Will the French skiers conquer Tartu Maraton again?
Estonia’s biggest skiing marathon, the 46th Tartu Maraton will take place this Sunday. Since it is the 5th stage of the FIS Worldloppet Cup, there is quite a big possibility that the French male skiers will occupy all three podium places for the second year in a row.
The first four races of the FIS Worldloppet Cup 2019 are over. Half-time we passed. Vasaloppet China, the Dolomitenlauf in Austria, a snowy König Ludwig Lauf in Germany & a one-man show at La Transjurasienne. This has been the season so far. Now we are watich to Tartu, Estonia, to follow the Tartu Maraton as 5th stage of the Cup.
Last year’s surprising winner Antoine Auger, e-liberty Skiteam, is once again in the start list, but perhaps the biggest favorites are the top 3 men in the Worldloppet Cup standings: Gerard Agnellet (finished second in last year’s Tartu Maraton), Bastien Poirrier and Benoit Chauvet (both from Team Jobstation Rossignol). Loic Guigonnet, who by the way is a good sprinter, also deserves a mention.
Estonian men have not won the Tartu Maraton since 2005 when former Vasaloppet winner Raul Olle triumphed. It looks like the drought will continue. A year ago Martti Himma finished in 5th place and was the best Estonian. This year he will probably once again be the best local skier and will try his best against the French skiers.
Among women the main favorite is Swede Maria Gräfnings, who leads the way in the Worldloppet Cup standings and also won Tartu Maraton last year. Two times Tartu Maraton winner Tatjana Mannima (EST) is Gräfnings’ main rival on Sunday, being second in the Cup standings and having a couple of top 3 finishes this season.
As of 16th of February, almost 5.000 skiers have registered for the 46th Tartu Maraton’s main races, which is approximately 1200 more than last year.
46th Tartu Maraton will take place tomorrow, on Sunday, 17th of February. 63 km distance (CT) will start at 9.00 in Otepää, shorter 31 km distance (CT) will start from Arula at 12.30.
Live broadcast of the marathon here (with English commentary, starting on Sunday at 8.45 am local time):