Racing -

Race Report | First Day At The Inaugural Snow Epic

Just in time for the Stage 1 of the inaugural Snow Epic, the weather turned for the better. Clear skies, cool temperatures and 122 riders eagerly awaited the start to this unique event. Although there wasn’t any new snow, the route planners made the most of what was on offer.

Crew members get the start line ready for the inaugural Snow Epic, held in Engelberg, Switzerland on Thursday, 15 January 2015. © SNOW EPIC/Nick Muzik
Crew members get the start line ready for the inaugural Snow Epic.
© SNOW EPIC/Nick Muzik

You could sense the excitement of the riders and organisers going through the roof as the helicopter hovered above the start line, capturing the final moments before the start. At exactly 9:30am the very first edition of the Snow Epic got underway.

SE15_SB_IMAGE_9568, © SNOW EPIC/Sportpics

Although the good weather might have led some riders to believe the route conditions would be easy, this was certainly not the case. The fast pace of Stage 1, complemented by the icy conditions, resulted in many crashes, some more serious than others. Even though some riders couldn’t control their fatbikes at times, and landed on the icy paths, their sense of enjoyment of the beautiful route from Engelberg down the Fürenalp valley definitely overwhelmed some.

Stage 1, female rider in the beautiful forest. © SNOW EPIC/Marc Gasch
Stage 1, female rider in the beautiful forest.
Esther Suss of Switzerland leading the ladies race. © SNOW EPIC/Nick Muzik
Esther Suss of Switzerland leading the ladies race.

Esther Süss from Switzerland, a two time Absa Cape Epic winner, took home first place in the women¹s race with a time of 1:16.50,9. Alba Wunderlin (CH) and Amber Stull (USA) finished in 2nd and 3rd respectively. The men¹s race was won by Tomi Misser from Spain with a time of 1:05.29,4 ahead of Olympic gold medallist Bart Brentjens and reigning Masters cross country world champion Rune Hoydahl.

The leading group of the 2015 Snow Epic racing up the valley. © SNOW EPIC/Nick Muzik
The leading group of the 2015 Snow Epic racing up the valley.

Tomorrow will see the riders head from Engelberg up towards the Brunnihütte which will surely be a very scenic route, but also one of the most challenging of the 2015 Snow Epic. The climb will be counted as Stage 2. After enjoying the views from the Brunnihütte, riders will line-up again for Stage 3, which sees them race down towards Engelberg again.

Words: Snow Epic PR Photos: © SNOW EPIC/Nick Muzik/ Marc Gasch / Sportpics