Swiss cross country championships heads to Gränichen

Vogel, Leumann hope to defend titles

One week after Switzerland took home eight medals at the European Championships in Israel, the nation will host its national championships in Gränichen on Sunday.

With five men ranked in the top 10 in the world, the elite men's race promises to be a good one. Defending champion Florian Vogel will return to the race and face competition from other favorites, like Nino Schurter, Christoph Sauser, Ralph Naef, Fabian Giger, Martin Gujan and Lukas Flückiger, who won silver last weekend in Haifa.

In the women's race, defending champion Katrin Leumann, showed her form last weekend in Haifa when she won the European Championship. She's aiming for title number three in a row. European marathon champion Esther Süss, Marielle Saner-Guinchard, Nathalie Schneitter and Sarah Koba will also contest the women's championship.

The current world's best-ranked under 23 male rider Mathias Flückiger will face off against Thomas Litscher, Patrick Gallati, Martin Fanger, Pascal Meyer, Matthias Rupp, Jérémy Huegenin, Matthias Stirnemann, Reto Indergand and Lukas Loretz.

In the Under 23 women's race, Kathrin Stirnemann, who won silver at the Europeans, will race Vivienne Meyer, Virginie Pointet, who was third last year, and 2009 junior national champion Michelle Hediger.

Roger Walder and Linda Indergand are the favorites for the Under 19 junior titles. while defending champion Andrea Waldis will take on last year's runner-up Andri Frischknech in the Under 17 men's race.

Racers will compete in a 5.5km route with some singletrack and plenty of accessibility for spectators.

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