Frenchman Auger won the 45th Tartu Maraton
Photo: Ardo Säks
Today’s 45th Tartu Maraton was won by a French skier Antoine Auger (3:08.16,1). Swede Maria Gräfnings finished as the best woman (3:18.51).
Conditions on the classical Otepää-Elva 63 km course were near perfect, with slight minus degrees and fresh snow on the classic track.
10 km before the finish there was a leading group of 15 men (4 Estonians, 5 Swiss skiers and 6 Frenchmen). Then the French skiers raised the tempo which meant that a group of 5 skiers approached the finish line together: four French skiers and Estonian Martti Himma. On the last meters 22 year-old Antoine Auger showed the best sprinting speed and finished just 0,03 seconds ahead of compatriots, Worldloppet Cup leader Gerard Angellet and Ivan Perrillat-Boiteux. „Unbelievable! I didn’t expect to win the race, I just wanted to finish in the top 10,“ said Auger after the race.
Among women Swede Maria Gräfnings won her first race of the Worldloppet Cup season, having been second twice and third once. She finished 3.43 ahead of Swiss Seraina Boner and 4.50 ahead of Worldloppet Cup leader Aurelie Dabudyk. „It was tough out there, because there was a lot of fresh snow. Still, I was feeling stronger and stronger as the race went on. Aurelie has been fantastic this season, but today she showed that she’s still a human,“ said Gräfnings.
In total of 3641 skiers registered for the main races: 2790 for the longer 63 km distance and 851 for the shorter 31 km race.
Next event in the Tartu Maraton Cube 2018 series is the 36th Tartu Forest Marathon.