Press release by FIS Worldloppet Cup
Yesterday evening the last jury meeting took place in Oberammergau and they decided, that the 44th König Ludwig Lauf could take place this morning. After rainfalls and warm temperatures the last week, it was almost impossible to host the 4th FIS Worldloppet Cup stage 2017, but the organizers did a miracle, worked the whole night and the world's marathon skiing elite could stand on the starting line of the skating race, which was shortened to 38 km.
For 30 years Oberammergau has been waiting for a German winner at the König Ludwig Lauf. Max Olex ended the wait! In a dramatic finish sprint the member of the Adidas XCS-Team - new in the FIS Worldloppet Cup - was able to make his dream come true and crossed the finish line first. The photo finish had to decide the winner. Second and third place in this exciting finish went to France. Damien Tarantola's ski crossed the finish line only a hundred of a second behind and another 6 hundreds of a second later the boot of Buttin Bastien who took the 3rd on the podium place. Both ski for the Haute-Savoie Nordic Team.
On the final uphill Toni Livers (SUI) from Rossignol Gel Interim was in the front of the 20-men-leading-group, but in the downhill, there was a crash and Livers had to stop, so the others were able to overtake him. From the second position in the final turn, Olex sprinted to his victory.
"There are those days where you know, you can do it! It was always one of my biggest dreams to win the König Ludwig Lauf, since here is my home and today was the day. I woke up at 5:00 this morning and couldn't sleep anymore, so I went outside to see the conditions and saw that they are perfect for me. My words are still missing about this victory!", Olex stated overwhelmed in the finish.
In the overall ranking of the FIS Worldloppet Cup 2017 the French Candide Pralong, Team Rossignol Gel Interim, remains first, but now only 3 points ahead of Max Olex. Tord Asle Gjerdalen (NOR) still holds place 3.
Aurelie Dabudyk (FRA) from Haute-Savoie Nordic Team remains the big leader of the FIS Worldloppet Cup. After her victory at the Dolomitenlauf and a very good performance at the Marcialonga, Dabudyk wins again. But today she had to fight very hard for it. Maria Gräfnings from Sweden (SAS & tg hütten Team) made Dabudyk's life very difficult and got beaten only in the finish sprint. The Estonian Tatjana Mannima, also Team SAS, reached Oberammergau in 3rd, 40 seconds behind. The places 4, 5, and 6 going to Klara Moravcova (CZE), Marie Kromer from France and Rahel Imoberdorf (SUI).
"Today it was a very hard race for me. I didn`t feel so great after the Marcialonga, but fortunately, I was strong enough to win. Now I need some days break and then preparations for our home race, the Transjurasienne!", says Dabudyk.
With a 94 point lead, Dabudyk sits on top of the overall ranking. It will be a hard work for second placed Maria Gräfnings and 3rd Tatjana Mannima to catch her this season.
König Ludwig Lauf 2017 men:
1. Max Olex (GER) - Adidas XCS Team
2. Damien Tarantola (FRA) - Nordic Team Haute-Savoie
3. Bastien Buttin (FRA) - Nordic Team Haute-Savoie
König Ludwig Lauf 2017 women:
1. Aurelie Dabudyk (FRA) - Nordic Team Haute-Savoie
2. Maria Gräfnings (SWE) - SAS & tg hütten
3. Tatjana Mannima (EST) - SAS & tg hütten
FIS Worldloppet Cup Overall Ranking (men and ladies)
1. Candide Pralong (FRA) 118 points
2. Max Olex (GER) 115
3. Tord Asle Gjerdalen (NOR) 100 points
1. Aurelie Dabudyk (FRA) 245 points
2. Maria Gräfnings (SWE) 151 points
3. Tatjana Mannima (EST) 128 points
For the complete race report click HERE.