PERSKINDOL SWISS EPIC 2018 - Finale - Best of Stage 5

PERSKINDOL SWISS EPIC 2018 - Finale - Best of Stage 5

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It was a classic scene at the start of the Grand Finale in Zermatt, to anyone who’s ridden a mountain bike stage race before. There was a familiar air of excitement among riders, fans and crew in the race village – the week of racing was coming to a close. However, experienced campaigners are well aware of the dangers of letting their guard down until they reach the finish line, so the good-cheer was mixed in with some trepidation. In the men’s category, overall race leaders Team Scott-SRAM’s Matthias Stirnemann and Andri Frischknecht fall into this ‘experienced’ category. Both riding with different partners at the 2017 Absa Cape Epic, Stirnemann won the overall title, riding with world champion Nino Schurter and Frischknecht took 2 stage wins, paired with Dutch champion Michiel Van Der Heijden. Team USA Red held the morning’s good morale all the way till the end, taking the final stage. “It’s an amazing feeling to win the final stage here. We’re super stoked!” said a delighted Keegan Swenson. In the women’s field, the skies cleared and Team Canada turned out another super performance, taking their third stage win of the week. “We had an awesome ride today and we can see the Matterhorn – it gave us extra motivation!” said Pendrel, Olympic medallist and two-time world champion.
Scott-SRAM’s lead going into Stage 5 at the 2018 Perskindol Swiss Epic was comfortable, at over 15 minutes on Team BiXS, but Looser and Stauffer had USA Red’s Blevins and Swenson breathing down their necks, 5 minutes behind. In the women, Team Canada’s Catharine Pendrel and Haley Smith has 24 minutes on Thömus RN’s Keller and Stirnemann. Both the men’s and women’s leading teams looked set to take a no-risk approach to Stage 5, technical descents, opening the door for stage win hunters.

Results Stage 5

Men
1. Christopher Blevins / Keegan Swenson (USA - Team USA Red) - 2:47.44,6
2. Matthias Stirnemann / Andri Frischknecht (SUI - Scott-SRAM MTB Racing) +1.31,8
3. Hansueli Stauffer / Konny Looser (SUI - BiXS Pro Team) +2.33,9

Women
1. Haley Smith / Catharine Pendrel (CAN - Team Canada) - 3:33.48,6
2. Barbara Benko / Anne Terpstra (HUN / NED - GHOST FACTORY RACING) +6.05,8
3. Alice Pirard / Cornelia Hug (BEL / SUI - BikeFreak-Magazine – Merida-Scott) +10.40,6

Final overall general classification

Men
1. Matthias Stirnemann / Andri Frischknecht (SUI - Scott-SRAM MTB Racing) 16:56.25,8
2. Hansueli Stauffer / Konny Looser (SUI - BiXS Pro Team) +16.09,2
3. Christopher Blevins / Keegan Swenson (USA - Team USA Red) +18.47,4

Women
1. Haley Smith / Catharine Pendrel (CAN - Team Canada) 21:03.47,8
2. Barbara Benko / Anne Terpstra (HUN / NED - GHOST FACTORY RACING) +42.48,7
3. Kathrin Stirnemann / Alessandra Keller (SUI - Thömus / RN Racing Team) +45.19,7

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