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Leumann sprints to win in European cross country championships

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Riders warm up on trainers

Riders warm up on trainers
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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Eva Lechner (Italy) nears the finish

Eva Lechner (Italy) nears the finish
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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Eva Lechner (Italy) wraps up her final lap.

Eva Lechner (Italy) wraps up her final lap.
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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The two leaders prepare to sprint to the finish.

The two leaders prepare to sprint to the finish.
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) sets up her sprint

Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) sets up her sprint
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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Katrin Leumann (Switzerland) leads the elite women's race in Haifa.

Katrin Leumann (Switzerland) leads the elite women's race in Haifa.
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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The women race in Haifa, Israel.

The women race in Haifa, Israel.
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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Esther Suss (Switzerland)

Esther Suss (Switzerland)
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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Katrin Leumann (Switzerland) rides in the front

Katrin Leumann (Switzerland) rides in the front
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) leads Eva Lechner (Italy)

Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) leads Eva Lechner (Italy)
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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Gunn Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway)

Gunn Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway)
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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Anna Szafraniec (Poland)

Anna Szafraniec (Poland)
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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Lene Byberg (Norway)

Lene Byberg (Norway)
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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Hanna Klein (Germany) warms up

Hanna Klein (Germany) warms up
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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The Italians ready for the race.

The Italians ready for the race.
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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The Germans put in a pre-race effort to get their legs going.

The Germans put in a pre-race effort to get their legs going.
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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Elite women's podium

Elite women's podium
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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Annika Langvad (Denmark) spins her legs before the race.

Annika Langvad (Denmark) spins her legs before the race.
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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Elisabeth Osl (Austria) rides to a top 10 finish

Elisabeth Osl (Austria) rides to a top 10 finish
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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 Sabine Spitz (Germany)

Sabine Spitz (Germany)
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) leads Esther Suss (Switzerland)

Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) leads Esther Suss (Switzerland)
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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Katrin Leumann (Switzerland)

Katrin Leumann (Switzerland)
(Image credit: Hilton Meyer)
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Eszter Erdelyi (Hungary) descends.

Eszter Erdelyi (Hungary) descends.
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Eva Lechner (Italy) rides toward a bronze medal.

Eva Lechner (Italy) rides toward a bronze medal.
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Katrin Leumann on her way to a win for a Switzerland.

Katrin Leumann on her way to a win for a Switzerland.
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Sabine Spitz (Germany) leads Esther Suss (Swizterland)

Sabine Spitz (Germany) leads Esther Suss (Swizterland)
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Aleksandra Dawidowicz (Poland)

Aleksandra Dawidowicz (Poland)
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Riders steeled themselves against the heat.

Riders steeled themselves against the heat.
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Annika Langvad (Denmark) rides with the skyline of Haifa in the background.

Annika Langvad (Denmark) rides with the skyline of Haifa in the background.
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Daniela Veronesi (San Marino) runs her bike.

Daniela Veronesi (San Marino) runs her bike.
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Maria Osl (Austria)

Maria Osl (Austria)
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Poland's Anna Szafraniec runs a section

Poland's Anna Szafraniec runs a section
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Gunn Rita Dahle Flesjaa races for Norway

Gunn Rita Dahle Flesjaa races for Norway
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Sabine Spitz (Germany) on her way to fourth.

Sabine Spitz (Germany) on her way to fourth.
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Anna Szafraniec (Poland) leads Eszter Erdelyi (Hungary)

Anna Szafraniec (Poland) leads Eszter Erdelyi (Hungary)
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Oxana Rybakova (Russia) shows how to ride through the trees.

Oxana Rybakova (Russia) shows how to ride through the trees.
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Eva Lechner (Italy) rides up a climb.

Eva Lechner (Italy) rides up a climb.
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) rides to a silver medal.

Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) rides to a silver medal.
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Inbar Ronen (Israel) was cheered on by the spectators.

Inbar Ronen (Israel) was cheered on by the spectators.
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) on her way to second place

Maja Wloszczowska (Poland) on her way to second place
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Eszter Erdelyi (Hungary)

Eszter Erdelyi (Hungary)
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Inbar Ronen (Israel) races on home soil.

Inbar Ronen (Israel) races on home soil.
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Katrin Leumann (Switzerland) on her way to another gold medal for Switzerland.

Katrin Leumann (Switzerland) on her way to another gold medal for Switzerland.
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)
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Maria Osl (Austria)

Maria Osl (Austria)
(Image credit: Ilan Shacham)

The elite women's race was by far the race of the week with the battle coming right down to the line with Switzerland's Katrin Leumann taking the victory.

It was fast from the start, with three riders coming over the line together after the first lap. The experienced Esther Suss came (Swizterland) passed the line for the first time in the lead along with teammate Leumann and Italian Eva Lechner.

Throughout the race, riders swapped places, but the one to watch was Sabine Spitz (Germany), who seemed to be gunning for the podium after a slow start. Unfortunately, she left her final surge a bit late, but she did catch and pass Suss en route to a fourth place.

Lechner held on for a well deserved third place while the battle royale was taking place up ahead.

Poland's Maja Wloszczowska showed her strength after a slow start and worked her way to the front of the race while Leumann slipped to second, but was riding consistently throughout. The Swiss racer had apparently left her best for last because she not only closed the final five-second gap but still had enough left in the tank for a sprint finish in the end.

Leumann gave a bike throw that would make any sprinter pround and climbed to the top step of the podium with Wloszczowska in second and Lechner in third.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katrin Leumann (Switzerland)1:47:26
2Maja Wloszczowska (Poland)
3Eva Lechner (Italy)0:00:23
4Sabine Spitz (Germany)0:00:35
5Esther Suss (Switzerland)0:00:53
6Lene Byberg (Norway)0:01:14
7Nathalie Schneitter (Switzerland)0:02:52
8Aleksandra Dawidowicz (Poland)0:03:57
9Elisabeth Osl (Austria)0:05:33
10Gunn Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway)0:05:46
11Laura Turpijn (Netherlands)0:06:15
12Anja Gradl (Germany)0:07:18
13Janka Stevkova (Slovakia)0:07:58
14Rocio Gamonal Ferrera (Spain)0:08:56
15Annika Langvad (Denmark)0:09:52
16Anna Villar Argente (Spain)0:09:59
17Evelyn Staffler (Italy)0:10:48
18Hanna Klein (Germany)0:12:30
19Daniela Veronesi (San Marino)0:12:38
20Magdalena Sadlecka (Poland)0:13:52
21Stefanie Wiedner (Austria)0:14:22
22Maria Osl (Austria)0:15:41
23Oxana Rybakova (Russian Federation)0:15:59
24Anna Szafraniec (Poland)0:16:18
25Eszter Erdelyi (Hungary)0:16:55
26Margarita Fullana Riera (Spain)0:17:54
27Nina Homovec (Slovenia)0:18:24
-1lapKrompets Natalia (Ukraine)
-1lapMaaris Meier (Estonia)
-1lapInbar Ronen (Israel)
-2lapsElena Gogoleva (Russian Federation)
-2lapsIdit Shub (Israel)
DNFBlaza Klemencic (Slovenia)
DNFTereza Hurikova (Czech Republic)

 

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