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25/02/2013

Once again it is a photo finish which has to define the winner and the two other podiumplaces. At first, Fabio Santus, the winner from 2010, was believed to be the anniversary winner of the American Birkebeiner, but after a consultation of the photo finish photo, the jury decided that it was Bonaldi (ITA) who could place his foot first over the line and that Santus was second. Alan Martinelli, equally from ITA, came in third, right in front of another Italian: Florian Kostner.On the women's side it was Caitlin Gregg (USA), who could use her local knowledge – she already won in 2011 and placed second behind US-National Team athlete Holly Brooks last year – to her advantage and win the race in front of Tatiana Mannima (EST). Mannima was close to the victory as only four tenth of a second separated her in the end from Gregg. Caitlin Patterson (USA) completed the women's podium. As this year, the women's race was started already twenty minutes before the men's one, Gregg and Bonaldi finished on Mainstreet Hayward within two minutes. Yesterday's snowfall gave the track a nice new snow cover.

Bonaldi (ITA) and Mannima (EST) the current leaders of the overall FIS Marathon Cup

With his victory today, Sergio Bonaldi (ITA) could take over the lead of the overall FIS Marathon Cup. He now leads with 266 points in front of Anders Aukland (NOR, 220 points) and Benoit Chauvet (FRA, 195 points). On the women's side, the ranking is pretty clear: With her second place today, Tatiana Mannima (EST) can enlarge her lead in the overall to now 373 points. She now leads with 293 points in front of Antonella Confortola (ITA, 242 points) and Seraina Boner (SUI, 240 points).

The complete result list from today's race & the actual overall FIS Marathon Cup standing:

http://www.worldloppet.com/fmcresults.php

The statements of the best 3

Sergio Bonaldi (ITA):

I was a bit afraid to break away too early as it had snowed yesterday and the track was not that fast. I am really happy that I could win in the end – it was very close!

Fabio Santus (ITA):

Of course I would have prepared to be on the top spot of the podium but it was a hard race and a tough finish and Sergio was this centimetre faster then me. I am satisfied with the second place.

Alan Martinelli (ITA):

I am very happy! It's a great day for me. I hoped to be on the podium and that it has worked out is great. It was a really nice race but very hard in the end fighting with 13 others for the top spots on the podium.

Caitlin Gregg (USA):

The race has been a wonderful experience. I am very happy with this result – it's amazing!

Tatiana Mannima (EST):

I really hoped to be on the podium, therefore I am very happy that it worked out. The course layout was very nice – I really liked it.

Caitlin Patterson (SUI):

I just tried to believe in myself and to give everything. It was a great race and I really enjoyed it even though it was pretty hard as well. I am really happy to be on the podium!

Important dates & practical information

March 10: Engadin Skimarathon (SUI) - 9th FIS Marathon Cup 2012-13 & FIS Marathon

Cup FINAL / 42km FT

Worldloppet – the World of Marathon Skiing