The Topeak Ergon Team had a double podium at the marathon event in Willingen, Germany. With three distances to chose from, Alban Lakata won the long distance and Sally Bigham took second in the mid distance race.

The Marathon race in Willingen takes place during the institution that is the Willingen festival. The race represents a real challenge. 122km long with 3751m of ascent to be completed before crossing the line. It wasn’t this that worried Lakata, more the fact that he had suffered a head cold the previous week, from which he was recovering. The drizzle at the start of the race didn’t help the World Championship’s Silver Medal winner, however with 10km to go there were three riders who had managed to get away from the large lead group. Lakata was in with a chance. Attacking on the last climb, Alban shook off each one of his rivals one after the other. After 4hr48:40 he crossed the line, with 44 seconds lead. He appeared to be surprised by his performance “During the race I really didn’t think that I had the win in me today. But I managed to pull it out of the bag. I am really pleased”.

Sally Bigham, the British National Champion, was also riding at Willingen. Still trying to get comfortable on the bike following an ‘off’ in spring, her knee was her main concern. With the trans-Germany (a four day stage race) still fresh in her legs, she decided that the 95km mid distance would be better. It turned out to be a great decision, as without knee trouble she crossed the line in second. “I didn’t want to take the risk and ruin the rest of my season. My knee still aches, so the second position on the mid distance is a great result. I am really pleased.” she said, following the race.

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