Nordic Team Haute Savoie wins Tartu Maraton 2017

After a perfect race day yesterday, Tartu Maraton day 2 was on the program today, bringing the world’s marathon skiing elite to Otepää, the alternative venue of the Estonian Worldloppet race. Due to lack of snow, the organizers decided to start the race on a 5 km lap in the Otepää Ski Stadium (also hosting of the FIS Worldcup). At 8:50 this morning the women opened the 34 km marathon, ten minutes later the men followed. 

Today was the day of Nordic Team Haute Savoie. After 34 km the winners are both from the team and also the FIS Worldloppet Cup red bibs are going to NTHS. 

Nordic Team Haute Savoie takes both victories
Even though the race was almost half as long as the original course, it was not much easier. The Worldcup proof track in Otepää is a hard course with many up- and downhills which the skiers had to do several times. Quite soon in the race, a group of around 12 men was formed. Among them the whole Team Rossignol Gel Interim, including the red bib holder Candide Pralong, and the whole Nordic Team Haute Savoie. Bastien Buttin (FRA) already after 4 km showed his strength with winning the sprint at km 4. Until the last round this group worked together; sometimes Toni Livers (SUI) was working in front in the wind, sometimes Buttin, Candide Pralong (SUI), Bastien Porrier (FRA) or someone else. The race was decided only on the finish lane when the last 10 men sprinted for the podium.
In the end, Bastien Buttin crossed the finish line only a second in front of Benoit Chauvet (FRA) who was very satisfied with his second place after health troubles in the beginning of the season. “It was very hard today on that lap course. I tried to break away several times throughout the race, but I couldn’t. So I had to focus on the final sprint and it worked out. Now I focus on the Engadin Skimarathon, there I will try to win again!”, says the winner, Bastien Buttin. Benoit Chauvet, who is finally back on the podium in the FIS Worldloppet Cup is also very satisfied with is a second place: “In the beginning of the season, I was sick several times, so it was hard for me to fight back, especially mentally. So I am very happy with this second place today.”

From Otepää to Lahti World Championships
Third place goes to Bastien Porrier, also from France. Toni Livers who decided as one of very few to use kick wax was not able to sprint on to the podium. He is going to travel to Lahti tonight, to ski the 50 km at the World Championships. With his 5th place today Ivan Perrillat-Boiteux (FRA, NTHS) grabbed the red bib and the overall lead of the FIS Worldloppet Cup by 2 points in front of Candide Pralong who finished 6th today. The third place in the overall is Bastien Porrier, who reduced his gap to number 1 to 33 points. Since the last two stages are skating races, Perrillat-Boiteux, who is a skating specialist, has very good cards for the overall victory 2017.
Results of the Tartu Maraton 2017 – men
1st Bastien Buttin (FRA, Nordic Team Haute-Savoie) 
2nd Benoit Chauvet (FRA, Team Rossignol Gel Interim)
3rd Bastien Porrier (FRA, Team Rossignlo Gel Interim)
FIS Worldloppet Cup overall ranking men after 6 from 8 stages
1st Ivan Perrillat-Boiteux (FRA, Nordic Team Haute-Savoie) – 205 points
2nd Candide Pralong (SUI, Team Rossignol Gel Interim) – 203 points
3rd Bastien Porrier (FRA, Team Rossignol Gel Interim) – 172 points
Aurelie Dabudyk back on top
After a second place in her home country at La Transjurasienne somebody might thought, that last year’s FIS Worldloppet Cup winner Aurelie Dabudyk (FRA, Nordic Team Haute-Savoie) shows weakness. But today she proofed that she still is definitely the strongest marathon skier. Tatjana Mannima, who also has already won the FIS Worldloppet Cup, who is the local hero and favorite of the spectators made the race from the beginning on. She kept the pace very high, so km by km more women left the leading group until only Dabudyk was able to follow her. But in the last lap, the French showed her strength and double poled her way to victory. A minute before Mannima she reached the finish. 
“The lap course was very hard for us because we had to overtake many skiers. But Tatjana (Mannima) made the overtaking and I followed her, so we managed to keep a high pace. Particularly the last lap was quite hard, but I am lucky that I was stronger than Tatjana today.”, sums Aurelie up. Maria Gräfnings from Sweden, who won La Transjurasienne two weeks ago had troubles today to follow the very high pace of the leaders but still reached the finish as 3rd. “I didn’t feel very well today, something made it very tough for me. I tried very hard to follow Tatjana and Aurelie, but I just was not able, especially on the hill. So I am satisfied with my 3rd place today.”, she explains.

Now only 2 races remain in the FIS Worldloppet Cup 2017 – Engadin Skimarathon and the Ugraloppet – and Dabudyk extends her lead to 114 points in front of second-placed Maria Gräfnings. Tatjana Mannima holds the third place with 191 points behind. 
Results of the Tartu Maraton 2017 – women
1st Aurelie Dabudyk (FRA, Nordic Team Haute-Savoie) 
2nd Tatjana Mannima (EST, SAS & tg hütten)
3rd Maria Gräfnings (SWE, SAS & tg hütten)
FIS Worldloppet Cup overall ranking women after 6 from 8 stages
1st Aurelie Dabudyk (FRA, Nordic Team Haute-Savoie) – 425 points
2nd Maria Gräfnings (SWE, SAS & tg hütten) – 311 points
3rd Tatjana Mannima (EST, SAS & tg hütten) – 244 points
The 44th Tartu Maraton on Worldloppet-TV tonight
Tonight at 8:00 pm CET we are going to show already the 12th episode of Worldloppet-TV 2017. Showing the highlights of the Tartu Maraton weekend including the best moments of today’s 6th FIS Worldloppet Cup stage, Worldloppet-Tv is going to be online on the Worldloppet website. So make sure to turn on and stay tuned. 
The next episodes are going to show the highlights around the king of cross country skiing races, the Vasaloppet
Meanwhile you can watch the finish of today’s race:

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