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Fumic and Leumann win Marlene Sudtirol Sunshine Race

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Some World Cup favorites warm up legs in Italy

Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing) riding in the lead group

Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing) riding in the lead group

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Manuel Fumic and Katrin Leumann won the 14th annual Marlene Südtirol Sunshine Race in Nals, Italy. Fumic triumphed in spring temperatures ahead of his Cannondale teammate Marco Aurelio Fontana and Alexander Gehbauer from Austria. In the women's category, Katrin Leumann from Switzerland won for the first time ahead of Alexandra Engen and Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa. Eva Lechner, who holds the record for the most victories at the race, finished fourth as the first Italian woman.

The women had to complete five laps for 26.6km while the men did seven laps and 36.6km. The race is part of the Internazionali d'Italia Series and it drew a record 796 participants from 26 nations.


The men's cross country race could not have been any more thrilling. Right after completing the starting loop, a large group including Anton Cooper, Marco Aurelio Fontana, Karl Markt, Manuel Fumic, Andrea Tiberi, Alexander Gehbauer and Gerhard Kerschbaumer set a strong pace.

The two Cannondale riders, Fontana and Fumic, along with Gerhard Kerschbaumer from Team Bianchi managed to build up a significant lead, which they expanded upon in the second and third laps. In the lap after that, Fontana attacked on the uphill finishing the 5km-long circuit with a lead of 20 seconds ahead of Kerschbaumer and 23 seconds ahead of Fumic.

Fumic then attacked in the fifth lap, first overtaking Kerschbaumer and then also Fontana. Both Fontana and Kerschbaumer had to deal with flat tires. While Fontana repaired his pretty swiftly, Kerschbaumer had to finish the downhill section to the feed zone before being able to attend to his.

Fumic continued in strides while Fontana started to catch up and Gehbauer rode into third place with Kerschbaumer falling to sixth.

"Nobody is hiding one week before the World Cup kick-off. We were all on on the attack today and tried to play 'our games'," said Fumic. "Fontana has done most of the leading work, but then he had to deal with his flat. I could catch up with him and Kerschbaumer, and had more power to set things right in the last lap. This surely boosts my self confidence at the beginning of the season. I'm in great shape."

Fontana said, "I had a flat with two and a half laps to go and could not catch up with Manuel after that. But leading up to that point, I felt great and did a lot of the leading work. It was an important test with the World Cup starting in one week. It could have gone better, but I'm generally happy."

Along with Tiberi and Markt, the trio tried to get close to Gehbauer. The Austrian had enough of a lead and energy left, to hold on to his third place all through the finish. Fumic completed the race with a final time of 1:38:04. He distanced himself from Fontana by 40 seconds. Third place went to Gehbauer at 2:45. Kerschbaumer placed fourth.

Gehbauer said, "It was a very hard but great race with many spectators and a wonderful atmosphere. I completed the entire race on my own, which was very hard. Unfortunately, my teammate Kerschbaumer had a flat. I knew, that I was closely chased, but didn’t risk anything in the last downhill as I had a large lead."

Kerschbaumer said, "I fell from third to sixth place due to my flat. Nevertheless, I realized that I am in great shape. My preparation is usually not so far ahead at the beginning of the season. The course suits me, but Nals seems to be cursed: third time fourth place. I'd be pleased if things stayed like this next week in South Africa."


Four-time Swiss Champion Katrin Leumann won the women's cross country race. It was her first victory in Nals. The 32-year-old from Riehen in the canton of the city of Basel sent the eliminator world champion Alexandra Engen from Sweden to second place with a lead of 18 seconds Three-time Nals winner Gunn-Rita Dahle crossed the finish line in third place, 46 seconds behind the winner and 27 seconds ahead of record holder Eva Lechner, who was the one to set the rhythm from the start all the way through the fourth lap.

However, the race was decided in the last round. Leumann attacked, passed the two leading riders Lechner and Dahle and took off. Engen pushed hard and caught up, too. She managed to pass Dahle Flesjaa and Lechner in the last downhill crossing the finish line as the second-fastest woman.

"I was able to catch up with the leading duo in the last lap. I expected them to attack or prepare for the finishing sprint. But then I realized, that they didn't have it in them to race any faster," said Leumann. "They let me push ahead, which gave me energy and motivation. I raced very carefully in the last downhill to make sure nothing bad happened."

Engen said, "I simply wanted to ride a good race and gave it my all to follow through on my strategy. I realized at some point, that I am getting closer to the leading riders. That is when I pushed even harder, catching up on the last downhill. Luckily, I am a good sprinter."

Dahle Flesjaa said, "We competed for every meter. I am pleased with my placing. I really needed this competition ahead of the World Cup kick-off. I lost little time on the downhill, but all uphills were very hard for me. A great race with many spectators. Katrin fully deserved to win here."

Lechner said, "I ran out of air at some point. I noticed, that I didn’t have a lot of energy left, particularly in the last round. Nevertheless, I still hope to be ready for the World Cup next week."

Engen and Federspiel win eliminator

On the eve of the cross country, racers contested an eliminator in the center of the town of Nals. Daniel Federspiel won this event for the fifth time in a row. Second place went to Italian National Champion Elia Silvestri and third to Sepp Freiburghaus from Switzerland.

A thrilling final in the women's race was dominated by the current World Champion and World Cup overall winner Alexandra Engen from Sweden ahead of Eva Lechner and Lisa Mitterbauer.

Full Results (for cross country)

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Manuel Fumic (Ger) 1:38:04  
2 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) 0:00:40  
3 Alexander Gehbauer (Aut) 0:02:46  
4 Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Ita) 0:02:47  
5 Andrea Tiberi (Ita) 0:02:48  
6 Karl Markt (Aut) 0:02:52  
7 Luca Braidot (Ita) 0:04:38  
8 Johannes Schweiggl (Ita) 0:04:47  
9 Fabian Rabensteiner (Ita) 0:05:02  
10 Anton Cooper (NZl) 0:05:15  
11 Christoph Soukup (Aut) 0:05:44  
12 Anton Sintsov (Rus) 0:06:15  
13 Cristian Cominelli (Ita) 0:06:18  
14 Martino Fruet (Ita) 0:06:21  
15 Gioele Bertolini (Ita)    
16 Simon Scheiber (Aut) 0:06:58  
17 Umberto Corti (Ita) 0:07:47  
18 Gregor Raggl (Aut)    
19 Sebastian Carstensen Fini (Den) 0:08:09  
20 Miguel Martinez (Fra) 0:08:18  
21 Christian Helmig (Lux) 0:08:38  
22 Andrea Righettini (Ita) 0:09:26  
23 Keegan Swenson (USA) 0:10:10  
24 Jacopo Billi (Ita) 0:10:18  
25 Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) 0:10:51  
26 Matiss Preimanis (Lat) 0:12:06  
27 Giuseppe Lamastra (Ita) 0:12:39  
28 Lorenzo Samparisi (Ita) 0:12:59  
29 Robbert De Nijs (Ned)    
30 Markus Preiss (Aut)    
31 Maximilian Maier (Ger)    
32 Krystof Bogar (Cze)    
33 Jan Vastl (Cze)    
34 Federico Barri (Ita)    
35 Philipp Wetzelberger (Aut)    
36 Michael Mayer (Aut)    
37 Philipp Bertsch (Ger)    
38 Elias Hagspiel (Aut)    
39 Mattia Setti (Ita)    
40 Andrea Cina (Ita)    
41 Marian Pablo Burkhardt (Ger)    
42 Luca Gandola (Ita)    
43 Tommaso Caneva (Ita)    
44 Georg Egger (Ger)    
45 Bart De Vocht (Bel)    
46 Lorenzo Pellegrini (Ita)    
47 Zdenek Vobecky (Cze)    
48 Denis Fumarola (Ita)    
49 Michael Spoegler (Ita)    
50 Edoardo Bonetto (Ita)    
51 Maximilian Vieider (Ita)    
52 Matthias Grick (Aut)    
53 Kristofers Racenajs (Lat)    
54 Matteo Olivotto (Ita)    
55 Alberto Rossi (Ita)    
56 Daniel Voitl (Ger)    
57 Marco Bui (Ita)    
58 Niels Rasmussen (Den)    
59 Mattia Penna (Ita)    
60 Thomas Paccagnella (Ita)    
61 Jeroen Van Eck (Ned)    
62 Jakob Hartmann (Ger)    
63 Sven Strähle (Ger)    
64 Fabian Costa (Aut)    
65 Franco Nicolas Adaos Alvarez (Chi)    
66 Jonas Müller (Ger)    
67 Davide Clerici (Ita)    
68 Simone Vecchia (Ita)    
69 Stefano Bollardini (Ita)    
70 Max Foidl (Aut)    
71 Davide Simone Ferrero (Ita)    
72 Davide Nardei (Ita)    
73 Marco Ticco (Ita)    
74 Petr Koudelka (Cze)    
75 Florian Gruber (Aut)    
76 Matteo Mandatori (Ita)    
77 Thomas Forer (Ita)    
78 Emanuele Crisi (Ita)    
79 Simone Piccoli (Ita)    
80 Louis Wolf (Ger)    
81 Davide Finetto (Ita)    
82 Elia Silvestri (Ita)    
83 Milan Damek (Cze)    
84 Philipp Heigl (Aut)    
85 Giulio Valfre (Ita)    
86 Jodok Salzmann (Aut)    
87 Eros Capati (Ita)    
88 Lukas Kaufmann (Aut)    
89 Elia Mazzurega (Ita)    
90 Sascha Pollak (Aut)    
91 Filip Kubin (Cze)    
92 Simone Moletta (Ita)    
93 Christoph Hochmüller (Aut)    
94 Eric Polansek (Aut)    
95 Michele Gaeta (Ita)    
96 Lukasz Szymczuk (Pol)    
97 Alessio Forgnoli (Ita)    
98 Stephan Hochmüller (Aut)    
99 Antonio Fusco (Ita)    
100 Reinis Andrijanovs (Lat)    
101 Mattia Chesi (Ita)    
102 Jure Onesti (Ita)    
Elite women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Katrin Leumann (Swi) 1:26:04  
2 Alexandra Engen (Swe) 0:00:18  
3 Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) 0:00:20  
4 Eva Lechner (Ita) 0:00:47  
5 Elisabeth Osl (Aut) 0:01:04  
6 Tereza Hurikova (Cze) 0:01:54  
7 Lisa Rabensteiner (Ita) 0:02:54  
8 Serena Calvetti (Ita) 0:05:01  
9 Lisa Mitterbauer (Aut) 0:05:38  
10 Karla Stepanova (Cze) 0:06:42  
11 Emilie Collomb (Ita) 0:08:24  
12 Anne Terpstra (Ned) 0:09:13  
13 Lucie Vesela (Cze) 0:09:57  
14 Barbora Machulkova (Cze) 0:11:43  
15 Alessia Bulleri (Ita) 0:14:27  
16 Giulia Gaspardino (Ita) 0:17:10  
17 Marta Turobos (Pol)    
18 Jitka Skarnitzlova (Cze)    
19 Serena Tasca (Ita)    
20 Viktoria Zeller (Aut)    
21 Jenny Fontana (Ita)    
22 Karolina Cierluk (Pol)    
23 Alessandra Signo (Ita)    
24 Arianna Cusini (Ita)    
Junior men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Simon Andreassen (Den) 1:16:13  
2 Luca Schwarzbauer (Ger) 0:00:13  
3 Hugo Pigeon (Fra) 0:00:31  
4 Moreno Pellizzon (Ita) 0:02:21  
5 Filippo Colombo (Swi) 0:02:25  
6 Alessandro Saravalle (Ita)    
7 Jan Rajchart (Cze) 0:02:29  
8 Robin Hofmann (Ger) 0:02:45  
9 David Horwarth (Ger) 0:02:46  
10 Kenneth Coomans (Bel) 0:03:05  
11 Maximilian Brandl (Ger) 0:03:19  
12 Alessandro Naspi (Ita) 0:03:39  
13 Anders Bregnhoj (Den) 0:03:46  
14 Milan Vader (Ned) 0:04:29  
15 Wout Alleman (Bel) 0:04:38  
16 Tobias Eise (Ger) 0:04:41  
17 Pierre De Froidmont (Bel) 0:04:51  
18 Felix Ritzinger (Aut) 0:04:58  
19 Dario Thoma (Swi) 0:05:07  
20 Robin Gemperle (Swi) 0:05:27  
21 Lars Koch (Ger) 0:05:32  
22 Lukasz Winiarski (Pol) 0:05:36  
23 Roel Van Der Stegen (Ned)    
24 Michele Marescutti (Ita) 0:05:56  
25 Niels Derveaux (Bel) 0:06:01  
26 Matej Prudek (Cze) 0:06:02  
27 Léo L'homme (Swi) 0:06:06  
28 Juri Cerqui (Ita) 0:06:20  
29 Lukas Kobes (Cze) 0:06:21  
30 Marton Dina (Hun) 0:07:04  
31 Moritz Zoister (Aut) 0:07:05  
32 Daniel Tassetti (Ita) 0:07:06  
33 Filip Srovnalik (Cze) 0:07:22  
34 Andries Baert (Bel) 0:07:24  
35 Marceli Boguslawski (Pol) 0:07:34  
36 Rob Vanden Haesevelde (Bel) 0:08:06  
37 Rudy Molinari (Ita) 0:08:08  
38 Dominique Sitta (Ita) 0:08:27  
39 Mike Hermann (Swi) 0:08:29  
40 Simon Schneller (Ger) 0:08:44  
41 Wiebe Scholten (Ned) 0:08:51  
42 Stefano Sala (Ita) 0:08:52  
43 Filip Helta (Pol) 0:09:00  
44 Paul Oberrauch (Ita) 0:09:08  
45 Benjamin Inauen (Swi) 0:09:10  
46 Dominik Gschnell (Ita) 0:09:11  
47 Moritz Bscherer (Aut) 0:09:33  
48 Toni Partheymüller (Ger) 0:09:51  
49 Louis Jamin (Bel) 0:09:58  
50 Alessandro Monni (Ita) 0:09:59  
51 Mikkel Juhler (Den) 0:10:09  
52 Marco Liporace (Ita) 0:10:11  
53 Davide Pinato (Ita) 0:10:14  
54 Oscar Vairetti (Ita) 0:10:23  
55 Emil Toudal (Den) 0:10:53  
56 Robin Wendelen (Bel) 0:11:02  
57 Lorenzo Dal Piva (Ita) 0:11:03  
58 Alberto Lenzi (Ita) 0:11:07  
59 Nehuen Truc (Ita) 0:11:08  
60 Gabriele Guerri (Ita) 0:11:19  
61 Peter Zupancic (Slo) 0:11:26  
62 Andrea Dori (Ita)    
63 Perry Van Den Bos (Ned) 0:11:27  
64 Attila Erdelyi (Hun) 0:11:52  
65 Filippo Innocenti (Ita) 0:11:54  
66 Alessandro Di Santo (Ita) 0:11:55  
67 Daniel Schemmel (Aut) 0:11:58  
68 Matyas Krumphanzl (Cze) 0:12:03  
69 Armin Embacher (Aut) 0:12:05  
70 Jonas Lindberg (Den) 0:12:06  
71 Kasper Seiersen (Den) 0:12:09  
72 Maximilian Ribarich (Aut) 0:12:11  
73 Jaroslav Vojir (Cze)    
74 Emil Falck Giraldi (Den) 0:12:28  
75 Philip Handl (Aut) 0:12:47  
76 Sergio Costa (Ita) 0:12:54  
77 Luis Blattner (Ger) 0:12:56  
78 Mateusz Banas (Pol) 0:12:57  
79 Luca Maurici (Ita) 0:13:13  
80 Simone Strazzacappa (Ita) 0:13:20  
81 Roberto Faustini (Ita)    
82 Moritz Plaikner (Ita) 0:13:21  
83 Michele Cappelli (Ita) 0:13:22  
84 Tiziano Cicuzza (Ita) 0:13:23  
85 Alessandro Zoppelli (Ita) 0:13:30  
86 Cristian Perico (Ita) 0:13:35  
87 Kevin Maderegger (Aut) 0:13:38  
88 Vaclav Dolezal (Cze) 0:14:00  
89 Andreas Egger (Ger) 0:14:04  
90 Stefano Cerisara (Ita) 0:14:37  
91 Giuseppe Ardizzone (Ita)    
92 Luca Garino (Ita)    
93 Riccardo Gobbo (Ita)    
94 Alessio Agostinelli (Ita)    
95 Robin Bianchetti (Ita)    
96 Zdenek Jilek (Cze)    
97 Max Ruckriegel (Ger)    
98 Štepán Schubert (Cze)    
99 Michele Cucchi (Ita)    
100 Davide Pozzi (Ita)    
101 Mainardo Forcella (Ita)    
102 Armin Gamper (Ita)    
103 Marco Pozzo (Ita)    
104 Anton Albrecht (Ger)    
105 Davide Barbero (Ita)    
106 Michele Mazzieri (Ita)    
107 Eddy Zordan (Ita)    
108 Damiano Ferrigno (Ita)    
109 Tommaso Patrucco (Ita)    
110 Andrea Roccon (Ita)    
111 Felix Haller (Ita)    
112 Nicolo Zoccarato (Ita)    
113 Marco Thalhofer (Ger)    
114 Niccolo Vacchina (Ita)    
115 Lukas Kunt (Cze)    
116 Gregorio Cerutti (Ita)    
117 Maximilian Pettinger (Aut)    
118 Kevin Leidi (Ita)    
119 Niels Van Pol (Bel)    
120 Roman Gufler (Ita)    
121 Giovanni Beltrami (Ita)    
122 Davide Zambelli (Ita)    
123 Mauro Caneva (Ita)    
124 Marco Carozzo (Ita)    
125 Herman Larsson (Swe)    
126 Enrico Bressan (Ita)    
127 Alessandro Cattaneo (Ita)    
128 Mario Rainoldi Daniele (Ita)    
129 Luca Cerri (Ita)    
130 Federico Alimi (Ita)    
131 Nicola Pizzigoni (Ita)    
132 Nadir Venturi (Ita)    
133 Julian Biedermann (Ger)    
134 Luca Cina (Ita)    
135 Simone Tarchini (Ita)    
136 Kevin Rasera (Ita)    
137 Matteo Tagliapietra (Ita)    
138 Andrea Moro (Ita)    
139 Federico Mazza (Ita)    
140 Alberto Dagro (Ita)    
141 Andrea Almonti (Ita)    
142 Dominik Weiss (Ita)    
143 Stefano Bertamini (Ita)    
144 Giovanni Quaini (Ita)    
145 Matteo Abate (Ita)    
146 Giacomo Omati Corbellini (Ita)    
147 Michael Affini (Ita)    
148 Daniele Lievore (Ita)    
149 Giovanni Calgaro (Ita)    
150 Krzysztof Bujalski (Pol)    
151 Matteo Zanon (Ita)    
152 Dominik Gamperl (Aut)    
153 Daniele Capati (Ita)    
154 Mirco Cioni (Ita)    
Junior women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Greta Weithaler (Ita) 1:14:48  
2 Barbora Prudkova (Cze) 0:02:17  
3 Isla Short (GBr) 0:02:58  
4 Chiara Teocchi (Ita) 0:03:33  
5 Antonia Daubermann (Ger) 0:04:22  
6 Bianca Haw (RSA) 0:05:44  
7 Jana Czeczinkarova (Cze) 0:05:55  
8 Frances Du Toit (RSA) 0:06:06  
9 Lisa Neumüller (Ger) 0:06:26  
10 Nadja Heigl (Aut) 0:07:03  
11 Sarah Bauer (Ger) 0:07:36  
12 Rebecca Gariboldi (Ita) 0:07:54  
13 Felicitas Geiger (Ger) 0:08:56  
14 Hannah Grobert (Ger) 0:09:31  
15 Coline Goedert (Fra) 0:09:49  
16 Denisa Bartizalova (Cze) 0:10:47  
17 Anna Jakobs (Ger) 0:11:23  
18 Anna Madsen (Den) 0:11:43  
19 Mirjam Kuhn (Ger) 0:12:34  
20 Elena Torcianti (Ita) 0:13:48  
21 Julia Zeininger (Aut) 0:14:08  
22 Lilla Megyaszai (Hun) 0:15:25  
23 Silvia De Piaz (Ita) 0:15:52  
24 Gabriela Wojtyla (Pol) 0:16:58  
25 Beatrice Prataviera (Ita) 0:19:18  
26 Julia Wieltschnig (Aut) 0:20:37  
27 Daniela Brezinova (Cze) 0:21:00  
28 Rita Meda (Ita) 0:22:14  
29 Vittoria Spada (Ita)    
30 Greta Bruguier (Ita)    
31 Agnieszka Jastrzebska (Pol)    
32 Giorgia Novero (Ita)    
33 Dorotea Gilioli Viola (Ita)