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Mountain Bike
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newsid: 182910
Mountain Bike

Eight current and former UCI World Champions line up for UCI Marathon Worlds

Tiago Ferreira
Tiago Ferreira

The 2017 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships, to take place in Singen, Germany, on Sunday, boasts one of the strongest start lists in the 15-year history of the event: numerous former UCI World Champions are on the start list alongside both defending title holders.

Singen, an industrial city in southern Germany and just north of the German-Swiss border, has a long history of hosting Marathon races, including the 2015 European Championships and the annual Hegau Bike Marathon. The courses feature short, steep climbs rather than long ones, which will make it difficult for solo attacks to succeed. The women will race 80 kilometres and the men 98 kilometres.

The 77-rider women's field includes defending Champion Jolanda Neff (Kross Racing) of Switzerland, plus former UCI World Champions Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Merida Gunn-Rita), Sabine Spitz (Wiawis Bikes), Annika Langvad (Specialized) and Esther Süss, of Switzerland. Spitz is the local German favourite, and won the European title in Singen in 2015.

For the 188-rider men's field, the list of contenders include defending UCI World Champion Tiago Ferreira of Portugal, plus former title holders Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized) and Alban Lakata, of Austria. Others to watch for include Kulhavy's New Zealand team mate Sam Gaze, who finished second at Singen in 2016, and cyclo-cross/road professional Mathieu van der Poel of the Netherlands. Van der Poel is skipping his Dutch National Road Championships in favour of the UCI Marathon Worlds, and has already finished second at a cross-country Olympic round of this season’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano.

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