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Marathon World Championships - CM

Villabassa, Italy, July 6, 2008

2007 Results    Results    Past winners

Sauser and Paulissen crash in controversial sprint finish

Dahle-Flesjå reclaims marathon World champion title

In Villabassa, Italy, Belgian Roel Paulissen (Cannondale-Vredestein) and Norwegian Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjå (Multivan Merida) were crowned World Marathon Champions. While Dahle-Flesjå's win came after a straightforward, dominant solo performance in the elite women's race, Paulissen's win in the elite men's race was more controversial.

Christoph Sauser (Specialized) and Paulissen were clearly the two fastest men for the day. The high pace continuously forced riders to drop off until just Hector Leonardo Paez Leon (Columbia) remained with the duo. Eventually, in between feed zones four (at 80km) and five (at 110km), Paez dropped, too.

"Roel and I were so evenly matched today," said Sauser on his website www.sauserwind.com. Sauser also said he took risks on the final descent to make up some ground on Paulissen, but the Belgian was back on his wheel with 800m to go.

The sprint started, and with about 70m to go, the pair came together, made contact with their handlebars and arms near the barrier and both crashed. The ensuing debate was about whether Sauser had strayed from a straight line in the sprint as Paulissen tried to come around him.

Paulissen was the first man up after both hit the tarmac hard, but he was delayed by bike problems and had to carry his broken bike toward the finish. Sauser remounted and went on to cross the finish line first.

Sauser was later relegated by the UCI officials for riding "dangerously" in the sprint and Paulissen was declared winner with a time of 4'46"56.

"I am very happy with this success," said Paulissen after his win. "Unfortunately this great race in the area where I live ended this way, but I think the jury was right." Paulissen's win came after previous bronze and silver medals at the marathon worlds. "It is a little bit strange to win in this way, of course I have mixed feelings," said Paulissen on www.cannondale-vredestein.com, "but it is fair, I was the strongest rider and I felt I was passing Christophe in the sprint, I knew I would win."

A statement from Specialized on Sauser's website after the race read, "Upon detailed reflection and analysis of specific video evidence, it was very obvious to us that Christoph sprinted fairly... . As a result, we submitted a written appeal to the UCI after the race, based on their decision. We are awaiting news of this appeal and therefore do not want to comment further."

Further back, with no controversy, Urs Huber (Switzerland) finished third at five minutes. Leonardo Paez Leon (Colombia) and Ralph Naef (Switzerland) rounded out the top five.

Former World Marathon Champion (in 2006) Näf said he lacked the necessary power to reclaim the rainbow jersey. "After all the problems of the first part of my season, I simply missed some long practice rides in order to score a really big coup here," said Näf after finishing.

Dahle-Flesjå back in rainbow stripes

Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjå reclaimed the title of Marathon World Champion with a dominating solo effort in a time of 4'46"56. Leading from start to finish, she won the race ahead of Germany's Sabine Spitz and Finland's Pia Sundstedt, thus winning her eighth career World Championship title and fourth in the marathon discipline.

"Today I actually did not expect to win," said an obviously delighted Dahle-Flesjå at the finish. This marathon title showed that the Norwegian is on her way back to her former strength after a lengthy illness during the 2007 season. On schedule with her preparations for Beijing's Olympic games, Dahle-Flesjå will travel to Canada for the upcoming two World Cup rounds before heading directly to China.

Spitz's silver medal came just weeks after also winning the silver in the cross country World Championships. "I am happy with the second place, particularly since I arrived here only last night at 10:00 o'clock at night. Spitz indicated that she had trouble following the course at some points and had to back off her pace to look for markings.

Dahle-Flesjå escaped on the first long uphill and opened up a gap of 25 secs to Spitz, which held until 25km. Spitz rode her own pace, and the gap grew on the following descent to 1'30".

The course was not marked well and Spitz didn't know the parcours. "I had to slow down a few times, to see where I had to go," Spitz said. Initially chasing by herself, she was caught by Pia Sundstedt (Finland) on a little rise. From kilometers 35 to 52, it was slightly downhill, the gap grew again to the lone leader, now three minutes ahead.

After five flat kilometers and a 10km climb to the "Silvesterplatz" (New Year's Eve court), the duo managed to get within 40 secs of the Norwegian leader. The race appeared to be open again, with 20km to go.

On the last steep uphill Sundstedt tried to surprise Spitz with an attack. But this didn't work, as Spitz reached the top ahead of Finnish rider. Spitz was only 23 secs behind Dahle at that point. But in the final descent the gap between the winner and Spitz grew again, to 1'44" at the finish.

Sundstedt finished third, about two minutes behind Spitz and 3'39" off Dahle-Flesjå . Esther Süss (Switzerland) and Erika Dicht (Switzerland) finished fourth and fifth respectively.


1 Roel Paulissen (Belgium)                      4.46.56
2 Christoph Sauser (Switzerland)                       
3 Urs Huber (Switzerland)                          5.00
4 Hector Leonardo Paez Leon (Colombia)             8.17
5 Ralph Naef (Switzerland)                         9.14
6 Lukas Buchli (Switzerland)                      10.31
7 Thomas Frischknecht (Switzerland)               11.58
8 Johnny Cattaneo (Italy)                         13.37
9 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Sweden)                     14.08
10 Sandro Spaeth (Switzerland)                    15.19
11 Karl Platt (Germany)                           15.43
12 Gilberto Simoni (Italy)                        17.44
13 Mirko Celestino (Italy)                        18.01
14 Kevin Evans (South Africa)                     20.54
15 Israel Nunez Baticon (Spain)                   21.19
16 Alban Lakata (Austria)                         21.37
17 Thomas Dietsch (France)                        22.04
18 Mannie Heymans (Namibia)                       22.12
19 Heinz Verbnjak (Austria)                       22.49
20 Johann Pallhuber (Italy)                       23.14
21 Andreas Kugler (Switzerland)                   23.30
22 Alexandre Moos (Switzerland)                   24.20
23 Julio Humberto Caro Silva (Colombia)           24.55
24 Massimo De Bertolis (Italy)                    25.26
25 Roland Golderer (Germany)                      25.33
26 Nicholas Craig (Great Britain)                 26.30
27 Bas Peters (Netherlands)                       26.43
28 Lukas Gerum (Germany)                          26.52
29 Martin Bratland (Norway)                       27.02
30 Mario Alberto Rojas Rojas (Colombia)           27.31
31 Alejandro Diaz De La Pena Lopez (Spain)        28.05
32 Frank Schotman (Netherlands)                   28.37
33 Nicolas Vermeulen (Belgium)                    28.44
34 Luis Alberto Costa Leao Pinto (Portugal)       29.16
35 Miguel Martinez (France)                       29.17
36 Thomas Zahnd (Switzerland)                     30.31
37 Andreas Strobel (Germany)                      31.27
38 Silvio Wieltschnig (Austria)                   31.43
39 Kevin Van Hoovels (Belgium)                    32.50
40 Jan Schmidt (Germany)                          33.11
41 Mike Felderer (Italy)                          34.41
42 Ivan Rybarik (Czech Republic)                  35.16
43 Jan Jobanek (Czech Republic)                   35.38
44 Michal Lami (Slovakia)                         35.50
45 Allan Oras (Estonia)                           36.01
46 Marcus Kaufmann (Germany)                      37.22
47 Daniel Rubisoier (Austria)                     38.33
48 Jhon Jairo Botero Salazar (Colombia)           39.10
49 Benjamin Sonntag (Germany)                     39.12
50 Benjamin Schmieg (Germany)                     39.53
51 Torsten Marx (Germany)                         40.40
52 Kristian Torgersen (Norway)                    40.58
53 Catriel Andres Soto (Argentina)                41.35
54 Marcel Bartholet (Switzerland)                 41.46
55 Ramses Bekkenk (Netherlands)                   44.03
56 Uwe Hochenwarter (Austria)                     45.51
57 Alexander Pscheidl (Germany)                   45.55
58 Jakob Nimpf (Austria)                          46.33
59 Ben Melt Swanepoel (South Africa)              47.43
60 Paolo Cesar Montoya Cantillo (Costa Rica)      48.53
61 Joshua Keep (Australia)                        48.57
62 Rodolfo Andres Torres Agudelo (Colombia)       48.59
63 Benjamin Wittrup Justesen (Denmark)            49.30
64 Alges Maasikmets (Estonia)                     51.29
65 Marc Bassingthwaighte (Namibia)                53.58
66 Axel Bult (Netherlands)                        55.11
67 Hannes Genze (Germany)                         55.33
68 Ryan Sherlock (Ireland)                        56.32
69 James Ouchterlony (Great Britain)              59.40
70 Samuel Faruhn (Germany)                      1.00.48
71 Marco Trentin (Italy)                        1.03.27
72 Lachlan Norris (Australia)                   1.04.04
73 Johnni Nielsen (Denmark)                     1.04.51
74 Aurelien Collet (France)                     1.06.13
75 Duncan Jamieson (Great Britain)              1.06.58
76 Jose Manuel Abreu Silva (Portugal)           1.08.31
77 Robert Kordez (Slovenia)                     1.09.14
78 Andrew Blair (Australia)                     1.11.40
79 Nuno Rafael Madeira Sabido (Portugal)        1.11.46
80 Jakub Sedlar (Czech Republic)                1.12.52
81 Raivo Maimre (Estonia)                       1.13.36
82 Ervins Smolins (Latvia)                      1.13.48
83 Kaindl Jürgen (Austria)                      1.15.56
84 Jon Richardson (New Zealand)                 1.21.35
85 Liam Killeen (Great Britain)                 1.23.50
86 Joao Paulo S.Guimaraes Marinho (Portugal)    1.28.04
87 Rohin Adams (Australia)                      1.28.47
88 Timothy Carleton (Canada)                    1.29.00
89 Frederic Ischard (France)                    1.31.59
90 Julien Vimond (France)                              
91 Dzintars Ozolins (Latvia)                    1.36.09
92 Didzis Praulins (Latvia)                     1.37.41
93 Emil Makan (Slovenia)                        1.41.28
94 Olivier Laterza (Luxembourg)                 1.42.01
95 Henning Weaas (Norway)                       1.44.44
96 Jonathan Cormier (France)                    1.53.08
97 Xavier Charbonneau (France)                  1.53.09
98 Steve Fries (Luxembourg)                     1.58.25
99 Lukas Steiner (Austria)                      1.59.09
100 Daigoro Yamada (Japan)                      2.03.08
101 Helio Roberto Valerio Ramos (Portugal)      2.03.54
OTL Justin Price (New Zealand)                         
OTL Bernhard Robert Danitz Duk (Chile)                 
DNF Marzio Deho (Italy)                                
DNF Martin Kraler (Austria)                            
DNF Moritz Milatz (Germany)                            
DNF Thomas Stoll (Switzerland)                         
DNF Roland Stauder (Italy)                             
DNF Walter Costa (Italy)                               
DNF William Bjergfelt (Great Britain)                  
DNF Ramon Bianchi (Italy)                              
DNF Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic)                  
DNF Emil Lindgren (Sweden)                             
DNF Ludovic Dubau (France)                             
DNF Christian Schneidawind (Germany)                   
DNF Tomas Vokrouhlik (Czech Republic)                  
DNF Julian Alfonso Becerra Medina (Colombia)           
DNF Tim Ottens (Netherlands)                           
DNF Tony Longo (Italy)                                 
DNF Brandon Stewart (South Africa)                     
DNF Lenart Noc (Slovenia)                              
DNF Ondrej Zeleny (Czech Republic)                     
DNF Bostjan Lavtar (Slovenia)                          
DNF Ryan Hawson (Australia)                            
DNF Phil Cortes (Canada)                               
DNF Simon Reverbel (France)                            
DNF Andrzej Kaiser (Poland)                            
DNF Timothy Jones (Zimbabwe)                           
DNF Pawel Wiendlocha (Poland)                          
1 Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway)              4.09.56
2 Sabine Spitz (Germany)                           1.44
3 Pia Sundstedt (Finland)                          3.39
4 Esther Süss (Switzerland)                       11.53
5 Erika Dicht (Switzerland)                       13.35
6 Elena Gaddoni (Italy)                           16.34
7 Anna Ferrari (Italy)                            18.34
8 Marielle Saner-Guinchard (Switzerland)          19.21
9 Antonia Wipfli (Switzerland)                    21.42
10 Katrin Schwing (Germany)                       24.20
11 Dolores Rupp (Switzerland)                     26.03
12 Milena Landtwing (Switzerland)                 26.08
13 Elisabeth Brandau (Germany)                    30.14
14 Bianca Knofle (Germany)                        30.57
15 Claudia Seidel (Germany)                       31.52
16 Michela Benzoni (Italy)                        35.00
17 Laura Turpijn (Netherlands)                         
18 Adelheid Morath (Germany)                      37.54
19 Myriam Saugy (Switzerland)                     39.45
20 Jennifer O'connor (New Zealand)                40.22
21 Anna-Sofie Noergaard (Denmark)                 42.32
22 Daniela Campuzano (Mexico)                     43.13
23 Elizabeth Scalia (Great Britain)               45.09
24 Carina Ketonen (Finland)                       47.09
25 Laurence Leboucher (France)                    48.25
26 Nicoletta De Jager (Netherlands)               50.40
27 Barbora Radova (Czech Republic)                51.23
28 Sally Bigham (Great Britain)                   52.34
29 Melanie Spath (Germany)                        53.12
30 Sandra Santanyes Murillo (Spain)               53.49
31 Jodie Willett (Australia)                      55.14
32 Theresia Kellermayr (Austria)                  56.09
33 Lucija Ankon (Slovenia)                        57.37
34 Nina Kunz (Germany)                          1.01.03
35 Alena Krnacova (Czech Republic)              1.01.04
36 Maaris Meier (Estonia)                       1.01.32
37 Sara Macdonald (New Zealand)                 1.03.59
38 Marie Kunst (Denmark)                        1.04.30
39 Ivanda Eiduka (Latvia)                       1.05.45
40 Emilia Maria Szymanska (Poland)              1.12.11
41 Karolina Stolarova (Czech Republic)          1.16.13
42 Corina Gantenbein (Switzerland)              1.22.36
43 Julyana Rodrigues (Brazil)                   1.26.52
44 Samantha Oosthuysen (South Africa)           1.28.45
DNF Annabella Stropparo (Italy)                        
DNF Asa Maria Erlandsson (Sweden)                      
DNF Gabriele Stanger (Germany)                         
DNF Alexandra Hober (Italy)                            
DNF Anda Savlenko (Latvia)                             
DNF Anna Szafraniec (Poland)                           
DNF Carla Rowley (South Africa)                        
DNF Michele Daxner (Austria)                           
DNF Blaza Klemencic (Slovenia)                         

Past winners

2007 Christoph Sauser (Switzerland)
2006 Ralph Näf (Switzerland)
2005 Thomas Frischknecht (Switzerland) 
2004 Massimo de Bertolis (Italy)
2007 Petra Henzi (Switzerland)
2006 Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa (Norway)
2005 Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa (Norway)
2004 Gunn-Rita Dahle (Norway)