-15 degrees at the start in Lamoura do not sound that cold – but with the strong easterly wind “La bise” it was biting cold! Over 3.000 racers took on the challenge to either race the 76km or the 54km skating course. Race direction: Directly into the wind!! Long time, a large group of men skied together, nobody really wanting to lead, having to open the track for the others and letting too much energy at the same time. The French Adrien Mougel tried to get away during the last 10km, but he had to pay for his risky try: He finished 12th in the end. Another favourite of the day, Fabio Santus (ITA) had a crash at the last downhill and couldn"t challenge the first ones any more in the finish sprint. His team mate Florian Kostner took the wrong corridor and didn"t make it to put his foot over the line before one of the three others, therefore he finished fourth in the end. Last year"s winner, Benoît Chauvet (FRA), back from sickness which already stopped him from a better result in the Marcialonga (ITA), took tenth place. The Skinfit Racing Team from Ramsau am Dachstein (AUT) was the lucky winner of today: Not only Ivanou belongs to this team but also third placed Martin Koukal (CZE), who had his best result this season in a FIS Marathon Cup today, as well as the winner on the women"s side, Valentina Shevchenko.
From kilometre 15 onwards and right at the start of the first long uphill, the Ukranian found herself alone – and it stayed that way right until the finish. Racing alone the whole time, right into the face of the wind made her victory even bigger as she was leading in the end almost seven minutes in front of the others!!! Stephanie Santer (ITA) and Tatiana Manimaa (EST), the second and third placed, were racing in a group of five, however, at every uphill, Santer lost contact with the group and had to catch it again in the flat part. However, she was able to use her speed on the flat part to the finish and could therefore finish second before the Estonian.
Blue sky, wonderful sunshine and a great scenery made the race, despite the wind and the cold temperatures, to a great success for racers and spectators alike!
Stanislav Rezac (CZE) still leader of the overall FIS Marathon Cup with 260 points – Stephanie Santer (ITA) new leader on the women"s side!
No changes in the men"s ranking of the overall FIS Marathon Cup: Stanislav Rezac (CZE) leads with 260 points in front of Joergen Aukland (NOR, 220 points). Aliaksei Ivanou (BLR) is now and Jerry Ahrlin (SWE, 180 points). On the women"s side it"s now Stephanie Santer, who, after he second place today, leads the overall ranking in front of Susanny Nystöm (265 points) and Jenny Hansson (SWE, 252 points) who both didn"t take part in La Transjurassienne.
The next FIS Marathon Cup race will be the Tartu Maraton (EST), 63km classic technique.
contributed by worldloppet.com