Dario Cologna and Mari Eide win 49th Engadin Skimarathon
Sunshine escorted more than 13.000 skiers today on their way to the finish of the Engadiner. Cologna wins for the 3rd time, Eide took her first victory.
|Contributed by||Engadin Skimarathon|
More than 13.000 skiers have been standing at the starting line this morning at 8:30 to ski the 49th edition of the Engadin Skimarathon. Among the thousands of popular skiers also a bunch of the world's best cross-country skiers traveled to Maloja in the Swiss Engadin, like the local hero Dario Cologna, the Norwegians Eirik Brandsdal, Anders Gloersen and Mari Eide, just to name a few.
Since the Engadin Skimarathon was hosting the 7th and previous last FIS Worldloppet Cup stage, also all the stars of the cup fought for the victory. Slight sub-zero temperatures and sunshine escorted the skiers.
Cologna sprints to his 3rd victory in Engadin
The starting field already promised a very exciting race. Several Olympic medalists, World champions, World Cup winners, Tour de Ski winners, FIS Worldloppet Cup winners... were standing on the start list. Most of them reached the final stretch together. But this was not clear the whole race over. The 21-years-old Dajan Danuser (SUI) decided to take his chance and kept a very high pace quite early in the race. The major part of the race until the finish he was skiing on his own, about 15 to 20 seconds before the elite group. But only a few kilometers before Zouz/S-Chanf, the finish, Dario Cologna, Anders Gloersen, Eirik Brandsdal and others worked the chasers group to the front and they overtook Danuser. The 20 best marathon skiers reached the final stretch together, but it was already clear, either Cologna, Chernousov or Gloersen is going to win.
In the end, it was the Swiss hero from Davos, Dario Cologna who now won the Engadin Skimarathon for the 3rd time. Anders Gloersen from Norway, who won the Engadiner in 2014, managed to cross the finish line only one hundred of a second before the Russian Ilia Chernousov. Those two are taking place 2 and 3.
"I tried to be in front in the most important phase of the race, this was not easy because Andreas Gloersen did a great job today. But I was able to overtake him right in the perfect moment, so I could enter the finish stretch as first, this is very important.", explained Cologna at the press conference.
Candide Pralong (SUI, Rossignol Gel Interim) took the chance to collect valuable points for the FIS Worldloppet Cup overall ranking. After his 9th place today, he now has a lead of 12 points over Ivan Perrillat-Boiteux (FRA, Haute-Savoie Nordic). Toni Livers (SUI, Rossignol Gel) only has 37 points less anymore and holds the 3rd place in the overall ranking. So for the last stage of the FIS Worldloppet Cup in the beginning of April in Russia, things are quite exciting.
1st - Dario Cologna (SUI)
2nd - Andreas Gloersen (NOR)
3rd - Ilia Chernousov (RUS)
4th - Maurice Manificat (FRA)
5th - Jay Renaud (FRA)
6th - Jean-Marc Gaillard (FRA)
1st - Candide Pralong (SUI, Team Rossignol Gel Interim) - 232 points
2nd - Ivan Perrillat-Boiteux (FRA, Nordic Team Haute-Savoie) - 220 points
3rd - Toni Livers (SUI, Team Rossignol Gel Interim) - 195 points
Eide won at her first try at the Engadin Skimarathon
Also the women's race was an exciting one. After some days of sickness, Aurelie Dabudyk, who dominated already the last season and also the current one, was not able to ski in the top group today. But another woman decided to make her way through all the men skiing around her on her own: Mari Eide, the Norwegian team member was the only lady who was able to follow the leading men until St. Moritz. From there she was leading another group of men all the way to the finish because she was not sure if she was the first women. But in the end, she was! 17 seconds before the 2nd placed Swiss Rahel Imoberdorf she crossed the finish line:
"The race was not easy for me, I had to do lots of work in front of the group I was skiing with. And then I didn't really know if I was in a lead, I just thought it, because of the scooter with the camera in front of me. But in the finish I had to ask someone if I won, just to make sure. So I had to keep my speed high the whole race over. I tried to follow the boys but from St. Moritz on it was not possible anymore.", Eide explained after her victory.
The third place was taken by the marathon skiing legend from the USA, by Caitlin Gregg. The 5th placed Maria Gräfnings from Sweden was not very satisfied with her race today as she tried to make the needed points to have a better chance for the overall victory in the cup. Also Dabudyk appeared quite disappointed after her 9th place. She had to be satisfied with the 9th place - but apparently, she wasn't. Anyhow, also with only 29 FIS Worldloppet Cup points from today, she is almost not to beat anymore in the overall ranking. With only 3 points (29th place) in the last stage, the Ugra Skimarathon in Russia, she repeats her overall victory. Now Gräfnings has to go for the victory in Khanty-Mansysk if she wants to at least have a chance to win the cup. But she also has to watch out, because Imoberdorf only has 66 points less than her.
1st - Mari Eide (NOR)
2nd - Rahel Immoberdorf (SUI)
3rd - Caitlin Gregg (USA)
4th - Seraina Boner (SUI)
5th - Maria Graefnings (SWE)
6th - Staver Tuva Toftdahl (NOR)
1st - Aurelie Dabudyk (FRA, Nordic Team Haute-Savoie) - 454 points
2nd - Maria Gräfnings (SWE, SAS & tg hütten) - 356 points
3rd - Rahel Imoberdorf (SUI, SAS & tg hütten) - 290 points
Engadin Skimarathon highlights on Worldloppet-TV
Of course, like always, we are going to show the highlights of the 7th FIS Worldloppet Cup stage, the Engadin Skimarathon, and all its side events like the Frauenlauf, the night race, the night sprint etc. on Worldloppet-TV. The producers are working hard to bring the Worldloppet-TV 2017 Episode 16: Engadin Skimarathon online in time! Stay tuned and check out our website and Social Media channels.
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