On 30 August 2020, the 5th edition of the KronplatzKing MTB Marathon, the mountain bike marathon starting in San Vigilio di Marebbe (1,200 m) and finishing at the summit of the Kronplatz (2,275 m), will take place. And with only three weeks to go, some of the world’s best including Tiago Ferreira (POR), Leonardo Paez (COL) and Esther Süss (SUI) have already announced their participation.
There are two routes to choose from: the King Marathon variant with 73 km and 3,250 metres of climbing and the Prince Classic route with 49 km and 2,160 m+. Over € 7,000 in prize money have also been announced, which will be a big attraction for racers.
So it’s no wonder that some of the big names in the marathon world will tackle the classic in the Dolomites.
“It will like world championships but without crowning world champions. Instead, we will crowna king and a queen”, says local organizer Maurizio Kastlunger. Reigning European Champion, former World Champion and defending KronplatzKing champion Tiago Ferreira (POR) as well as reigning World Champion and multiple winner of the HERO Leonardo Paez (COL), former European Champion Aleksei Medvedev (RUS), Belgian Champion Frans Claes and strong Italians Juri Ragnoli, Daniele Mensi, Tony Longo and Mattia Longa have already registered for the men’s race.
Women to watch at Kronplatz
On the women’s side of things, it’s the name of Swiss Esther Süss which stands out. The former World and European Champio will face her competitors Blaza Pintaric, European Champion and World Championship medalist from Slovenia, multiple winner of the KronplatzKing Marathon Kathrin Schwing (GER) and her fellow German countrywoman Silke Keinath.
To guarantee the safety of all athletes according to the FCI Covid-19 protocol, all participants will receive a buff to cover their mouth and nose at the start and after the finish. In addition, all athletes will have their body temperature measured both when receiving their start package and when entering the starting blocks. Furthermore, the starting blocks have been widened up with racers forced to line up in rows of four to ensure the mandatory distance between athletes.
The start itself will take place for the first time on the long straight in front of the visitor centre of the Fanes Senes Braies Nature Park in San Vigilio di Marebbe while the award ceremony is planned to be staged near the finish line at the Plan de Corones on Sunday afternoon. The times for all participants except the elite racers will be clocked in in “real time“ when crossing the start line for the first time, too. So this means you can really compare your time to others in the race, no matter when you finally get to cross over the start line!
In keeping with tradition at all international races on Kronplatz, two valuable crowns are hand-made by artist Carlo Castlunger. The only question that remains is: who will be the King and Queen 2020?