On Thursday, the 25th Alpentour Trophy kicked off in and around Schladming. Last year’s winner, Hector Leonardo Paez Leon, secured the victory in Stage 1 of the men’s elite category. In the women’s elite category, the German Adelheid Morath triumphed at the start.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Alpentour Trophy, Austria’s largest and most prestigious mountain bike stage race. The UCI MTB spectacle has been attracting the world’s best riders for a quarter of a century, offering them an unparalleled setting for competition through rugged terrain in the Schladming Dachstein region, where it has been held for the past 15 years.

At exactly 10 AM, organizer Gerhard Schönbacher gave the starting signal for the 1st stage of the anniversary edition from Schladming’s main square. The stage featured a challenging climb to the Krummholzhütte on Hauser Kaibling.

In the end, a familiar face prevailed. Hector Leonardo Paez Leon, a two-time world champion and four-time Alpentour Trophy winner, underscored his favorite status with the stage win. The Colombian won the men’s elite category in a time of 2:24:15, ahead of Filip Rydval (CZE, 2:24:43), who secured the “King of the Mountain” title. “I felt really good from the start today. Thanks to strong teamwork, we were able to close the gap to the leading group on the final climb, and I was fortunately able to maintain the lead from the final attack to the finish,” Paez Leon said at the finish line. Third place went to Italian Dario Cherchi (2:25:35). The best Austrian was Michael Holland (2:40:27) in 18th place, with Styrian Wolfgang Krenn finishing 21st.

In the women’s elite category, German rider Adelheid Morath (2:59:51) won ahead of Milena Kalašovà (CZE, 3:06:25) and Tyrolean Andrea Böttger, who thus became the best Austrian in the women’s elite classification.

Tomorrow, Friday, the 2nd and longest stage of the 4-day Alpentour Trophy is on the program. The start is again at 10 AM from the main square in Schladming, and then the route ascends to the Türlwandhütte Dachstein, where the “King” and “Queen of Stage” will be crowned. The course continues over Rittisberg and Landalm before returning to the finish at Planai Stadium. A total of 70 km with 2760 meters of elevation gain must be conquered.

You can download photo material HERE.

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