2 May 2017


Hielke Elferink (NED) and Hermann Pernsteiner (AUT) have triumphed on the long distance of the Rocky Mountain BIKE Marathon staged at the European season's opener in Riva del Garda, Italy today. While Elferink needed more than 5:49 hours for her career's first at the Ziener BIKE Festival Garda Trentino powered by FSA the Austrian racer clocked in a time of 4:29.47,8.

Urs Huber (SUI; 4:31.21,0) who had prevailed at last year's Rocky Mountain BIKE Marathin and has already four wins in Riva under his belt as well as Topeak Ergon racer Alban Lakata (AUT; 4:31.21,4), a two-time Ronda Extrema winner himself, finished in a respective second and third rank after the chasing group wasn't able to work together to catch up with Pernsteiner on the last kilometres anymore.

The Centurion Vaude athlete had broken away from the ten racer strong leading group in the final 400 metres climb to Bocca di Tova which turned out to be the decisive move for victory on the 90.43 km long course which was spiced up with 3,838 metres of climbing.

The winner of the 2016 BIKE Transalp entered the last downhill with quite a comfortable lead on his pursuers, capitalised on their lack of unity in the pursuit as well as on a crash of his strongest rival to finally lock in the win in the prestigious event which once again featured a strong and deep field.

“That's for sure one of my most important wins. Everyone wants to win in Riva. It's cool that I did so,” said the Austrian who had placed in fifth position back in 2015 and third last year.

“Triumphing here is incredible. Yesterday, I was thinking that I should stick to my series and that a win would be within reach. But during the race, I actually didn't believe in it at first as my legs weren't as strong as they should be in the beginning. And I also crashed once. But it seems that all the others were also pushed to their limits. In the end, I had enough energy left in my tank.”

Pernsteiner added: “I knew that I had to have some advantage on Huber before going into the final descent so I went all in in the last climb. Then I broke away, and I was going pedal to the metal.”

The dethroned champion of Team Bulls however tried everything he could to close the gap again but had to admit a – in his opinion – self-inflicted defeat after coming in as second.

“On one hand, I'm pretty OK with the result as the race was good,” Huber said. “But on the other hand, I threw away the victory. I was second going into the final descent and thought that I could catch up again. But then I was acting a little bit hasty and fell,” explained the Swiss champion who also added:

“But Hermann [Pernsteiner] deserved the win. He was racing really strong today.”

image:© Henning Angerer

Check out the complete results by Bike Frestival Riva