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TransAlp: Mud and never-ending mechanicals in the first stages

Stages 1 and 2 in the books at the 8-day TransAlp mountain bike stage race. Up front it’s been a back-and-forth battle, with Topeak Ergon’s Alban Lakata (AUT) and Robert Mennen (GER) winning stage 2, which traversed through Austria’s Tyrol region, covering 78km (and 3,274 meters in climbing) between Imst and Ischgl.

Lakata and Mennen stopped the clock in 3:31:37, which pushed them to third in the GC, behind German Markus Kaufmann (Centurion-Vaude) and his BiXS iXS teammate Thomas Stoll from Switzerland.

Stage 1 winners Karl Platt and Tim Böhme (Team Bulls) had a slightly off day, slipping to second. You can see all the results here.

Here’s a look at my race on stage 1, and here’s stage 2.

As for the international cycling hack duo of your author and Portuguese journalist Nuno Luz, it’s been a rough two days. Both stage 1 and 2 included copious rain and over-abundant mud. Day one Nuno battled bad legs and several mechanicals that resulted in extended hiking time. Day two saw your author suffer a bad-as-it-gets sidewall tear, which was beyond repair and meant a DNF. Good news is that Maxxis is here and hooked us up with a new 29er Ikon, so on we’ll go tomorrow, looking for redemption, and maybe a little sun, which has been in very short supply these first two days.

Here’s a look at some of the high and lowlights from the first two days in the Alps.

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