ONE MARATHON, 2 WINS, LEADER’S JERSEYS
Last weekend’s Willingen festival in Germany was a huge success for the Topeak Ergon Racing Team.
The early bird catches the worm, and this is apparently what the organiser had taken to heart. The start of the marathon race was set for Saturday morning at 7.30am. Representing the team were Sally Bigham (GBR), Alban Lakata (AUT), (GER), and Benjamin Brochhagen (GER).
The two endurance experts Sally and Alban were opting for the longest distance of 125km. Brochhagen chose the mid distance (95km) and Tofaute opted for the shorter 52km course.
As the National Marathon Champion, the British racer, Sally Bigham was looking to replicate her success in the UK and at the Italian Riva festival. The first two laps were difficult, and finding a rhythm was proving hard, however, then everything clicked into place. Sally caught competitor after competitor, and left the last one behind with 25km to go. After 6hours and 13minutes of riding, Sally was able to celebrate her first international victory.
In the men’s race things were going just as well for the European Champion, Alban Lakata. From the off, he lead the leading group and was able to set his own pace. As the race went on, the group around him got smaller and smaller as riders fell off the back. In the end it was only Urs Huber (Team Stöckli Craft) who could hold his wheel. After 5hr 50min and 30 seconds, the Austrian crossed the line to take the victory.
The two victories meant something else too, both Sally and Alban were able to take the lead in the overall classification for the Rocky Mountain Marathon Series.
Also racing at the event, using it as a test race for the 24hour event coming up in Munich, were Brochhagen and Tofaute. A perfect performance was prevented by a flat tyre for Kim, Ergon’s R&D director, who finished in 32nd place. Benjamin, suffering from the tail end of a cold finished 45 seconds ahead of Tofaute in 31st position.