Tortur Cyclocross
TORTOUR Cyclocross: some 200 km and around 3,700 km of elevation gain trough the Swiss cantons of Schaffhausen, Thurgau and Zurich.

Lucas Winterberg Wins Tortour Cyclocross in Switzerland

By all reports, official and first-hand, the inaugural Tortour Cyclocross multi-stage, multi-day ‘cross/gravel race in Switzerland this past weekend was a brutally beautiful event. Ninety athletes from around the world descended upon Schaffhausen, Switzerland for three days of mountains, rain, snow, mud and adventure on a nearly 200-kilometer course.

Tortur Cyclocross

The world premiere of TORTOUR Cyclocross was characterised by extreme weather conditions with heavy rain showers and snow fall. | Credit: APiX

But the muddy and treacherous conditions were no match for Lukas Winterberg, who put his Swiss-bred skills and grit to the test in his home country, edging out fellow countrymen Fabian Obrist and Silvio Büsser to take the win.

“My strategy was to split the group in order to successfully detach Fabian and Silvio from the others.  We have been riding together up to Thayngen, this is where I could accelerate and get away. At that moment I knew that I had to keep the pace. On the ascents I could gain some advance on my competitors. It was hard to keep it up on the flat sections, since they were in two. But I kept pushing hard and could gain even more advance on them. The last 10 km were tough, but it was enough to climb the podium. The event was a big highlight! The wintery conditions with rain, snow, fog and a lot of mud gave me an extra kick, it was damn awesome — just the perfect weather for cyclocross!”

Tortur Cyclocross

Lukas Winterberg being followed during a tough climbing section in the fog | Credit: APiX

While Team GRIT.CX missed a podium spot, they pushed through illness, foul weather and radically difficult trail conditions to finish with a vow to tackle the event next year, but not before the guys deliver an article in an upcoming issue of grit.cx.

Tortur Cyclocross

Pushing and carrying is part of the game | Credit: APiX

Another notable finish was Swiss cyclocross legend Thomas Frischknecht and his race partner Urs Gerig, who won the duo class. Somewhat surprised with the difficulty of the event and the horrible weather, Frischknecht and Gerig used pure purpose to finish the race as soon as possible, which ultimately led to victory. “Our goal in these tough weather conditions was to get to the finish as fast as possible in order to get out of the that cold and damp weather. But as soon as it was clear that we had a chance to win today, we didn’t let anyone go past us and gave everything,” explained Frischy.

As of press time, there’s no word on if or when the Tortour Cyclocross race will take place in 2017, but its obvious success likely ensures at least another edition next year. We’ll be sure to keep you posted.

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