Erki Pütsep (EST) controlled the whole 89 kilometers long MTB race, the SEB 16th Tartu Rattamaraton, and repeated last year’s victory.
With overall time of 2 hours and 32 minutes, Pütsep started off powerfully by crossing first the Matu intermediate sprint line, outpacing others with a small gap. “This route fits me perfectly. It requires some strength and finesse. I’m best at hard ground uphill sections and I felt I had one gear more than others did,” said Pütsep. “Last month has been quite poor, I wasn’t sure about myself, but it was surprisingly good today! At the beginning it was hard”.
However, after Harimägi service point, other riders caught Pütsep and a group of five man headed to the finish line. Just before the finish line, the winner was decided. Second place went to Alges Maasikmets (EST) and third was Peeter Pruus (EST).
“I constantly had a feeling I’m the weakest link in the group. Long season has left its mark and I’m quite fatigued. Place in the first five seemed great. So I’m satisfied with the result,” said Maasikmets who finished second.
“We managed to keep the gap, all men worked equally. We grew the gap up until to two minutes. Wind was from behind and thus, the race was fast,” stated Pruus who finished third. “Just before the finish line, I striked incorrectly. The last bends didn’t come out as good as I wished and all men passed me,” added Pruus, who scarcely missed winning the race.
The best woman was Dana Rozlapa (LV) who finished overall as 104th with time 2 hours and 49 minutes. Best Estonian woman was the second - Greete Steinburg (overall 196th) and third was Liisa Ehrberg (overall 220th).
In addition to the 89 kilometers, 40 kilometers race was held. A record number of bikers registered to the event: 5555.
Photo: Tarmo Haud