Pepene is the new Pursuit U23 World Champion
Pepene made the historical victory for Roumania on the 15 km + 15km long course in a time of 1:25:45h. He finished clearly 24,5 seconds ahead of Ole Marius Bach from Norway, who was the strongest in the finish sprint for place two. Third place went to the home favourite and native from Black Forest Andreas Katz, who finished 25,9 seconds behind the winner.
Pepene stayed the race in the main field until around km 19 where he was attacking and making the gap to this strongest competitiors Bach, Katz and Yoshida (JPN). At km 26km Pepene had already a gap of 30 seconds to the chasing group.
For Pepene the U23 World Champion title is the biggest success after winning in this year a Continentalcup race of the OPA series in Alta Badia (ITA).
Results will be available here
Paul Constantin Pepen (ROU)
The race was not so tough as I had expected. I like these kind of conditions. They suit me. It was a tactical race today. I felt very strong today. I noticed the others were not so strong and decided to attack in the second skating loop. I did very good training in autumn and it payed back today.
Ole Marius Bach (NOR)
It was a tactical race today. It was hard but pace was not so hard. Paul was today strongest and I could not respond to his attack. Crowds along the course were just amazing and atmosphere was great.¨
Andreas Katz (GER)
It is great for the whole team to gain bronze medal. I am very happy about my third place. First half of the race was kind of slow. Skating was faster. I tried to stay together with the leading group and spent a lot of energy on that. I had great skis today. Service staff did a great job. My big thanks go to them.