Hans Becking and Francesc Guerra Carretero interrupted Nicola Rohrbach and Lukas Flückiger’s 2021 Swiss Epic dominance on Friday.
The Buff Scott MTB Racing team claimed their first stage win of the race, knocking the general classification leaders down to the second step of the stage podium, and reducing the Goldwurst Power-Infinity team’s overall lead.
In the women’s race, over the 66-kilometre-long route which started and finished in Davos, Gabriel Technologie won their fourth stage of the race, in a sprint over the Davos Klosters Women.
Once again, the top teams in the elite men’s field spent much of the early part of the day jockeying for position and following each other’s moves closely. As the distance ticked by and the effects of the accumulated metres of climbing started to take their toll, the Buff Scott MTB Racing team came to the fore.
“We are really happy to have taken the stage win today, after two-second places and the fifth position on the opening stage” Becking smiled.
“We both felt really good on the climbs today and though we lost contact with Nicola [Rohrbach] and Lukas [Flückiger] on the descents, we could always close the gap again on the climbs. This showed that we were stronger on the day and gave us a lot of confidence.”
“In the middle of the stage there was a short, 2 to 3 kilometre long, brutal climb; that’s where we made our move” Becking explained.
“We managed to get a gap on the yellow jerseys there and held it to the finish. We’re really happy to take the stage win.”
The result sees Becking and Guerra Catterero reduce their deficit to Rohrbach and Flückiger by 1 minute and 41 seconds.
SCOTT Development MTB Team’s Andrin Beeli and Matthias Stirnemann had their best day of the Swiss Epic thus far too, as they completed the stage podium, 2 minutes and 34
seconds down on Buff Scott.
Despite losing time, Goldwurst Power- Infinity still have a relatively secure grip on the yellow jerseys going into the final stage. They lead Buff Scott MTB Racing by 4 minutes and 55 seconds overall, STOLL & Stevens Racing’s Konny Looser and Sören Nissen are third,
at 15 minutes and 40 seconds back.
In the women’s race there was no separating the women in the orange leader jerseys from the Davos Klosters Women. After having conceded 7 minutes the day before, Adelheid Morath and Angelika Tazreiter were determined to take the fight to Ariane Lüthi and Robyn de Groot.
They matched the Gabriel Technologie team throughout the stage but were unable to out manoeuvre the leaders heading into the final singletrack. This gave Lüthi and De Groot the advantage they needed to sprint to stage honours.
“Obviously in mountain biking the gap that you have is never enough, as anything can happen at any moment,” De Groot pointed out.
“But we do have a good buffer and so we could sit with the Davos Klosters Women today rather than take risks and try to extend our lead. It was an exciting finish as a
result. The whole stage was pretty tactical; with lots of shuffling of positions as we all fought for position on the trails. Fortunately, we were able to come out on top again and claim our fourth stage win.”
Lüthi and De Groot’s margin of victory was just 2 seconds, over Morath and Tazreiter. Costanza Fasolis and Claudia Peretti were third across the line, 7 minutes and 15 seconds back.
The result gives the Gabriel Technologie team a comfortable 12 minutes and 15 second advantage, over the Davos Klosters Women, heading into the final stage. Olympia – Rdr Italy Team are third, 29 minutes and 20 seconds behind the leaders.
The final stage of the 2021 Swiss Epic, in Graubünden, brings the race to its conclusion in emphatic style.
The 63-kilometre route features 2 200 metres of climbing, largely thanks to the climbs to
Davos Wiesen and the Clavadeleralp. Singletrack thrills will be provided by the Junkerboden, Alps Epic and Bolgen Trails.
Results: Swiss Epic, in Graubünden
Stage 3 | Elite Men
1. Buff Scott MTB Racing: Hans Becking and Francesc Guerra Carretero (3:04:41)
2. Goldwurst Power-Infinity: Nicola Rohrbach and Lukas Flückiger (3:06:22 | +1:41)
3. SCOTT Development MTB Team: Andrin Beeli and Matthias Stirnemann (3:07:15 | +2:34)
4. KTM Brenta Brakes: Nicolas and Lorenzo Samparisi (3:08:51 | +4:10)
5. STOLL & Stevens Racing: Konny Looser and Sören Nissen (3:09:05 | +4:24)
Stage 3 | Elite Women
1. Gabriel Technologie: Ariane Lüthi and Robyn de Groot (3:57:22)
2. Davos Klosters Women: Adelheid Morath and Angelika Tazreiter (3:57:24 | +2)
3. Olympia – Rdr Italy Team: Costanza Fasolis and Claudia Peretti (4:04:37 | +7:15)
4. MTB Pro Merchandising: Alice Pirard and Greete Steinburg (4:05:07 | +7:45)
5. Asterix und Cleopatra (by Tempo-Sport): Barbara Schwarz and Nina Brenn (4:31:34 | +34:12)
General Classification after Stage 3 | Elite Men
1. Goldwurst Power- Infinity: Nicola Rohrbach and Lukas Flückiger (12:25:46)
2. Buff Scott MTB Racing: Hans Becking and Francesc Guerra Carretero (12:30:41 | +4:55)
3. STOLL & Stevens Racing: Konny Looser and Sören Nissen (12:41:26 | +15:40)
4. KTM Brenta Brakes: Nicolas and Lorenzo Samparisi (12:45:25 | +19:39)
5. SCOTT Development MTB Team: Andrin Beeli and Matthias Stirnemann (12:50:37 | +24:51)
General Classification after Stage 3 | Elite Women
1. Gabriel Technologie: Ariane Lüthi and Robyn de Groot (15:30:44)
2. Davos Klosters Women: Adelheid Morath and Angelika Tazreiter (15:42:59 | +12:15)
3. Olympia – Rdr Italy Team: Costanza Fasolis and Claudia Peretti (16:00:04 | +29:20)
4. MTB Pro Merchandising: Alice Pirard and Greete Steinburg (16:49:14 | +1:18:30)
5. Asterix und Cleopatra (by Tempo-Sport): Barbara Schwarz and Nina Brenn (18:30:06 | +2:59:22)