Tim Tscharnke of Germany grabbed third in his first FIS Marathon Cup race. Even though the sun was shining over the 38th edition of the Dolomitenlauf, the conditions weren’t easy. At some parts it was very soft and at other parts, especially the areas in the shade, it was almost icy. In total over 1,200 racers started the 42km skating race and enjoyed the race in the winter wonder land of Obertilliach (AUT).
On the women’s side, it was Valentina Shevchenko who set the pace at the front right from the start and never gave up on her lead. Second-placed Seraina Boner (SUI) stayed in a group of women who worked together the whole way until the finish. Joined her Swiss compatriote on the podium in third was Selina Gasparin, who normally raced with a rifle on her back as a biathlete.
Santus is the new leader of the FIS Marathon Cup for the men while Sara Svendsen (NOR) and Shevchenko (UKR) are tied for the lead in the women’s ranking. With his victory today Santus has 104 points as the new FIS Marathon Cup leader . Behind him, the winner of the Jizerská Padesatka and second at yesterday’s classic race, Stanislav Rezac (CZE) is second overall with 100 points. Third is Jimmie Johnsson (SWE), second at the Jizerská Padesatka two weeks ago.
The statements of the best three:
Aliaksei Ivanou (BLR): The last kilometres were very hard – there were many fights with the Italians. They were behaving as a team and I was alone in the front. There were many contacts, like in a Sprint race. I really hoped to be on the podium today – I was very close last year with only 2s to the podium – I really wanted this podium. Skating is my speciality and I felt very good. I also had great skis and I have to thank my team for a great support. This podium is also really good for the whole team! There were many strong athletes on the start today and I didn’t know if I would be capable of fighting with Fabio – so I am very happy with the outcome!
Tim Tscharnke (GER): I am really happy with this podium. It was my first FIS Marathon Cup race and I just came from Seiser Alm out of the training, so I didn’t exactly know what to expect. My coach wanted a fast endurance training for me and decided that I should start in this race. It was a great experience. I thought that I might be able to be on the podium today as I feel very good at the moment, however to come right out of the training is not the perfect preparation for such a race. I really liked the race track – it’s beautiful!
Valentina Shevchenko (UKR): I am very happy about this victory! It was a hard race and the conditions were changing from one spot to the other: One time, it was very soft and then it was almost icy! I really hoped to win today. I always received the time the others were behind so I pushed hard to stay in front. There were many very good racers at the start today, so it wasn’t easy to win, so I am even happier for my victory!
Seraina Boner (SUI): It was very nice to race today, even though it was very hard as the conditions changed so much under the race. One time you had soft snow where the sun was shining, and then it was very hard and almost icy when you came into the shade. Valentina was gone straight away from the start so I found myself in a group with several other women and we stayed and worked together until the end. I am happy that I could finish second. I was injured the last weeks so I wasn’t sure in what form I am in at the moment.
Selina Gasparin (SUI): I really enjoyed skiing today. I didn’t qualify for today’s Mass Start event in the IBU Biathlon World Cup in Antholz, so I thought, why not taking part in this race! I only raced the Engadin Marathon before, which is mostly downhill, so it was a real challenge for me to time the drinking and eating during the race. The race course was very demanding and at a certain point I wasn’t sure anymore where I was, but I just kept on skiing. I was in a group together with several women which is also not so normal, but we worked together very well! I am very happy with this third place and I will certainly race in such a competition again if it will fit in my calender!
Pictures from the race HERE.
More information on the race: Dolomitenlauf: In general HERE.
Track information HERE.
Next FIS Marathon Cup: January 29 – Marcialonga (ITA), 70km classic