World Cup series kicks off with Gran Canaria marathon this weekend

Pia Sundstedt

Pia Sundstedt (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

The first round of the World Cup marathon series will happen this weekend in Gran Canaria. Organizers have been confirming the participation of various racers, who will contest the 90km event. Among them are two top riders from the Gewiss - Bianchi team: Pia Sundstedt from Finland and Thomas Dietsch of France.

Sundstedt, also a cross country ski marathon racer, finished the year 2006, one of the best seasons of her career. She was crowned Finnish National Marathon Champion and European Marathon Champion. She also finished fifth at the Worlds. The 33-year-old Dietsch was European Champion in the marathon in 2003 and 2004.

Meanwhile, Team ALB GOLD announced the participation of German marathon master Hannes Genze. He will take on the likes of roadie Gilbert Simoni. Genze expects technical skills will play a role--a recent storm left some sections of the course washed out and with littered loose debris.

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