LAKATA WINS MARATHON WORLDS
Winning the World Marathon Title in Germany this past weekend saw Alban Lakata living out his dreams. For Sally Bigham the race started with a small bit of bad luck, but she managed to pull a respectable 8th place out of the bag. Making her World Championship premiere, racing for the USA, Sonya Looney finished 30th. Wolfram Kurschat started, but unfortunately had to drop out.
“The title is a dream come true. I am the World Champion. It is simply unbelievable for me.” Lakata said, while clearly struggling to find the words to explain the emotions.
In honesty, he rode an insane race. The leaders were out of reach by anyone’s reckoning with 80km of the 107km already ridden. But then something happened, and he closed the gap, shifting to a different gear, and shelled each and everyone out. “When I managed to get away on the climb, I didn’t allow myself to believe that I could win. I just decided to drain every energy reserve that I had and channel everything into putting as much power through the pedals as possible. At one point I had 13 seconds lead. I crossed the line, still expecting to wake up. I had actually won!”
For Sally Bigham the race started in a fashion you wouldn’t wish on anyone. After a few km she dropped her chain, meaning she had to stop, refit it, and rejoin the race as the very last rider. Her eighth place finish meant that she overtook literally everyone but for the 7 finishers in front of her.
Sonya Looney, who rides for the Topeak-Ergon Racing USA was nominated to ride by US Cycling. It was her first World Championship, and she found the riding to be more aggressive than she is used to, with line being cut off, and discourteous riding causing her to lose a number of places. “It was my first race in Europe, and then such an important one. I am pleased with my result in 30th position, although I would love a chance to better that next year!”
Wolfram Kurschat also lined up at the start. The Marathon World Championship had been planned as his season highlight, however his broken ribs put pay to that. “The high pace and the twisty course were not the type of race that I felt safe riding. I didn’t want to risk a crash and going backwards with the recovery for my ribs. Dropping out of any race is difficult for me, but I think it was the correct decision.” Kurschat said afterwards.