Carpathian MTB Epic 2018 – Stage 1 Best Of

Carpathian MTB Epic 2018 – Stage 1 Best Of

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Publiée le le 21 août 2018

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After a fast and technical Prologue, which determined the next Start order, the first Stage of Carpathian MTB Epic 2018, strongly tested the cyclist skills and resistance. On Friday, the participants, both Elite and amateurs, had to pedal 60 km on the steep and rugged edges of Souther Carpathians, and facing a 2,700 m elevation gain. The marathon route combined 50% of single trails with forest and mountain paths, around 40%, and a small part of road. The track included exausting climbs and fast punges, and reached some spectacular points on the way: Start from Cheile Grădiștei - Fundata going through Valea Cheii - Curmătura Fiarelor – Vârful Bucșa - Șaua Strungulița - Padina –Drumul Hoților – Bătrâna Refuge and Peak - Drumul Grănicerului - Șaua Strunga - Poiana Guțanu and ended in the same area, at Cheile Grădiștei - Fundata. The participants, among numberous World and European champions, were surprised and astonished by the beautiful untamed trails and views over the mountains. The cyclists who have conquered the Carpathians and reached first the Finish line of Stage 1, considered a hard but still a fast one, are the ones who stand forward at Prologue at Elite Men category: Peeter Pruus (Estonia) coming just seconds away before Marek Rauchfuss (Czech Republic) and Adel Filip (Czech Republic), being only a 35 secunds gap between these riders.
"I was not expecting such a race, it was unbelievable! A heavy and steep race, but I am satisfied by the result. I also had some problems, I fell down once and at the second point I did not get water, because I came very quickly and missed the hydration point. The race was really spectacular!”, commented the Estonian champion Peeter Pruus. The Czechs approached the team pedalling strategy for being on the podium, actually using the same method applied by the Slovaks last year, who won the first edition of Carpathian MTB Epic. “After the start I did not feel very well and I was on the 10th place. The first hour was very intense for me because it was only climbing. Then I began to feel better and better, because I constantly hydrated. I pedalled with my friend, Filip Adel, we collaborated, we motivated ourselves and we ran faster to the Finish line", confessed Marek Rauchfuss. His colleague was excited competing in this stage race and surprised by the challenges met on the trail: “The ascending was crazy and very steep. It was five times more difficult than I have expected. Unfortunately, I had a flat tire and I had to stop at the second hydration point to fix it. Before this moment, I was on the second place. I'm a cross-country rider, so this race was quite challenging for me. But I feel great here, Romania is a beautiful country, everything is great and people are very warm and welcoming”.
The favourite rider of the competition, Belgian Frans Claes, the World series MTB Champion,arrived the 4th and he has to push himself the next days for recovering the 2- minutes gap and have a good ranking in the final overall standings at Carpathian MTB Epic. "The race was very tough and I had to be careful not to pedal very quickly to the descent, because there were obstacles on some portions, such as stones or holes. I was a little cautious, because I've never seen such a tough field. It's really wild, but I wanted these extreme conditions, that's why I love mountain biking!”, appreciated Frans Claes. The biggest surprise is Gustav Eric Larsson from Sweden, who occupied the 5th place after a very successful career in road cycling. It is important to mention that the Scandinavian has won two Silver medals at the European Championships in 2008 and the World Championships in 2009. No surprises during girls’ race! The favorite cyclist, the Swiss star Ariane Lüthi, who won 5 times the famous Absa Cape Epic, came first just a few minutes ahead of Jovana Crnogorac (Serbia), who won the second place. This advantage certainly gives her some peace of mind during the Stage 2. "It is a very beautiful race, very, very technical and very hard! I had to walk and push my bicycle along the trail, especially close to the top of the mountains. So, it was very tough but absolutely beautiful! It's really and truly a mountain bike race. I would compare this one with Swiss Epic. It's just a little milder, with more straight lines on the way. This is quite an untamed route and I would say more tougher than the Swiss Epic“, stated Ariane Lüthi.

Stage 1 Results

Women
1 - Ariane Lüthi (SUI) - 3:58:13
2 - Jovana Crnogorac (SRB) - 4:06:06
3 - Lejla Tanovic (BIH) - 4:24:36

Men
1 - Peeter Pruus (EST) - 3:18:35
2 - Marek Rauchfuss (CZE) - 3:19:01
3 - Filip Adel (CZE) - 3:19:06

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