After five days of racing high up in the Swiss mountains, Team Canada’s Catharine Pendrel and Haley Smith have won the Perskindol Swiss Epic 2018.
Pendrel and Smith rode clear on the final stage, racing into Zermatt, taking the duo’s third stage win of the week. “We had an awesome ride today and we can see the Matterhorn – it gave us extra motivation!”
The two Canadians started the fifth and final day with a solid lead over second place team Kathrin Stirnemann and Alessandra Keller (Thömus / RN Racing). Not waiting around for the others to attack, Team Canada built up a solid advantage on the days final climb. “We actually took it conservatively today but we managed to get a gap quite early on Ghost Factory Racing,” said Pendrel, showing the teams strength even with four days of racing in their legs.
Ghost’s team of Barbara Benko and Anne Terpstra’s second place finish in Zermatt also moved them up in the GC. The pair move up a spot into second on the final day of racing. After holding second for much of the week, Stirnemann fought through stomach issued just to make it to the finish. Her and Keller finished quick enough to hold on for third overall.
Forward Racing-Norco’s team of Andrew L’Esperance and Sean Fincham finished off the final day of racing by maintaining their place inside the top-10 overall. The Canadian duo finished seventh on the stage, to hold the same position on the GC leader board after five days of racing.
The men’s race was won by Sc0tt-SRAM’s team of Matthias Stirnemann and Andri Frischknecht, who rode a conservative final day to protect their overall lead. With the Scott-SRAM team keeping their eyes on the GC lead, Team USA’s Christopher Blevins and Keegan Swenson went hunting for the stage win in Zermatt. Attacking on the final, lengthy climb, the Americans were able to gain a ninety second advantage over the chasing teams. On the long technical descent that followed, Blevins and Swenson maintained their advantage to claim a second stage victory at the Perskindol Swiss Epic 2018.
Sc0tt-SRAM rolled in shortly after, safely still in the lead overall. Frischknecht and Stirnemann were greeted at the finish line by Gary Fisher and Olympic medallist, multiple world champion and co-founder of the race, Thomas Frischknecht, also the father of Andri. The younger Frischknecht, crossing the line to win the race in front of his father, said “It was great to finally win the overall, and a very nice surprise to see my dad at the end!”
Perskindol Swiss Epic 2018 – Day 5 highlights
Perskindol Swiss Epic 2018 – Day 4 highlights