Kulhavy wins marathon world championships

Olympic cross country champ beats past champions Lakata and Sauser

2012 Olympic gold medallist and Czech mountain biking star Jaroslav Kulhavy added the UCI MTB Marathon World Championships title to his list of international titles when he powered to an emphatic win at a sun soaked Cascades MTB Park on Sunday in South Africa.

Kulhavy was satisfied with the way his race had gone and being able to tick off the marathon world title was something that he was relieved to be able to do, and he explained his satisfaction following a disappointing season thus far.

"I am very happy because it was the last title that I didn't have and really wanted to get.
"Today was a big day for me, and I was satisfied because this season hasn't been that good for me. I was injured and had a lot of technical problems at cross country races."

The race was characterised by the constant changing of positions as the riders jostled in an attempt to get close to Kulhavy, but the Specialized Racing rider showed good form to stave off the attacks and claim his maiden marathon world championships title.

The chopping and changing resulted in an enthralling race, but following a break from the Czech star after the fifth check point, he put the hammer down as the rest of the field were unable to match his power over the second half of the course.

"It all went to plan today even though the race was really hard," Kulhavy said following his win. "I decided to attack after the fifth feed zone on the downhill and got a minute gap. I pushed hard to the finish after that and didn't look back."

Following a slow start, second place finisher Alban Lakata patiently manoeuvred his way through the field and established himself at the front of the field toward the end of the race. The Austrian star appreciated the performance from Kulhavy and admitted that the winner was in a class of his own.

"He (Kulhavy) was unbeatable today," Lakata said. "Getting second behind the Olympic champion and ahead of a three-time world champion Christoph Sauser is a great thing for me and I have now got three silver medals and one gold but I am happy about my race today.

"I didn't have any serious mechanicals besides a twisted chain, which only cost me a few seconds so it didn't make any difference in the end."

The race had its fair share of drama as defending world champion Christoph Sauser suffered a substantial mechanical which cost him a chunk of time and effectively ended his bid to defend his title, but he proceeded to work his way back up the field to finish in third.

"First of all congratulations to Jaroslav, it was an awesome ride from him and he showed his form at Euro's two weeks ago," said Sauser.

"It was all good today until the portage section of the course, and I was on and off the bike the whole time. When I was carrying my bike and hit a rock with my chainring and it took me forever to get it back working," Sauser said.

The South African charge was led by two-time South African marathon champion James Reid, who ended 17th overall when he crossed the line ahead of fellow South African star Rourke Croeser. Reid was quick to describe the challenge of racing against the best riders in the world.

"It was brutal out there; it was a straight out sufferfest from the gun. I didn't have a great grid position but I managed to get into the top 10 in the first three kilometres which was about the highlight.

"The guys in the top 10 are in a different league and if you try and go with them you are going to be a firework, which I just avoided," Reid said.

Taking part in a world class event on home soil was something that Reid knew was going to work in his favour and having raced the national championships at the same venue a few weeks prior to Sunday he had a good idea of what to expect.

"It wasn't the most ideal build up but considering we raced this track two weeks ago it was solid.

"The best way to describe would be a cross country race of 90 minutes with three hours bolted onto the end, that's how hard these guys go out at the start," the Trek SA rider said.

Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic)4:15:57 
2Alban Lakata (Austria)0:03:18 
3Christoph Sauser (Switzerland)0:04:14 
4Urs Huber (Switzerland)0:06:59 
5Jukka Vastaranta (Finland)0:07:28 
6Bartlomiej Wawak (Poland)0:07:41 
7Roel Paulissen (Belgium)0:08:08 
8Robert Mennen (Germany)0:09:47 
9Periklis Ilias (Greece)0:10:57 
10Moritz Milatz (Germany)0:11:12 
11Jiri Novak (Czech Republic)0:13:38 
12Tiago Jorge Oliveira Ferreira (Portugal)0:14:28 
13Fredrik Ericsson (Sweden)0:15:30 
14Tony Longo (Italy)0:16:04 
15Simon Stiebjahn (Germany)0:16:42 
16Hector Leonardo Paez Leon (Colombia)0:17:24 
17James Reid (South Africa)0:18:12 
18Rourke Croeser (South Africa)0:18:56 
19Stefan Sahm (Germany)  
20Cory Wallace (Canada)0:19:29 
21Jesus Del Nero Montes (Spain)0:21:10 
22Thomas Dietsch (France)0:21:31 
23Xavier Dafflon (Switzerland)0:22:05 
24Johnny Cattaneo (Italy)0:23:36 
25Lukas Buchli (Switzerland)0:25:00 
26Jiri Hudecek (Czech Republic)0:25:27 
27Manuel Pliem (Austria)0:26:21 
28Lars Granberg (Norway)0:26:44 
29Calle Friberg (Sweden)0:26:57 
30Kevin Evans (South Africa)0:27:37 
31Matous Ulman (Czech Republic)0:29:13 
32Juan Pedro Trujillo Hernandez (Spain)0:30:05 
33Luca Ronchi (Italy)0:30:14 
34Frantisek Rabon (Czech Republic)0:31:09 
35Daniele Mensi (Italy)0:31:56 
36Johannes Schweiggl (Italy)0:32:09 
37Nico Bell (South Africa)0:33:39 
38Darren Lill (South Africa)0:34:04 
39Adriaan Louw (South Africa)0:35:42 
40Michiel Van Aelbroeck (Belgium)0:37:04 
41Renay Groustra (South Africa)0:37:40 
42Andrew Blair (Australia)0:38:21 
43Juri Ragnoli (Italy)0:39:39 
44Remi Laffont (France)0:44:51 
45Steffen Thum (Germany)0:44:59 
46Ben Melt Swanepoel (South Africa)0:45:43 
47Heiko Redecker (Namibia)0:47:31 
48Andrew Hill (South Africa)0:50:04 
49Guylin Van Den Berg (South Africa)0:50:35 
50Yannick Lincoln (Mauritius)0:51:58 
51Yuki Ikeda (Japan)0:52:30 
52Simon Gegenheimer (Germany)0:53:06 
53Ajay Pandit Chhetri (Nepal)0:54:10 
54Phetetso Monese (Lesotho)0:55:21 
55Jason Meaton (South Africa)0:55:32 
56Greig Knox (South Africa)0:57:55 
57Waylon Woolcock (South Africa)0:58:42 
58Morgan Pilley (Australia)0:59:25 
59David Low (South Africa)0:59:55 
60Jesus Nakada (Peru)1:03:55 
61Timothy Hammond (South Africa)1:04:13 
62Stephan Reyneke (South Africa)1:07:50 
63Sipho Madolo (South Africa)1:10:58 
64Timothy Carleton (Canada)1:11:19 
65Benjamin Oesterle (Germany)1:11:36 
66Timo Cooper (South Africa)1:14:08 
67Barend Burger (South Africa)1:15:07 
68Victor Ancco (Peru)1:17:04 
69Ronald Beckers (Belgium)1:17:38 
70Raj Shrestha (Nepal)1:19:25 
71Jan Preus (Germany)1:21:46 
72Narayan Gopal Maharjan (Nepal)1:23:02 
73Justin Price (New-Zealand)1:29:41 
74Christopher Wolhuter (South Africa)1:30:33 
75Julian Kress (Germany)1:31:03 
76Thibault Sabatier (France)1:55:58 
77Teboho Khantsi (Lesotho)1:56:02 
DNFGabriel Combrinck (South Africa)  
DNFBuddhi Bahadur Tamang (Nepal)  
DNFSamuele Porro (Italy)  
DNFRalph Naef (Switzerland)  
DNFDamiano Ferraro (Italy)  
DNFAdrian Brzozka (Poland)  
DNFGert Heyns (South Africa)  
DNFTim Bohme (Germany)  
DNFKarl Platt (Germany)  
DNFKristian Hynek (Czech Republic)  
DNFBradley Stroberg (South Africa)  

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