Dijon Skating Marathon: A French hat trick at the World Masters
Three-in-a-row at the World Masters
With 25 represented countries, Dijon was announced as one of the main international events this season. The city hosted three large-scaled competitions: The Skating Marathon French Cup, the World Masters Championships and the World Inline Cup (Marathon World Cup).
U40 Women's: A new title for Caroline Jean
After several years without a single participation in international events, the former Team France member makes a brilliant comeback in Dijon! Caroline Jean (PUC Roller), the organizer of the Parisian 6 Heures Roller snatches the victory at the sprint in the pathways of the park. She imposes herself in front of the rest of the breakaway group, made of 5 skaters. The French outdistances the German pair Michaela Geppert and Silke Röhr at the sprint. Spain remains at the foot of the podium with Nagore Montez Chivite and Idurne Betely Jauregi.
U40 Men's: Vincent Esnault does it again
Vincent Esnault does quite a similar race to that of the previous World Chamiponships in Dijon, two years before. The pack has trouble finding its pace, Vincent Esnault breaks away with Spanish Garikoitz Lerga, another former world champion. The two men skate most of the race ahead, alone. They cooperate and take sustained relays… they are so efficient that they even lap the follower pack, made of 5 skaters.
Vincent Esnault keeps his pace but his breakaway partner cracks. The French passes the finish line alone, with a 1'30 lead on the Spanish who secures his second place. Behind, the sprint of the followers is won by Danish Klaus Hestkjaer, in front of French Emmanuel Salle.
U50 Women's: A foregone conclusion?
You almost could have guessed the winner by just having a look at the registration list. Amongst the names of the competitors, Claudia Pechstein (Powerslide). If that names doesn't ring a bell to you, google it and you'll realize the level of the forces involved! Claudia Pechstein, received a medal at the Winter Olympics. The German skater leads the race with a disconcerting ease, sometimes skating harder than men's packs. She imposes herself with a one-minute lead over Karen Telling (Netherlands). The third place goes to French Karine Malle-Urvoy in front of her compatriot Gaelle Duplenne.
Let's spare a thought for French Alexandra Jolivet who could only race for one lap and a half before being literally ejected from the track by a male skater, an intolerable act that shouldn't even exist on a race.
U50 Men's: At last!
The race is very open with lots of twists and turns. The scenario of the U50 men's race looks a lot like those of the previous years… the only difference being that this time Thomas Dauvergne finds the energy to reach the finish line before being caught up by the pack! The French, organizer of the event, gets his home win at last! He finishes in front of another French, also world champion, Jean-Stéphane Sierra, the manufacturer of made-to-measure speed boots from Toulouse. Italian Patrizio Giulioni (Roller Marche Jesi) has to make do with the 3rd place.
And yet, there were many pretenders to the podium on the start line: Frédéric Techer of the Reunion, English Sutton Atkins, German Alexander Mier, Philippe Poirier but also Erwan Le Corre.
U60 Women's: The German breakaway
In the U60 women's race, German Ute Enger breaks away. She takes the victory with a 1'30 lead over the 2nd, New Zealander Kristine Rae Davies, followed 2 minutes later by Italian Desiana Caniatti.
The race considerably stretched, leaving the first 6 women skate alone.
U60 Men's: A great armada
There are 86 skaters at the start of the race, a good number! The pack remains dense for most of the 40 km of the race. The final sprint is decisive, crowning Italian Guiseppe Cortese with a skate ahead of American Herman Diaz. Paolo Compi offers a second medal to Italy in taking the 3rd place.
Over 60 Women's: The strength is in the East
7 women take the start in that category. German Barbara Esser breaks away, leaving no chance to her opponents. She finishes with a 1'40 lead on her compatriot Monika Wohlgemuth. Polish Halina Igowska takes the 3rd place of the sprint, in front of French Christiane Buquant, 4th.
Over 60 Men's: A family affair
Skating keeps young! That's what you are tempted to say in contemplating the 50 men skaters over 60 on the start line. The favorite confirms the forecasts. Italian Guiseppe Presti, the father of two great champions, Luca and Massimiliano, wins a new title in front of Danish Benny Orloff. German Kazimierz Posacowski completes the podium after a very tight sprint.
Photos: Nathalie Dictus