Two-time marathon world champion Annika Langvad and two-time Olympic champion Julien Absalon picked up the trophies at the second round of the KMC MTB Bundesliga in Heubach. In front of a large crowd of spectators, Adelheid Morath and Moritz Milatz from Freiburg each finished second. Britain's Grant Ferguson won the U23 race.
Julien Absalon was on this second day of the 14. Bike the Rock powered by KMC the dominant athlete. For two laps he dealt with Fabian Giger, who lost a bit of time on the downhill. On the first two 4,3-kilometer laps he waited for the Swiss on the climb, but on lap three the Frenchman put the pressure on and quickly extended his lead.
After that he rode a race that looked like it was made of one piece and triumphed for the second time after 2010 at BiketheRock. “This race is always very tough. We have to climb the long mountain seven times. I always find the downhill beautiful. I like this event, it's always a great atmosphere with a lot of spectators. I think that was a good preparation for Nove Mesto”, commented Absalon.
A four-way battle for second place suddenly developed behind him from the sixth lap. It was Absalon's BMC teammate Moritz Milatz who got involved in the argument from behind.
At the beginning of the seventh lap, Stephane Tempier, who was third for a long time, and José Antonio Hermida lost contact with Giger and Milatz.
Giger attacked, but the German champions from Freiburg were able to follow. "I stayed on the rear wheel and then pulled over it at the top", Milatz explained how the decision in the battle for second place came about.
“I was able to do exactly what I set out to do. I never went too far, I only went at high speed on the disgusting Zieher passage.", commented Milatz.
Fabian Giger stated: “Moritz was a little stronger, but I'm very satisfied. It was one of my best races this year. The shape is right.” And then he looked around: “Always a cool event here. I like this."
Markus Schulte-Lünzum and Markus Bauer sprinted for twelfth place and at the same time for the position of the second best German. Bauer was in front, but had a chain jam on the home straight and lost the duel.
In Heubach, Annika Langvad fought a three-way battle with Adelheid Morath from Freiburg, who finished second, and with World Cup leader Jolanda Neff from Switzerland, who finished third.
The picture that presented itself when crossing the finish line lost consistency as we climbed up to the highest point. Jolanda Neff came down the downhill with a lead of around ten seconds, Annika Langvad was second and Adelheid Morath another 20 to 30 seconds behind was third.
But the trio gathered on the climb. "It was a great fight with Jolanda and with Annika", explained Morath at the finish. From the fourth of six laps (4,3km each) Jolanda had to take Neff back. “I had a cold this week and therefore had to scale back. I knew I wasn't XNUMX percent. But the race was fun, the atmosphere was cool.", explained Neff.
So the race became a duel between Morath and Langvad. “Adelheid always rode up and I knew that I had to go downhill ahead of her. We sprinted for it", Langvad said.
The Dane won and then got the decisive lead in the downhill. 20 seconds separated first and second place, while Jolanda Neff had a difference of 1:25 minutes at the end.
“I'm feeling pretty good right now and was hoping to win here. My goal was to drive with concentration and I managed to do that. I'm very satisfied", says Langvad, who won BiketheRock four years ago.
Adelheid Morath was able to leave with self-confidence, having left behind people like Vice World Champion Maja Wloszczowska from Poland or Olympic Champion Julie Bresset. “I had some problems in the power peaks, but I was able to keep my rhythm well. It was a great race and it was a lot of fun fighting with the two of them.", explained Morath.
Nina Wrobel drove a strong race and finished sixth behind Elisabeth Osl of Austria and Wloszczowska. "It went the way it was supposed to", explained Wrobel, who won a World Cup race in 2006 and subsequently developed physical problems.
The full results are here.[Link]