Swiss Epic, Prologue: Fanger and Indergand fourth, Näf out15. September 2015, Verbier, Switzerland — MTB Team
Mixed fortunes yesterday on day one of the Swiss Epic. The BMC team of Martin Fanger and Reto Indergand finished fourth while recently retired Ralph Näf crashed out of the race, putting an end to his career a few days earlier than expected.
The second edition of the Swiss Epic started yesterday in Verbier, the famous ski resort in the francophone region of Switzerland, Valais. A 13km prologue was the first taste of what promises to be a week of technical single trails and rough terrain through the beautiful Swiss Alps. Martin Fanger and Reto Indergand had a good day and finished in fourth place, 27’’ behind the winners, current Marathon World Champion Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek. “It is a good start. We aren’t favorites, but with less than 30 seconds behind the leader jerseys anything is possible,” explained Reto. Martin Fanger, back from a broken collarbone, added “Too bad Ralph had a crash though, it would have been great to spend the whole week together.”
Shoulder Injury and end of career for Ralph Näf
Ralph Näf and Lukas Flückiger had high expectations for the Swiss Epic, which would have been officially the last race of Ralph’s career. Unfortunately, Ralph suffered a crash in the second half of the prologue. He managed to finish the stage but decided not to continue after diagnosed with a crushed tendon. “It’s disappointing to end my career like this but it’s part of the sport. Better now than in the middle of the season I suppose.” he said trying to relativize.
Without Ralph and Lukas (who decided not to continue alone) the Swiss Epic peloton will race the first stage from Verbier to Leukerbad, a total of 95km and 3’100m of vertical ascent.
Photo: Dobslaff / EGO Promotion