UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships: nine former winners in the line-up

Sep 14, 2018, 09:32 AM

One week after the cross-country Olympic and downhill UCI Mountain Bike World Championships presented by Mercedes Benz in Switzerland, off-road action will shift to Auronzo, Italy, for the 16th edition of the UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships.

The Marathon (XCM) harkens back to the early days of mountain biking, when events lasted three or four hours. The 2018 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships will take place on September 15 in one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, within the UNESCO World Heritage site Tre Cime di Lavaredo, in the Italian Dolomites. The women will race 89 kilometres and climb 3400 metres, while the men will cover 102 kilometres and climb 4200 metres. 

Switzerland has the most wins in the history of the Marathon Worlds: nine (six men and three women). RecentlyNorway, Denmark and Austria have challenged the Swiss.

There are 76 women registered this year, including four former UCI World Champions. Norway’s Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa leads the list with six world titles, followed by defending champion Annika Langvad, of Denmark. Also taking part will be the first (2003) Marathon UCI World Champion, Maja Wloszczowska, of Poland, and 2009 UCI World Champion Sabine Spitz, of Germany.

The men's field counts 184 entries, including five former UCI World Champions, led by the reigning and three-time title-holder Alban Lakata of Austria (2010, 2015, 2017). He will be joined by former UCI World Champions Tiago Ferreira of Portugal (2016), Jaroslav Kulhavy of the Czech Republic (2014), Periklis Iilias of Greece (2012), and Roel Paulissen of Belgium (2008, 2009).