2014 Speed Skating Worlds: Marathons - The incredible French!
Review on the races
The course planned by the organization had the advantage of having a good rolling and being wide... It even had a slight slope... The problem was that it led to a sharp bend close to 150°! The least to say is that many skaters ended up off the road and had to skate on the grass. We even saw some competitors make do with the cycle lane!
The Junior Women's race remained in a pack, and you had to wait until the arrival to witness a dozen skaters launching the final sprint. Colombian Luz Gardon finally took the advantage on her opponents. Déborah Marchand (FRA) finished at the foot of the podium.
1. Lyz Garzon (COL)
2. Sandrine Tas (BEL)
3. Liu Yi Huuan (TPE)
4. Déborah Marchand (FRA)
Just as for the Junior Women's, the situation only sorted itself out at the end of the race. After a closely fought sprint, Italian Daniel Niero won in front of two South American skaters, Julio Milera (VEN) and Manuel Saavedra (COL).
Raphaël Planelles (FRA) took the 9th place.
1. Daniel Niero (ITA)
2. Junior Milera (VEN)
3. Manuel Saavedra (COL)
Chinese Taipei stroke hard in seizing the Top-2 places of the Senior Women's marathon. Yang Ho Chen and Lee Meng Chu managed to impose themselves in front of formidable Italian Francesca Lollobrigida. It would seem that a fall at mid-race would have split the pack into two.
1. Yang Ho Chen (TPE)
2. Lee Meng Chu (TPE)
3. Francesca Lollobrigida (ITA)
Senior Men's: incredible French hat trick!
The Senior Men's marathon was quite comical, from the moment when Alexis Contin broke away with Diogo Marreiros (POR), the followers' pack kept on changing its pace. Diogo finally gave up. Sensing that the first place was already attributed, the skaters waited for the sprint, alternating phases of slow pace skating and sudden accelerations to make new attempts at breakaways. Obviously French Elton de Souza and Ewen Fernandez temporized to the max to prevent any catch up on their leader. A few laps from the arrival, Alexis Contin had increased his lead.
Behind, Ewen Fernandez, the second French in the running, managed to extract himself from the followers' pack and break away in his turn. All Elton de Souza had to do was keeping on temporizing. Were the French about to manage a hat trick?
Elton got out of the pack with Felix Rijhnen and a Korean skater. Elton shook them off at the sprint: It's a French Top-3!
It's the second marathon title of Alexis Contin, 10 years after his first title at the age of 18, in 2004... The circle is complete.
1. Alexis Contin (FRA)
2. Ewen Fernandez (FRA)
3. Elton de Souza (FRA)
4. Felix Rijhnen (GER)
Useful linksBy Alfathor
Translation: Chloe Seyres
Photos: Nathalie Planelles