World Marathon Champion Roel Paulissen won the Gunn-Rita Marathon, which doubled as the Italian National Marathon Championships in Montebelluno. In her first race back after having a baby, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa won the women's competition.
The men's race featured 16 climbs. "It was a challenge to race 116km. It's different racing marathons as proper organization is important. The last 30km were especially not easy in heavy, wet clay soil, however I won by nine minutes," said a happy Paulissen.
"This gives me extra confidence going into the European Championships in two weeks in the Netherlands."
Paulissen defeated Leonardo Paez (TX Active-Bianchi), who was second. Paez was slowed by a mechanical at 28km, which forced him to have to repair his chain at 30km. But he made a determined comeback to finish ahead of Italian Mirko Celestino, who became national marathon champion.
Paez will head home to Colombia for a period of training before he returns for the World Marathon Championhips.
Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå returned to racing to win the race named after her.
"When I arrived at the finish, I did not realize I had won right away, as I thought that the strong Italian riders were all ahead of me. I'm still completely surprised as I did not exopect such a result," said the Norwegian. On the demanding course, she profitted from her experience to properly pace herself.
Dahle Flesjaa is unsure of what she will race next. "First I have to see how I recover from this effort, and then I'll continue with my build-up. Within a few days, I should be able to judge which races are a realistic option and make sense."
Eva Lechner finished second at 1:21, and Roberta Gasparini was third, with the same time.
|2||Hector Leonardo Paez Leon||0:09:30|
|6||Massimo De Bertolis||0:14:24|
|10||Julio Humberto Caro Silva||0:19:02|
|15||Paolo Cesar Montoya Cantillo||0:27:02|
|1||Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa||3:47:30|