Dijon Skating Marathon: The World Cup won by a French, 7 years later...
Guillaume de Mallevoué proving all predictions wrong
The 2014 Dijon Skating Marathon had a true all-star casting, so that the competition was quoted as the World Inline Cup participants' favorite event.
Men's: the leaders neutralize one another, the outsiders seize the opportunity
The forces involved foreshadowed relentless struggle for controlling the race and many breakaways. This year, the men's race wasn't limited to a confrontation between EOSkates and Powerslide, the Dutch of the Van Werven Team and the Swiss Skate Team entered the game too.
The race starts at a good pace with a mild temperature. The weather is windy and a few gusts along the park alleys are going to disturb the breakaways. After a few laps, protagonists of each team gather in a breakaway: Felix Rijhnen (Powerslide Matter), Gary Heckman (Team Van Werven), Nicolas Iten (Swiss Skate Team), Yann Guyader (EOSkates). The 4 men skate ahead for several laps. The pack doesn't skate hard given that each team is represented, there is no interest in catching up with the fugitives. After a while, contact is finally made and a counter-attack breaks away again. This time, the Dutch are not part of it. They have then to chase for the rest of the pack... The breakaway skaters maintain a 15 sec lead on the pack for some time. The pack catches up again. The Swiss and the Van Werven Team, especially with Gary Heckerman, are very active in the outposts.
Another breakaway appears with 9 units of the main teams including Bart Swings (Powerslide Matter), marathon world champion Ariens Crispijn (Van Werven Team), Yann Guyader (EOSkates), Nolan Beddiaf (EOSkates), Guillaume de Mallevoué (Pôle France Bordeaux), Elton de Souza (EOSkates), Nicolas Iten (Swiss Skate Team), Italian Davide Ghiotto (Powerslide Italy) and Severin Widmer (Swiss Skate Team). The gap is widening and the winner is amongst them!
While the main teams neutralize one another, Guillaume de Mallevoué tries his luck one lap and a half from the finish line (about 3.5 km). The French manages to widen a gap of almost 200 m before his breakaway parners start reacting. He is now hitting the final stretch... the longest 500 meters! In the background, the group, led by Yann Guyader and Bart Swings, is swooping up on him at top speed. Guillaume de Mallevoué doesn't relax his efforts and crosses the finish line, raising his arms, while the runner-up places are still played with rage. Guyader is passed by Bart Swings with a finish hawk on the line. World Champion Ariens Crispijn is at the foot of the podium.
It is the first time since 2007 that a French skater wins the Dijon Skating Marathon. Guillaume de Mallevoué succeeds to Mathieu Boher, who happens to be his coach in Bordeaux! The student learnt well form the master, the circle is complete.
The Women's Race title logically goes to Francesca Lollobrigida
After her most brilliant feat at Rennes Sur Roulettes, breaking away with Katharina Rumpus, the Italian skater was expected to stand on the highest step of the podium. And yet, the forecast only became reality at the end of the race.
The German Powerslide Matter Team leads the race at the instigation of Katharina Rumpus and Sabine Berg. The X-Tech team is in their stream with Nicole Begg, Francesca and Giulia Lollobrigida. Despite a few breakaway attempts, none really manages to significantly widen the gap. They have to wait for the final sprint, launched 200 m before the finish line, for Francesca Lollobrigida to impose herself in a one on one fight against Chinese Guo Dan (X-Tech MPC China). Katharina Rumpus completes the podium in front of the second Chinese, Li Lisha (X-Tech MPC China). Irène Schouten ends up at the 5th place. Manon Kamminga (Powerslide), seven times European champion and world champion, has to make do with the 10th place. One would have imagined her fiercer in the park alleys.
Useful linksBy alfathor
Photos : Nathalie Dictus