French skiers are the favorites in the 45th Tartu Maraton
Last year's three best women. Photo: Kaimo Puniste
After 3 exciting FISWLC stages in Austria, Germany and France, the world's elite of marathon skiing is travelling to Estonia for this weekend.
The traditional Tartu Maraton is going to host stage number 4, the second one in classic style. Almost 50 elite skiers are registered for the race, among them of course the two leaders of the cup & red bib holders, Aurelie Dabudyk (FRA) & Gerard Agnellet (FRA) both from Team Haute Savoie Nordic. Dabudyk is definitely the biggest favourite for the triumph after winning all 3 stages so far. But Maria Gräfnings, SAS pro Team, from Sweden is just waiting for her first victory. Maybe she will get some help from her teammate Rahel Imoberdorf from Switzerland.
Also in the men's competition a French victory is most likely. After Agnellet the other athletes of Team Haute Savoie Nordic are the next favourites for the victory. Ivan Perrillat-Boiteux just won La Transjurasienne & definitely is in a good mood for the race this weekend, followed by Loic Guigonnet. The second French pro team, Team Jobstation Rossignol, also sends its best athletes: Adrien Mougel, who won the Dolomitenlauf, Benoit Chauvet & Bastien Poirrier. Last year's overall cup winner, Candide Pralong (SUI) & 2016's overall winner, Toni Livers (SUI), both are competing at the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang 2018.
The best news about Tartu Maraton is, that the thousands of skiers can return to the original course between Ottepää & Elva. Heavy snowfalls over the last weeks and icy temperatures connected with huge efforts of the grooming team ensured perfect conditions for the race weekend.
The race is going to be broadcasted live on the Tartu Maraton website.