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Gunn-Rita Dahle and Ralph Näf are European marathon champions

At the European mountain bike marathon championships, Norway’s Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa and Switzerland’s Ralph Näf secured themselves a golden medal each. Both dominated their respective races from the start, not granting their opponents a single chance.

From the start, Dahle Flesjaa drove away at such a tremendous speed that all of her opponents lost contact only a few meters into the race. With her victory at this year’s European marathon championships, she has completed her medal collection: The Norwegian has now won every title in mountain biking. She has become Olympic champion, world champion over the marathon as well as over the classic cross country distance, she has won the World Cup overall several times, the European cross country championship and now the last title that was still missing: that as European champion in the marathon discipline.

Her teammate Ralph Näf showed a similarly superior race in the men’s competition. Early on, he attacked and dropped the other riders - and was not caught again until the finish. For Näf, this was only his second race since a severe crash at the Fort William World Cup forced him out of competition. By winning the European marathon championships, he has become one of the main contenders for next weekend’s European cross country championships; a title he won in 2004.


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