2015 Marathon Worlds: Dahle Flesja and Lakata don the stripy jumper

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Among all the talk of stage race this and enduro that, you’d be forgiven for thinking that mountain bike disciplines of longer standing, like marathon and XC, have died a death. This isn’t the case, however – endurance racing on a domestic and international level is still going strong, and last weekend saw the 2015 UCI World Marathon Championships held in Val Gardena, Italy as part of the Sellaronda Hero.

(The Hero, which takes in a substantial chunk of the Dolomites, had over 4,000 entrants this year – marathon is still ‘quite’ popular, then… 😉

Here’s the race report from SRAM, which supports both of the 2015 World Champions…

SRAM athlete Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesja celebrates her win.

“It took 87-plus kilometres and 4,700 metres of climbing, deep in the heart of the Dolomites, before a new mountain bike Marathon World Champion could be crowned. Showing clear authority and strength over the rest of the field, Alban Lakata of Austria and Gunn-Rita Dahle of Norway took home the gold medals and earned the right to wear rainbow World Champion jerseys.

unnamed(1)The men’s event took nearly 4.5 hours of racing and Lakata rode away with another Marathon World Championship title — a second title for him and a first ever for the new SRAM RISE 60 wheels. Lakata’s machine was also equipped with a SRAM XX1 drive train, SRAM Guide Ultimate brakes and RockShox RS-1, helping him maintain a substantial lead throughout the entire race. Following him in second place was former multi-time World Champion Christoph Sauser who was also on board SRAM XX1 drive train, SRAM XX brakes and RockShox SID front suspension.

Alban Lakata, 2015 Marathon World Champ. Somebody bring the poor boy a chair…

The women’s race was anything but anti-climactic, covering 3,400 vertical metres in over 60 kilometres through the picturesque mountains of northern Italy. In the end, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesja of Norway claimed her 6th Marathon World Championship title. Annika Langvad of Denmark remained in the hunt for a majority of the race, finishing just behind in 2nd. Both Gunn-Rita and Annika used SRAM XX1 drive trains, SRAM Guide RSC & XX brakes with RockShox RS-1 front suspension.”

Men’s Results:
1st – Alban Lakata, Austria.
2nd – Christoph Sauser, Switzerland.
3rd – Leonardo Paez, Colombia.

Women’s Results:
1st – Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesja, Norway.
2nd – Annika Langvad, Denmark.
3rd – Sabine Spitz, Germany.

How did the Brits fare? In the womens’ race, Sally Bigham placed 5th and ever-cheerful Scot Lee Craigie was 35th, with Mel Alexander 48th. Grit.CX contributor Rachel Fenton was a DNF after a mechanical.

In the mens’ event, Seb Batchelor placed 46th, Ben Thomas was 71st, Hamish Batchelor was 86th, Will Hayter was 108th and Tim Dunford 117th.

Sellaronda Hero

Jenn Hill was the deputy editor here at Singletrack up until her untimely death from Lung Cancer in October 2015. She was and remains an inspiration to us all here at Singletrack. Jenn Hill - 1977-2015

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