Petr Novak (CZE) wins the 40th Dolomitenlauf (AUT) in Obertilliach – Riitta-Liisa Roponen (FIN) wins on the women's side
Set in a winter wonderland, the 40th Dolomitenlauf started under snowfall and just below 0 degrees. After around 18km, the best ones got away and formed a group of around 20 racers, some of them however skiing only the short distance race of 20km. Therefore, the group got even smaller soon thereafter. Around 7km before the finish, Petr Novak (CZE) had already gained the lead with almost a minute advance to his closest followers Martin Koukal (CZE), Martin Bajcicak (SVK), Tom Reichelt (GER) and Benoit Chauvet (FRA) who formed the first chasing group. The order should stay like this right into the finish – only with a larger margin for Petr Novak of over a minute.
On the women's side, it looked from the beginning as if Riitta-Liisa Roponen (FIN) would be able to get her second FIS Marathon Cup victory of the season after the one in La Sgambeda. However, she was challenged the whole time by the later second and third, Julia Thikonova and Olga Torcheva (both RUS). Even though they were disturbed by some men racing with them, the three sticked together until around 3km before the finish when Roponen geared up and the others couldn't follow anymore.
In total, around 1000 racers took the start today, enjoying the deep winter atmosphere - “everyone a winner of him or herself” like the slogan of the Dolomitenlauf says.
Petr Novak now leader of the overall FIS Marathon Cup – the same goes for Roponen
After his victory today, Petr Novak (CZE) is now leading the overall FIS Marathon Cup with 180 points and takes therefore the red bib of the leader from Petter Northug Jr.. Second is Martin Koukal (CZE) with 120 points and Petter Northug Jr. (NOR) is now placed third with 100 points.
On the women's side, there is no change in the lead: Riita-Liisa Ropononen is now leading with 200 points in front of Larisa Shaidurova (RUS, 105 points). The third place is shared between Seraina Boner (SUI) and Julia Tikhonova (RUS), who both have 80 points.
The complete result list from today's race & the actual overall FIS Marathon Cup standing:
Pictures can be found on the Worldloppet Facebook page!