Winter came back to La Transjurassienne this morning...together with a strong wind from the West. In around -2 degrees and snowfall, more than 3000 skiers took the start at 8h30 for the 69km long freestyle technique race in Lomoura. One hour later, the women's 50km long race took off from Les Rousses. Both races had to be shortened by the passage on Swiss soil as there was not a sufficient snow coverage for the track to pass there. Therefore the 76km became 69km and the 57km race became 50km long.
With always changing snow conditions and the wind from the back, the first group of around still over 20 athletes was still together in Les Rousses and the famous “Montée de l'Opticien” which gives a Tour de France mountain stage feeling to this prestigious cross country skiing race. However, when beginning the steep climb into the Risoux forest from Bois d'Amont at about half stage, the group got smaller and the first ones dropped behind. After the descend to Bellefontaine on the other side of the Risoux and the passage to Chapelle des Bois, only seven racers were still together in front. At this time, the first women,Aurélie Dabudyck (FRA), Olga Rotcheva (RUS), Célia Bourgeois (FRA) and Antonella Confortola (ITA) were still in front of the best men. Their order shouldn't change until the finish. The French Dabudyck received her Tranjurassienne bell from the race president and former French cross country skiing champion Hervé Balland.
Not far after the last uphill, Mathias Wibault (FRA) passed Dabudyck after he had made his attack which the others weren't able to follow. He pushed hard until the end and could bring his advantage over the finish line with Benoit Chauvet, the winner of last year's edition, placing second and Toni Livers (SUI), who will travel to Sochi on Tuesday to participate there in the Swiss relay and the mystic 50km on the last day of the Games, placing third. And also right on time, the sun came out and gave the winners a glorious shine when they crossed the finish line.
Petr Novak (CZE) still leader of the overall FIS Marathon Cup – the same goes for Roponen (FIN)
On the men's side, there is no change in the FIS Marathon Cup ranking: Petr Novak (CZE), who is in Sochi (RUS) for the Olympic Games, still leads with 180 points, now in front of Martin Koukal (CZE, 165 points) and Benoit Chauvet (FRA, 147 points)
On the women's side, Riita-Liisa Roponen (FIN) also stays in the lead with 200 points, in front of Julia Tikhonova (RUS) who still has 180 points and Olga Rotcheva (RUS), today's second, who now has 172 points.
The complete result list from today's race & the actual overall FIS Marathon Cup standing:
For pictures from La Transjurassienne, please have a look at the Worldloppet Facebook page!