21 Jan Stage 3 – Leumann (SUI) & Ryf (SUI) fend off late attacks by their rivals to win the 2018 Snow Bike Festival.
The third and final stage of the 2018 Snow Bike Festival saw riders take on a modified route. Due to the adverse weather conditions, the organisers took the decision to change the route to ensure it was rideable as well as enjoyable for all the riders. 17.3km and 365m of climbing stood between the riders and the finish line of this year’s event.
From the start in the Promenade, riders raced straight into today’s Land Rover Mountain Prize climb up to Turbach. Nicola Rohrbach (SUI) and Nadine Rieder (GER) were the quickest up the climb. In the UCI Men’s race Rohrbach put early pressure on the overall leader Ryf (SUI) and raced to a 90 second lead at the halfway point of the stage. With Ryf under pressure to defend his leader jersey, a thrilling battle ensued. Rohrbach took the stage over 2 minutes ahead of Ryf, but couldn’t quite close the gap to the young Swiss rider who fought with everything he had, collapsing as he crossed the finish line. A worthy winner of a thrilling 2018 Snow Bike Festival. In the UCI Women’s race Katrin Leumann (SUI) saw herself go into today’s stage with a commanding lead. She used all her experience to control the race, and even though Rieder attacked and opened a sizeable gap on the first climb, Leumann’s lead and overall win was never under threat. Rieder took the stage victory, but it wasn’t enough to stop Katrin Leumann from securing her second successive Snow Bike Festival GC win.
With that another edition of the Snow Bike Festival comes to an end. 4 days of thrilling and challenging racing in the wonderful destination of Gstaad lie behind us. The world’s first and only mountain bike race on snow was once again a roaring success, thanks to the motivated riders, dedicated volunteers, staff, sponsors and the wonderful people, institutions and businesses in the destination of Gstaad.