News: Team Plasmatreat - RTS Electronic - On their way through the Alps

Tour Transalp: 7 days, 7 stages and over 16,000 metres in altitude - the toughest stage race in Europe

Team Plasmatreat - RTS Electronic - Two leader jerseys after stage 1

Rookie team with Fenja Zehe and Lino Kumbartzky finish in the top 10

June 16th, 2024 / Lienz - Sillian. The starting signal for the 20th TourTransalp was given punctually at 10.30 a.m. in the cycling town of Lienz. The Plasmatreat-RTS Electronic team was already on the front row at the start. The rookie team of Fenja Zehe and Lino Kumbartzky was also there.

The first stage of this year's TourTransalp had the shortest distance at 73.40 kilometres, but presented the riders with demanding challenges. The title of this stage could be "The mountain is calling", as after 15 kilometres of rolling in, a climb with a total altitude difference of 2133 metres had to be conquered. Some of the climbs had a gradient of more than 18%.

Before and during the start of this stage, Fenja Zehe and Lino Kumbartzky didn't realise that they were in for a tough ride. The race was led by the two team riders Philipp Janßen and Florian Sprenger from Lienz, who put themselves fully at the service of the team. Philipp Janßen in particular caused a stir in the peloton with his first attacks, which Team Plasmatreat - RTS Electronic were unable to capitalise on. Michael Oberrauch and Thomas Gschnitzer then demonstrated their experience and racing intelligence on the climb and were the first to reach the finish line. As in the previous year, they took the lead and are now aiming to defend the leader's jersey all the way to Riva. Michael Oberrauch also showed real resilience, as he had crashed heavily a fortnight ago and was nevertheless made fit again for this Transalp by physiotherapist Chris Böddeker.

Team leader David Buske expressed his special appreciation for the women's duo Lisa Schrader and Svea Lüdorff, who achieved an outstanding performance on their bikes and demonstrated harmonious teamwork. At the finish they slipped into the pink jersey of the leading women's duo. Sprinter Daniela Gass impressed especially with her performance in the mountains. She showed her experience on the descents in particular. In the end, Daniela Gass secured third place in excellent style for a sprinter.

Oliver Vakilzadeh, who had covered the most kilometres in training to date and was in excellent shape, put himself fully at the service of his seriously ailing partner Martin Ludwiczek, who fought his way across the finish line with his last ounce of strength. Ludwiczek was recovering from a viral infection that he had picked up shortly before the Tour. An outstanding result would have been possible. 

Daniel Pechtl and his team partner Jakob Kössler showed a remarkably clever and rock-solid performance and finished in an excellent 5th place. This pairing gives hope for a promising future, as Daniel Pechtl has a considerable wealth of experience in the Tour Transalp.

Team Plasmatreat - RTS Electronics - Victory march through the Dolomites in the 2nd stage

Daniel Pechtl and Jakob Kössler storm onto the podium and it continues in pink and blue

17 June 2024 / Sillian - Moena. After an extremely successful first stage, Team Plasmatreat faced the challenge of defending the lead jerseys, which were worn by Svea Lüdorff and Lisa Schrader as well as Thomas Gschnitzer and Michael Oberrauch. The Dolomites and their majestic Three Peaks could hardly have been a more suitable scenery.

The total distance that the entire peloton had to cover on this day was 123.18 kilometres with 2346 metres of ascent. You can't get more Dolomite peaks in front of your eyes in a single day on a racing bike. An epic thrust right into the heart of the Unesco World Heritage Site. The Dolomite prominence is already evident on the way to Cortina d'Ampezzo. The distance of 45 kilometres over the flat Passo Cimabanche was a comparatively easy challenge for the riders. The peloton stayed together until they passed through Cortina.

The favourites flexed their muscles on the ascent of the Passo Falzarego. In the order of Thomas Gschnitzer, Michael Oberrauch and, unsurprisingly for team boss David Buske, followed by Daniel Pechtl and Jakob Kössler, who had taken it a little easier yesterday, took on the mountain. 

Daniel Pechtl and Jakob Kössler finished the stage in a strong third place on the Pordoi Pass and waved happily to the crowd at the award ceremony. Daniel Pechtl's mischievous smile gives David Buske hope for the remaining stages, as he said later.

Tom Lorein from Belgium demonstrated an impressive riding performance today by tackling the first pass of the day at high speed. However, damage to the chain led to an abrupt stop. But this did not spell the end for Tom Lorein, but rather an incentive to push himself even harder. 20th place did not reflect his performance on that day.

After his outstanding performance the day before, Oliver Vakilzadeh faced a number of challenges in the evening. Martin Ludwiczek's participation in the second stage was in doubt due to a health problem. Late in the evening, Oliver himself decided that health was more important than taking part in a race. The decision was therefore made that Martin Ludwiczek would not take part in the second stage, as he had contracted another virus. As a result, Oliver took part in the second stage as an individual starter, which he finished in a respectable fifth place. Oliver himself indicated after the race that there was still room for improvement.

After the first stage, the "rookie team" also demonstrated a remarkable performance on the second stage and was able to achieve tenth place on the Pordoi Pass. This enabled the team to defend its eighth place in the overall standings.

Back to the colours pink and blue, which will also shine on the shoulders of the Plasmatreat-RTS Electronic team tomorrow in the persons of Lisa Schrader, Svea Lüdorff and Michael Oberrauch with Thomas Gschnitzer after another stage win.


Team Plasmatreat - RTS Electronic - Tough battle for today's victory in the women's category in the 3rd stage

Lisa Schrader and Svea Lüdorff once again demonstrate top teamwork.

June 17th, 2024 / Sillian - San Martino di Castrozza. And we continue with mountain panoramas in a class of their own. The next day in the Dolomites brings the image processing in the brain to the brink of a system crash again, because the sensory impressions in this enormous scenery are hard to grasp.

The stage started with a slight climb in Fassatal and already came the first shock for the Plasmatreat - RTS Electronic team. Lisa Schrader's inner tube went flat and had to be replaced in a hurry. The two ladies mastered this task perfectly. Unfortunately, Svea Lüdorff and Lisa Schrader were now 12 minutes behind the field. At the first time measurement, the dream team was able to reduce the gap to 8 minutes. At the second time measurement it was only two minutes. Driven by the will to win of the last few days, the two crossed the finish line as winners after the third stage.

Less spectacular, but all the more impressive, was the race for the men in blue, Michael Oberrauch and Thomas Gschnitzer. They mastered the 100.04 kilometers and 2716 vertical meters like true champions and successfully defended the blue jersey.

There was reason to celebrate today for Oliver Vakilzadeh, who had to settle for 5th place yesterday after a strong performance. Today he put all his experience and training-kilometers to good use and finished the race in 3rd place. There is still a lot possible tomorrow, team boss David Buske is sure. Already tomorrow, with the descent from Monte Grappe, which suits Oliver very well, he has the opportunity to stand one level higher on the podium.

The higher the mountains and the longer the climbs, the more Daniela Gass had to pay tribute to the route profile. The fact that she is riding a completely new bike did not have a positive effect today either, so that after two 3rd places, she only finished in 6th place today.

Daniel Pechtl and Jakob Kössler also lost out to the third-placed duo Höllige in the end after some excellent work, after the duo was able to rest on the rear wheels of Daniel Pechtl and Jakob Kössling for the entire race.

Team rider Tom Lorein was "on the move" again but was slowed down once more. Yesterday it was the chain, today he simply had a bad day. All the better that he was at least able to bring home 11th place.

The "rookie team" of Fenja Zehe and Lino Kumbartzky were once again outstanding and continued to improve. They also managed 10th place today.

Tomorrow it's off to the queen stage over the Monte Grappe.

Team Plasmatreat - RTS Electronic - Tactical masterpiece on Monte Grappa in the 4th stage

Jakob Kössling, Daniel Pechtl, Thomas Gschnitzer, Michael Oberrauch and Oliver Vakilzadeh cast a spell over the peloton

June 19th, 2024 / San Martino di Castrozza - San Zenone degli Ezzelini. Off to the south! San Zenone degli Ezzelini, near Bassano del Grappa, lies just 100 meters above sea level at the foot of Monte Grappa. After this fourth day, you have the feeling that you have already completed the Transalp. There are less than 100 slightly hilly kilometers to the Adriatic Sea and the Alps are behind you. Once you have completed this stage, you have already had a taste of the Dolce Far Niente, the sweet idleness in the Mediterranean climate of the southern foothills of the Alps. But not so fast, because this is the crowning stage. Because before Monte Grappa, which is a real challenge in itself, there are two Transalp passes in the way, Passo Gobbera and Passo Brocon, which have only been conquered once before as part of the Transalp. That was in 2014 and now, for the 10th anniversary of their Transalp premiere, they are allowed to do it again.

The Plasmatreat - RTS Electronic team chose precisely this stage to work their magic. No sooner said than done. After yesterday's 4th place for Jakob Kössling and Daniel Pechtl, another podium finish was simply a must. Team boss David Buske already predicted yesterday evening that the pairing of Pechtl / Kössling would be on the podium again. "It's simply a stage that should suit Daniel very well, long climbs and finally over 100 kilometers. Daniel needs these long and difficult stages to show all his skills. And Jacob definitely has it in his legs too," explained David Buske last night.

Passo Brocon, here Jacob Kössling already had a lead of 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Not on his rivals, but on his team-mates. While Kössling tackled the climb to Monte Grappa, Oliver Vakilzadeh, Thomas Gschnitzer, Michael Oberrauch and Daniel Pechtl were pushing hard behind him. Shortly after the entrance to Monte Grappa, Daniel Pechtl laid his cards on the table. He showed a flawless bluff and easily rode away from his pursuers. He caught up with his teammate Jakob and together they finished the stage in 3rd place.

Third place also went to Oliver Vakilzadeh, who played a key role in Daniel Pechtl's "bluff" and put himself fully at the service of the team. Thomas Gschnitzer and Michael Oberrauch showed once again why they are the deserved leaders in the blue jersey and also won the 4th stage. The two, Philipp Janßen and Florian Sprenger, had to suffer in the mountains today, but also showed an excellent performance and proved that they don't only have their qualities on the flat.

Lisa Schrader and Svea Lüdorff love racing and that's exactly what they brought to the tarmac again on stage 4. They defended the pink jersey by a large margin.

"Fenja Zehe and Lino Kumbartzky showed a rock-solid race today, but tomorrow on stage 5 there's more to come than 10th place," said David Buske after the two crossed the finish line. "I am convinced that there is still room for improvement. But I can understand that in your first year of racing you're happy to have arrived. But these two simply have what it takes," continued the team leader.

On tomorrow's 5th stage, the team can expect another heat battle and 107 kilometers. The stage ends tomorrow with 2226 meters of climbing.

Team Plasmatreat - RTS Electronic - A blue D-train for 3rd place in stage 5

Fenja Zehe and Lino Kumbartzky flex their muscles - The men in blue help the pairing Pechtl & Kössler onto the podium

20 June 2024 / San Zenone degli Ezzelini - Laverone. Ultimately, it's just numbers that await the riders before a stage, but these numbers can inspire respect in advance. Especially for the "rookie team" Fenja Zehe and Lino Kumbartzky. After strong performances on the first four stages, both seemed a little more reserved on the crowning stage, even though they brought home the tenth place yesterday. Coach Jannik Tautz then swore them in for today's stage and went through the tactics once again in individual discussions. 04:31:12 was the finishing time of the pairing Zehe & Kumbartzky at the finish.

And then it was time again for the Valstagna of the TourTransalp - the starting signal for the fifth stage was given. The hairpin bends in a narrow side valley of the River Brenta near Bassano del Grappa are among the craziest stretches in Transalp history. In 19 hairpin bends, the road, carved into the rock, winds steeply up to the high plateau of the Sette Comuni, the Seven Municipalities, overcoming 900 metres in altitude. The special feature of this road, however, lies in its winding course between the hairpin bends, which turns the climb into a monster of bends. There is hardly a straight section for the first 9 to 10 kilometres. Only later, up to Foza, does the road become straighter. Change of scene!

The plateau has been reached and the road continues at this altitude for the next 30 kilometres. Here are the larger towns on the plateau with the main town of Asiago, where things get a little more hectic for a short while. A few kilometres further on, after Rotzo, the road descends again on the other side. The road down is a winding delight, not quite comparable in intensity to the road in Valstagna, but with similar characteristics. This requires a certain amount of concentration from the participants. Once in Valdastico, the route leads back up along the river. To the west, the Alpe Cimbra with the towns of Folgaria, Luserna and Lavarone adjoins the Sette Comuni plateau. This high plateau is reached in Carbonare, between Folgaria and Lavarone. From here, it is only five kilometres and 100 metres in altitude to the end of this stage.

Back to the pairing of Zehe and Kumbartzky, who celebrated 8th place at the finish, with their coach Jannik Tautz in high esteem. Team boss David Buske was also delighted to see the two athletes in top form. After all, the results achieved were merely predictions before the start of the stage.

The situation between Daniel Pechtl and Jakob Kössler was once again particularly close today. After their tactical masterstroke yesterday, they did not enter into another skirmish with their rivals and led the field from the front. Once again, the Plasmatreat - RTS Electronic team was able to impress. Without any instructions from the team management, the team riders organised themselves and so two riders in blue jerseys, namely Thomas Gschnitzer and Michael Oberrauch, got in front of the butterfly express and drove the field into pieces. In the end, the plan worked 100%. Riders Daniel Pechtl and Jakob Kössler once again took third place, while riders Thomas Gschnitzer and Michael Oberrauch once again took the stage win.

The sixth stage leads from Laverone to Lake Kaltern. A challenging climb to the sports centre in Kaltern awaits the participants on the last four kilometres, which must be conquered after 139 kilometres in the legs.

Team Plasmatreat - RTS Electronic - The coronation in Riva del Garda Lisa Schrader & Svea Lüdorff as well as Michael Oberrauch and Thomas Gschnitzer win the TourTransalp 2024

June 21 to 22, 2024 / Laverone - Kaltern - Riva del Garda.  These are the last two stages of the TourTransalp 2024, covering 143.06 kilometers and 2,622 vertical meters from Laverone to Kaltern. After a tactical masterstroke the day before, the Pechtel/Kössling duo will be aiming to climb one place higher on the podium on this stage. The mixed duo of Anna Scheffler and Maximilian Bier are also desperate for a win against the overpowering pairing of Meier.

Everything seems to be going according to plan for the Pechtl/Kössling team. They maintain a constant gap to the Strassacker team until the long flat section through the wine route from San Michele to Lake Kaltern. Here, Michael Oberrauch and Thomas Gschnitzer once again put themselves at the service of the team. A large group is formed, which "chases" the 3 Strassacker riders in front of them. The plan worked. On the climb to the finish in Kaltern at the sports center, the 3 guys can be caught. The lead was swapped again and again. Team boss David Buske trembles along with his riders in the team car. Now all that counts is what's in their legs, because Pechtl and Kössling are mentally on top of their game. In the end, it was the Strassacker duo's better start that gave them the advantage and 2nd place. David Buske says later that the cry of joy at the finish line about 2nd place is like a victory for us too. Because my riders Daniel and Jakob demanded everything from Team Strassacker on this stage.

The pairing of Anna Scheffler and Maximilian Bier also put up another great fight, with active support from Oliver Vakilzadeh, who kept the pace of the group high. Even after a defect, he caught up with the group at the end and immediately took the lead again. In the end, Vakilzadeh was only minimally pleased with 6th place overall in Riva, also due to a time penalty (change of classification category). He certainly had David Buske's appreciation for his team performance and also for his results throughout the week.

Back to the Scheffler/Bier team. There is no match for the superiority of Janine and Michael Meyer. Anna Scheffler simply lacked the energy to even mount an attack after being ill for the last few days. The two of them also crossed the finish line in Riva del Garda in 2nd place overall, which felt like a victory considering the competition.

David Buske gets goosebumps at the performance of his "rookie team", who also bring home a top 10 result on the difficult stage in the heat of the battle through the wine route. With Fenja Zehe and Lino Kumbartzky, it was just perfect from start to finish. We have coach Jannik Tautz to thank for the fact that this was the case, as he coordinated their training plans week after week, says David Buske.

On the last stage to Riva del Garda, the two confirmed their result with 9th place and were able to enjoy and celebrate entering Riva del Garda with the pink jersey around Lisa Schrader and Svea Lüdorff, together with the pairing of Philipp Janßen and Florian Sprenger. In the end, Zehe and Kumbartzky finished 10th overall in the final TourTransalp 2024 standings.

Speaking of Sprenger and Janßen. This pairing showed absolute greatness on every stage and show great helper qualities where they can support. In Riva, the two are celebrated by the entire team for their support and success. They also achieved 10th place in the overall standings, with great respect for Philipp, who comes from flat Hamburg and was always able to say at the finish that he had given his all, explains team boss David Buske. Janßen, meanwhile, is infinitely grateful to have ridden together with a "mountain pro" like Florian Sprenger. Florian Sprenger explains at the finish in Riva del Garda: "I was able to support Philipp on the climbs, we were equally strong on the descents and Philipp was able to pull me along on the "hamburger profile" and motivate me to keep going.

The yellow jersey in terms of defects this year probably goes to team rider Tom Lorein from Belgium, who has been pedaling for the Steinhagen team since this year. A defective tire stopped Tom Lorein on stage 6 to Kaltern. Although support rider Tim Vakilzadeh is immediately on hand and is able to change the tire in suspiciously record time, Lorein misses his group and has to accept 16th place in the end. On the last stage to Riva del Garda, his chain failed again, as it had on stage 2, and he lost the group again. But this time he was able to finish the race in 12th place. 12th place is also the place that Lorein occupies in the final standings in Riva del Garda. A very good result despite all the challenges.

Daniela Gass, who took part in the Transalp with the aim of preparing for the German Championships next Saturday in Görlitz and for the Gravel World Championship qualification, performed very well throughout the week and has high expectations for the two races mentioned. Daniela Gass can therefore be more than satisfied with 5th place in the overall standings.

Team manager David Buske says: "I am very proud of the whole team and very grateful that our partners and sponsors are making it possible for us to experience the exciting world of cycling for another season. The incentive to do good and support the Bethel children's and youth hospice, "the way home", fills us with pride. Donations are still being accepted at the following links:


The way home - Bethel children's and youth hospice