Thomas Dietsch (Team Bulls) has won for the fourth time in a row, the French marathon championship. During an exciting race of 84km the tall French racer from Alsace raced against strong French competition and secured his overall seventh national title on the marathon distance. The UCI MTB Marathon Series race ran concurrently, and Dietsch came in third place, behind Kristian Hynek and Leonardo Paez.
Dietsch was one of the dominant figures from the beginning of the race. When the first mountain formed a ten-member lead group contained Dietsch, as well as his teammates Huber and Boehme. The longest mountain of the race up by Haute Pierre – le chalet at kilometer 30, the group broke apart and Dietsch took over from then on the top position in the race for the championship. But the strong competition from the Cross Country Camp in the form of Tempier, Marotte and Sarrou meant it didn’t last. Tempier closed in on Dietsch, and the two top riders raced until about ten kilometres from the finish in a hot head-to-head race. Punctures and mechanicals split the duo. But Dietsch soon found himself alone in front and then did everything he could to defend against the hunting competition.
Thomas Dietsch rolled over the line with arms outstretched jubilantly to the sky as of old and new French marathon champion across the finish line.
“I’m speechless – and overjoyed! I cannot believe that I’ve actually managed to defend my title again barely. I was three days ago completely nervous and the closer the starting signal came, the worse it got. In the race I was then fully there and one hundred percent focused. My legs were great, the bike was great! Against the three BH racers , it was a tough fight and overall a very exciting race where I end up just had the best cards! With Roc d’Azur in a few days I’m going to enjoy this championship shirt especially!”
French Marathon Championship:
1. Thomas Dietsch – Team Bulls
2. Maxime Marotte – BH-SR Suntour-KMC
3. Stéphane Tempier – BH-SR Suntour-KMC
UCI MTB Marathon Series:
1. Kristian Hynek – Topeak Ergon Racing Team
2. Hector Leonardo Paez – i.Idro Bianchi
3. Thomas Dietsch – Team Bulls