Sauser, Lakata and Illias among favorites for European marathon championship

The reigning marathon world champion and his two predecessors will compete for the European Marathon Championship title on Sunday, May 12, 2013, at the Rothaus Hegau Bike-Marathon in Singen, Germany. Periklis Ilias, Christoph Sauser and Alban Lakata are among the top favorites.

Sauser has been marathon world champion twice - in 2007 and 2011. He was the runner-up at Worlds in 2008 and was the bronze medallist in 2009. Riding most recently with his Specialized teammate Jaroslav Kulhavy in March, Sauser won his fourth Cape Epic, a feat he has accomplished with three different riding partners.

"Right now I'm not training for the champs as I used to, but when I'm at the start, I always give 110 percent," said Sauser, who recently raced the Sea Otter Classic and the BMC Cup cross country in Solothurn.

Sauser was the European marathon champion in 2007, when the race was also held in Germany, in St. Wendel.

Sauser's opponents for the title are no strangers. Periklis Ilias, current marathon world champion, comes with big ambitions to the volcanic landscape near the Bodensee (Lake Constance). Ilias recently won the UCI Marathon World Series round in Roc Laissagais a few weeks ago. The long solo that netted him the 2012 world title is unlikely at the European marathon championships since the 94km course is very susceptible to wind and is quite fast.

Alban Lakata, 2010 marathon world champion and a winner at the Leadville 100, is also one of the favorites. The Austrian is consistently one of the favorites for the title in bigger marathon events.

Defending European marathon champion Kristian Hynek from the Czech Republic proved his top form in 2012 when he won in Jablonev and then he confirmed it with third place at the world championships in Ornans. However, Hynek prefers long and steep climbs.

Germany's best will be represented by local hero Tim Böhme and his Bulls teammate Karl Platt. His Cape Epic teammate Urs Huber will be also part of a strong Swiss team.

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