The Greek mountain b iker Ilias Periklis has won the 20th Südtirol Dolomiti Superbike in front of Colombian Leonardo Paez and last year’s winner Kristian Hynek from the Czech Republic. Sally Bigham from the UK won ahead of the Italian Elena Gaddoni and Daniela Veronesi from the Republic of San Marino. The route was over 119km and climbed 3,822 meters in altitude in a counter clockwise direction. With 4700 participants from 36 nations the race set a new record.
The men’s race started very fast. Last year’s winner Kristian Hynek was the rise to Prato Piazza together with the Portuguese Tiago Ferreira the pace, followed by Leonardo Paez and Ilias Periklis. Hynek crashed on the descent to Schluderbach, scoring multiple abrasions, but drove on.
“I know the route very well,” said winning Periklis at the finish. “You have to wait, because after three hours, everything changes,” and that’s how it was as Martinez had to give up after about 60 kilometres, choosing to take the 60km route instead with Johann Pallhuber. Periklis got stronger and stronger, but had to fend off multiple attacks by Leonardo Paez in the final stages and after a deficit of almost a minute and a solo ride of about 30 km in Innichen managed to close the gap and catch up with the leaders.
“1km after I was back at their rear wheels, I tried to attack, but I was caught up. Then Periklis moved away, I had no more strength to keep up,” said the runner-up. For that reason, Hynek did not want to let go, and also his energy was waning.
Ilias Periklis won in 4:38:35 hours. Paez was 1:56 minutes behind in Second, while Kristian Hynek 4:23 minutes behind the winner on crossing the finish line.
Hattrick for Bigham
Sally Bigham celebrated her third win in a row. The British champion completed the marathon distance over 119 km in 5:41:39 hours. She was around 12:39 minutes faster than the former cross-country and marathon Italian champion Elena Gaddoni. With 22:25 minutes behind the winner, the reigning Italian champion and former marathon road racer (Tour de France, Giro d’Italia) Daniela Veronesi (RSM) crossed the finish line. In fourth place, the German Katrin Schwing came in having won the Marathon in the Dolomites in 2009. The first four positions remained unchanged from the previous years.
“At the beginning of the race I had great difficulty to find the rhythm,” said the triple winner. “I was ill and had a cold the past few weeks and so I could not participate in the World Cup.”
The Italian Elena Gaddoni was first to reach the Plätzwiese while Bigham followed in fourth place. The Briton on the descent to Schluderbach was very carefully in her stride and refrained from making unnecessary mistakes, make good on her positioning. Coming out of the valley together with Daniela Veronesi caught up to a strong group of men as far as the aid station in Dobbiaco, while Gaddoni remained somewhat behind the two leaders and only on reaching Innichen on the ascent to the Haunold, closed in. It was here that Bigham set off, while Gaddoni and Veronesi cycled together up to Sesto. Gaddoni succeeded at the climb towards the Croda Rossa to overtake Veronesi and come in second at the finish.
Statements by the Men
Periklis Ilias (GRE), winner: “It was important after the World Championships to keep focus on this race after the World Cup, because I was disappointed with my performance in that race. So I’ve been training hard for this important race and I am very, very satisfied with my win today. I am doubly happy because I have won a race on the one hand and a classic on the other”.
Leonardo Paez (COL), Second Place: “I was tired in the morning and did have the usual good feelings at the start. My comeback has cost me a lot of strength. So far it was a very nice season, and anything to be added to it is good.”
Kristian Hynek (CZE), Third Place: “At the beginning I felt very good, but then plunged twice. I made some stupid mistakes and should not have started so fast, but that’s just my style of racing. It’s always difficult to defend a title, but I’m not disappointed. The first half of the race was good, the second lesser. I had to fight not to give up and that again was positive.”
Statements by the Ladies
Sally Bigham (GB), winner: “It’s cool to win ‘for the third time. The win was very important for my psyche during this corked season. The Dolomiti Superbike means a lot to me because in 2008 I contested my first international race over here. It is so beautiful here; I would prefer to move to South Tyrol.”
Elena Gaddoni (ITA), second place: “Sally is on another level, it would have been impossible to conquer her today. On the climbs I was a bit stronger than Daniela who was better than me on the descents. After she defeated me in the Italian Championships, I made some changes to my bike and it was worth it.”
Daniela Veronesi (ITA), Third Place: “I tried remaining at Bigham’s back wheel for as long as I could which was not possible; she is in a class of her own.”
Results Men: www.datasport.com
1 Periklis Ilias (GRE) 4:38:35 25.82 km /h
2 Leonardo Paez (COL) 4:40:32
3 Kristian Hynek (CZE) 4:42:59
4 Tiago Ferreira (POR) 4:43:32
5 Alban Lakata (AUT) 4:48:16
6 U rs Huber (SUI) 4:48:27
7 Tony Longo (ITA) 4:51:14
January 8 Stroz (ITA) 4:52:03
9 Nicholas Pettina (ITA) 4:52:09
10 Benjamin Sonntag (GER) 4:53:33
Results for Women:
1 Sally Bigham (GB) 5:41:39 21.056 km / h
2 Gaddoni Elena (ITA) 5:54:18
3 Daniela Veronesi (RSM) 6:04:04
4 Katrin Schwing (GER) 6:10:11
5 Keinath Silke (GER) 6:31:09
6 Miriam Horn (GER) 6:33:01
7 Cristiana Tamburini (ITA) 6:47:13
8 Mazzucotelli Simona (ITA) 6:59:41