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The view of his competition: Moritz Milatz from behind.
The view of his competition: Moritz Milatz from behind.

BMC Mountainbike Racing Team: Victory for Milatz at MTB Bundesliga in Saalhausen. Weber sixth and Tamararcaz seventh.

15. May 2011

Saalhausen, Deutschland

He was a class of his own in Saalhausen at the second Bundesliga race of 2011. Moritz Milatz of BMC Mountainbike Racing Team secured the podium's top spot 58 seconds ahead of fellow countryman Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing Team) and Thomas Litscher (Felt-Ötztal-X-Bionic). A total of four current world cross country champions lined up to face world-class competition in their respective categories.


Milatz dominated the race from the start. Only former U23 World Champion Manuel Fumic dared to follow the German Champion on his BMC TeamElite bike. Two laps into the race, however, Fumic had to let his fellow countryman go. Milatz mercilessly continued the race at his own, furious pace that no one of the world-class field - not even current Spanish World Champion José Hermida (Multivan Merida Team) could follow.


Rain, hail, wind, and sunshine made up for conditions that challenged tenacity and technical skills of the riders on slippery, muddy ground. Minute after minute the white color of the German national champion outfit faded away and was replaced by a tone that perfectly mirrored the color of the soil underneath those spinning fat tires. Milatz is aiming at retaining that white-black-red-golden jersey in June at the German national championship.

"I couldn't show what I had in recent races, so I was really motivated to put myself on the line today. The course seems to suit me", said Milatz who won the race in 2008. Illness and technical problems had hampered him recently.
The changing weather put its toll on many riders. The list of DNF's was long. The rainbow jersey (José Hermida) dropped out midway. BMC Mountainbike Racing Team member Patrik Gallati followed his way to the locker room shortly after. "When you realize that you can't shoot for a top spot in the race, you rather minimize the risk of getting sick from such weather conditions and concentrate on the world cup next week instead", he explained his decision.

The tough weather conditions did not impress Balz Weber or Julien Tamararcaz. The BMC duo finished in 6th and 7th, respectively, which made up for a fantastic overall team performance. BMC had another great team ride in the men's U23 category. Racing in the U.S. national team jersey, Stephen Ettinger (9th), Kerry Werner (11th) , and Jack Hinkens (13th) showed off their potential. Ettinger was even leading the race before he punctured and fell back.


Wednesday will be a long travel day for Patrik Gallati and Moritz Milatz: road trip to the MTB world cup in Dalby Forest (Norther England). Further athletes representing BMC at the evnt will be Stephen Ettinger, Jack Hinkens, Kerry Werner (all men's U23, representing the U.S. national team) as well as Swiss U23 Champion Michelle Hediger (representing Team Fischer-BMC in the women's U23 category).

Team Twitter live race coverage: https://twitter.com/#!/BMCmtbRacing