egger was lonely on fourth place by the fifth of seven laps. „The last
one or two laps were extremely hard“ said Egger, who had to let the two
Austrians Karl Markt and Gregor Raggl (both Möbel Märki) pass. Also,
Marco Fontana (Bianchi-Countervail) passed Egger, but the third of the
German National Championships remained mentally strong. „I still had some
gas in the tank and could finally boil down Fontana in the last climb,“ Egger
said. This is even more remarkable, because Egger had serious doubts before
the race: Sitting problems had caused a „tight back“. It was not optimal in the
race either. All the more surprising that he finished as Germany’s best rider
with 3:48 minutes behind Maxime Marotte (1:31:57). The podium was stacked
with world class riders only: Marotte, his French compatriot Stephane Tempier
and European champion Florian Vogel.
Bettinger only beaten in the sprint
At the marathon in Kempten, Matthias Bettinger from Breitnau finished strong
with a second place, just as in the previous year. And again he only had to
give in to German ex-champion Markus Kaufmann (Meckenbeuren). Also like
last year, the duo reached the finish area together. Kaufmann won the sprint
(2:21:49 hours) before Bettinger, who was only one second behind. A really
satisfying result for the Lexware rider, who came in 42 seconds ahead of
Roger Jenny from Switzerland.
Schaan and Solingen
In Schaan (Liechtenstein) Lars Koch from Furtwangen did not have an optimal
day in the U23 race and completed the race in 27th place, 4:44 Minutes
behind San Joel Roth (Switzerland).
In Solingen, Thore Hemmerling reached a strong third place behind two
Belgians in the U17 category. The rider from Saarland finished 41 seconds
behind Jarne Vandersteen. His brother Lars came in on the 10th position in the
junior race, 3:51 minutes behind Tim van Dijke from the Netherlands.
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