The fifth and final stage of the 2022 SPAR Swiss Epic saw Wilier Pirelli Factory and Davos Klosters Women secure the overall title of the 2022 event upon crossing the finish line in Davos 359 kilometres after the race began in Arosa.
After Friday’s Queen Stage, the longest stage in the history of the SPAR Swiss Epic, which took place in torrential rains and plummeting temperatures, all teams at the 2022 SPAR Swiss Epic were thrilled to begin the final stage of the event under blue skies and with warmth in the air.
The previous day’s rain made the trails of Davos slippery and called for an increase in concentration to avoid any falls or mechanicals, but they were no match for the Austrian and European Marathon Champions who were in a class of their own during Stage 5, and for the entire event.
“This was the most perfect SPAR Swiss Epic with Fabian” smiled Geismayr when asked about the win. “He’s a really great partner! I just focussed on riding and he was always there on my wheel. The downhills here aren’t easy but they are fun as there are lots of jumps and berms, but the climbs are tough and they make you breathe hard if you’re not used to the altitude. This race is one of the real mountain bike races and that’s how it should be. This was a perfect week for us!”
Wilier Pirelli’s Stage 5 victory was their fourth stage win of the event and saw them secure the overall title in a time of 16:19:40; Singer Racing team finished both second on the final stage and second on the general classification, 7 minutes and 32 seconds behind Geismayr and Rabensteiner. Drama for KTM ALCHEMIST & ATTITUDE, in the form of a puncture, saw them slip from the GC podium as BUFF MEGAMO’S Hans Becking and Jose Dias finished in third overall, 27 minutes and 10 seconds behind Wilier Pirelli.
In the women’s race, it was a day of drama and excitement as an early crash rattled Davos Klosters Women and mechanical issues for MTB Pro Merchandising – Team Cingolani put both teams the back foot. Team Efficient Infiniti Insure / Rare Street Coffee grabbed the opportunity with both hands and raced to their first stage victory of the 2022 SPAR Swiss Epic ahead of Adelheid Morath and Bettina Janas.
“We had nothing to lose when we started the stage, so we just decided to see what we could do” explained Le Court. “We just went all in and got a gap and it just worked out really well.”
“Finishing the SPAR Swiss Epic with a stage win is amazing” said an emotional Looser. “We went in hard today with nothing to lose; luckily we profited on some bad luck for the other women. But we had our own problems, like a puncture; but we just kept on pushing and brought it home across the finish line!”
Morath and Janas’ lead at the beginning of the final stage was 13 minutes 37 seconds over MTB Pro Merchandising – Team Cingolani, meaning Looser and Le Court’s stage victory did not threaten their top spot on the SPAR Swiss Epic podium and they raised their bikes in victory in a total time of 20:48:16.
“It can’t be better than this!” Enthused Adelheid Morath after winning the SPAR Swiss Epic. “Betty [Janas] was a bit tired today so we decided to really enjoy the final day and make it across the line safely.”
“Even on the last day of a stage race you can’t be sure of what’s going to happen, even though we had a comfortable gap” said Janas. “Today the plan was to ride safe, take no risks, and not crash… ok we crashed but the stage win wasn’t the plan, only the overall. I had really tough times in 2019 when I won with Adelheid, in 2020 I became a mom, in 2021 I broke my wrist into a hundred pieces, and now I am back on the top of the podium and that’s cool!”
Teams eager to tackle the SPAR Swiss Epic in 2023 should note that registrations open on 7 September on https://www.epic-series.com/swissepic.
2022 SPAR Swiss Epic Results:
Men’s Stage 5 Results
1. Wilier Pirelli Factory: Fabian Rabensteiner & Daniel Geismayr (2:37:17)
2. Singer Racing Team: Martin Frey & Simon Stiebjahn (2:38:31 | +1:14)
3. Buff Megamo: Hans Becking & José Dias (2:38:36 | +1:19)
4. Buff Megamo 2: Hugo Drechou & Enrique Morcillo Vergara (2:40:25 | +3:08)
5. St. Moritz: Fadri Barandun & Vinzent Dorn (2:41:46 | +4:29)
Women’s Stage 5 Results
1. Efficient Infiniti Insure / Rare Street Coffee: Vera Looser & Kim le Court (3:18:41)
2. Davos Klosters Women: Bettina Janas & Adelheid Morath (3:24:47 | +6:06)
3. MTB Pro Merchandising - Team Cingolani: Janina Wüst & Debora Piana (3:26:44 | +8:03)
4. Velo Flütsch: Alessia Nay & Antonia Bünter (3:43:19 |+24:38 )
5. MTBcamps: Maaris Meier & Liisa Ehrberg (3:44:28| +25:47)
Men’s General Classification after Stage 5:
1. Wilier Pirelli Factory: Fabian Rabensteiner & Daniel Geismayr (16:19:40)
2. Singer Racing Team: Martin Frey & Simon Stiebjahn (16:27:12 | +7:32)
3. Buff Megamo: Hans Becking & José Dias (16:46:50 | +27:10)
4. KTM ALCHEMIST & ATTITUDE: Dario Cherchi & Martino Tronconi (16:48:36 | +28:56)
5. Buff Megamo 2: Hugo Drechou & Enrique Morcillo Vergara (16:49:39 | +29:59)
Women’s General Classification after Stage 5:
1. Davos Klosters Women: Bettina Janas & Adelheid Morath (20:48:16)
2. MTB Pro Merchandising - Team Cingolani: Janina Wüst & Debora Piana (21:03:50 | +15:34)
3. Efficient Infiniti Insure / Rare Street Coffee: Vera Looser & Kim le Court (21:24:26 | +36:10)
4. Velo Flütsch: Alessia Nay & Antonia Bünter (23:03:36 | +2:15:20)
5. MTBcamps: Maaris Meier & Liisa Ehrberg (23:38:48 | +2:50:32)
To view the full results please click here.