Gloeersen and Roponen win Engadin Skimarathon - UPDATED
Anders Gloeersen (NOR) and Riita-Liisa Roponen have won the 46th edition of the Engadin Skimarathon. Athletes are still completing the 42 km course.
A perfect winter day awaited the 13.000 skiers who started the 46thEngadin Skimarathon in Maloja - blue sky and around -10°C. The elite skiers got udnerway at 8h30. And 1h 35min 5,2s later the race was already over – for the first one: Anders Gloersen from Norway!
As known from the Engadin Skimarathon, a big group stayed together until the end in which the leading ones were changing all the time. Only five kilomteres before the finish, Gloersen and Jean-Marc Gaillard (FRA) got a small lead which they could keep right into the finish. Everybody was on his maximum at this time, pushing as hard as possible to close the gap and to be the first one over the finish line if possible. In the end, over 40 athletes came into the finish within one minute. After the first two, just over two seconds behind, the big group came in with Toni Livers (SUI) being the lucky one to get his foot over the finish line first, just 0.1s before Romain Vandel from France. With the luck on his side, he could gain the third place.
As the fight for the overall FIS Marathon Cup was going on during the race as well, everybody looked in which places the first men of the overall – Tom Reichelt (GER), Benoit Chauvet (FRA) and Martin Koukal (CZE) – were arriving in the finish. In the end, it got more than tight: Benoit Chauvet finished seventh, Martin Koukal tenth and Tom Reichelt 13th. This result gave the overall victory to Tom Reichelt with only five little points advantage (228 points) to Chauvet and Koukal who have both 223 points to their account.
On the women's side, the lead was changing a couple of times as well. In the end it was last year's winner Riita-Liisa Roponen (FIN) who was the strongest. She finished first in front of Bettina Gruber (SUI) and Katrin Zeller (GER) who were both skiing together for most of the time and only in the last metres, the Swiss could manage to put her foot over the finish line first. The women were only three and a half minutes slower than the men – a very strong performance by all!
TOM REICHELT (GER) WINNER OF THE OVERALL FIS MARATHON CUP 2013/14, THE SAME GOES FOR ROPONEN
With his 13th place today, Tom Reichelt (GER) could secure his lead in the overall FIS Marathon Cup and could gain his first overall victory in this cup. He finished the season with 228 points, only five points in front of Benoit Chauvet (FRA) and Martin Koukal (CZE) who have both 223 points. However, since Chauvet has had better results in the different races, he gains second place and Koukal third.
On the women's side, Riita-Liisa Roponen (FIN) regains the lead in the overall FIS Marathon Cup from Antonelly Confortola (ITA) with her victory today. With three victories in three races, she wins the overall title with 300 points in front of the Italian Confortola who is in second with 236 points. Seraina Boner (SUI), today's sixth, places third with 200 points.
The complete result list from today's race & the actual overall FIS Marathon Cup standing:
THE STATEMENTS OF THE BEST 3
1st Anders Gloersen (NOR):
I am really happy. The Olympics were an up and down for me, but afterwards I felt very good and I could get a fourth place last weekend at the World Cup in Lahti (FIN). I skied from St.Moritz to the finish yesterday to get familiar with the course, which I knew however already from rollerskiing in summer. I also looked up all the results of the last ten years and I saw that basically everytime at least ten people came in with the same time. So I knew that it would be a tight race and that I should be saving some energy for the finish sprint! I got a gap at around 5km to go but a kilometre later, Jean-Marc caught me and I was almost sure that he would be beating me in the finish as I was already pretty tired. But somehow he was tired, too I guess and so I could get over the finish line as first.
2nd Jean-Marc Gaillard (FRA):
It was my first Engadin Skimarathon and I am happy with my second place even though I was so close to winning it even. As Anders is a good sprinter and I was already pretty tired in the end, I didn't really believe in my possibility to win in the end – maybe that was what cost me the victory today as appearantly Anders was pretty tired, too. But it was a really nice race and I enjoyed skiing in this beautiful weather. I had a broken pole right before the uphill in St.Moritz which was really a bad place for such a thing, but these things happen. Around 5km before the finish, Anders got away from the group and got a gap. I gave it a go and tried to catch him which I did soon after. Somehow the others couldn't follow, but I knew that we weren't allowed to drop the pace as they weren't far away. Unfortunately it didn't work out with the first place in the end, but I am satisfied nevertheless.
3rd Toni Livers (SUI):
I had a borken pole soon after the start and had to change 2-3 times and I lost faith. I didn't really believe in a podium place anymore, but I had a good position when it came to the last kilometres. I knew that only from Zuoz on, the race would really start, so I prepared for that. I pushed really hard as I was eigth when we came into the finish are, then fifth and then there was an open spot, I took it and pushed into first position. It was a tight fight with Romain Vandel in the end and I am really happy that I could get my foot over the line in front of him in the end!
1st Riita-Liisa Roponen (FIN):
I am very happy. My second victory here in the Engadin and my third victory in the FIS Marathon Cup this season. Winning the cup with these three wins as well is really enormous. I had the goal today to beat my record time from last year, but this didn't work out, but I am nevertheless satisfied with my race. It was a really hard one today, but mostly because I didn't feel so good. I wasn't even sure if I won when I crossed the finish line. I hope to be able to do more long distance races next season, but I will surely also take part in the World Cup if I get the chance. I am sure however, that we get more commpetition in the girls field next year and that it will be harder with more races to race to gain the overall victory again.
2nd Bettina Gruber (SUI):
I am really happy with this second place. It wasn't an easy race today. In the end I was skiing a lot with Katrin and we tried to catch Riita-Liisa, but she was already too far gone. In the end I was able to outski Katrin in the finish sprint, so I am really satisfied. The Engadin Skimarathon is a really nice race, but also a tough one, especially for the women who are skiing with all the men around and it's so easy to break a pole or to get a fall...
3rd Katrin Zeller (GER):
I wasn't starting in the first start line unfortunately and I got a crash right at the start, so I lost a lot of places already there. Just getting back to the group again, somebody crashed right in front of me and I got a pole between my legs and got a big cut which hurt a lot. Again, I tried to find the other girls, I moved left when the big group when right and the other way round in order to have more space and to move faster. I really felt good and the victory would have been possible, so yes, I am disappointed. I won the Engadin Skimarathon six years ago and I really hoped to win again today as the final of my career. I will still start in the World Cup final in Falun next week, but a victory here would have been a really nice end as well. I was skiing together with Bettina in the end and I knew that she was the better sprinter. I tried to pass her, but I was squeezed in and so I finished third.
Men Top 10
1. Gloeersen Anders, 1986, NO-Oslo 1:35.05,2
2. Gaillard Jean-Marc, 1980, FR-Thorens Glières 1:35.05,9
3. Livers Toni, 1983, Davos Platz 1:35.08,5
4. Vandel Romain, 1985, FR-Bois d'Amont 1:35.08,9
5. Gaillard Cyril, 1986, FR-Villard de Lans 1:35.09,1
6. Fischer Remo, 1981, Magglingen/Macolin 1:35.09,2
7. Chauvet Benoit, 1981, FR-Aviernoz 1:35.09,8
8. Novak Petr, 1982, CZ-Bozi Dar 1:35.10,7
9. Perrillat Boiteux Ivan, 1985, FR-Le Grand Bornand 1:35.10,8
10. Koukal Martin, 1978, CZ-Liberec 1:35.11,3
Ladies Top 10
1. Roponen Riitta-Liisa, 1978, FI-Oulu 1:38.39,1
2. Gruber Bettina, 1985, Chur 1:38.57,7
3. Zeller Katrin, 1979, DE-Oberstdorf 1:38.57,9
4. Brooks Holly, 1982, US-Anchorage/Alaska 1:41.04,1
5. Trachsel Doris, 1984, Plasselb 1:41.09,0
6. Boner Seraina, 1982, Davos Platz 1:41.39,1
7. Faivre Picon Anouk, 1986, FR-Pontarlier 1:42.20,6
8. Imoberdorf Rahel, 1986, Münster VS 1:42.25,6
9. Confortola Wyatt Antonella, 1975, IT-Ziano di Fiemme (TN) 1:42.54,8
10. Chernousova Marina, 1983, S-chanf 1:43.32,7
Complete results available HERE.