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Ilias shocks with world championship victory in Ornans

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Elite men's podium at marathon worlds: Moritz Milatz (Germany), Perkias Ilias (Greece), Kristian Hynek (Czech)

Elite men's podium at marathon worlds: Moritz Milatz (Germany), Perkias Ilias (Greece), Kristian Hynek (Czech) (Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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Jochen Kass (Germany)

Jochen Kass (Germany) (Image credit: Multivan Merida Mountain Bike Team)
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Alban Lakata (Austria) finishes up, covered in mud

Alban Lakata (Austria) finishes up, covered in mud (Image credit: Team Topeak-Ergon)
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Robert Mennen (Germany)

Robert Mennen (Germany) (Image credit: Team Topeak-Ergon)
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Alban Lakata (Austria)

Alban Lakata (Austria) (Image credit: Team Topeak-Ergon)
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Wolfram Kurschat (Germany)

Wolfram Kurschat (Germany) (Image credit: Team Topeak-Ergon)
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Jochen Kass (Germany) finishes up

Jochen Kass (Germany) finishes up (Image credit: Multivan Merida Mountain Bike Team)
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Hannes Genze (Germany) in the feed zone

Hannes Genze (Germany) in the feed zone (Image credit: Multivan Merida Mountain Bike Team)
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Hannes Genze (Germany) pushes his bike

Hannes Genze (Germany) pushes his bike (Image credit: Multivan Merida Mountain Bike Team)
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Jochen Kass (Germany)

Jochen Kass (Germany) (Image credit: Multivan Merida Mountain Bike Team)
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Moritz Milatz (Germany) in second on the podium at marathon worlds

Moritz Milatz (Germany) in second on the podium at marathon worlds (Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)

Perikilis Ilias (Greece) created a surprise on Sunday by becoming UCI marathon world champion after having led the men's race from the beginning.

The muddy and very dangerous course at Ornans, in eastern France, played a key role in the distribution of the medals. Saturday's summery weather was replaced by rain and fog, which had a considerable effect on the ground. To obtain the rainbow jersey, a rider had to be both physically and psychologically strong, and to avoid having any significant mechanical problems.

Ilias certainly fulfilled these criteria. At the head of the elite men's race from the start, he maintained that position throughout the whole 84 kilometres.

"I didn't want to breakaway just then, but when I saw that the other weren't following, I didn't hesitate, and kept up my effort," he said.

In spite of two punctures, Ilias kept his lead through to the finish. He ended up 2:27 in front of the German Moritz Milatz who, struggling from the halfway mark had "thought of giving up", before getting it back together over the final kilometres. Czech Kristian Hynek, who crossed the line 2:36 later, took the bronze medal. Swiss rider Christoph Sauser, the defending marathon world champion, failed to make the podium after mechanical problems hampered his shifting for much of the race.  With 30km to go, Sauser's shifting started working again and he moved back up from 15th place to fourth place, 2:58 down on Ilias.

At only 26, Ilias therefore won the greatest victory of his career. He usually concentrates on cross country racing and is a seven-time national champion.  He was 33rd in the Olympic Games this summer.

"I trained very hard, and had a very good feeling during the last few days," he said. "Although I lost my concentration rather during the last 10 kilometres, I held on. It's my first international win, and I'm very happy."

Milatz's second place came after a trying start. "My start was a disaster," said Milatz, 30. "I had to start from relatively far back, because I didn't race marathons this season and therefore had no world ranking points. Only three turns after the start, I had a crash. With the mud on my glasses, I misinterpreted a turn and unfortunately, there was slippery gravel. Fortunately, Markus Bauer waited for me and we were able to quickly make up a few places. When it came to the first rise, suddenly there was the whole field. Then I found my rhythm and overtook but about 100 riders, but of course never knew at what position in the field I was. "

Race notes

2010 marathon world champion Alban Lakata was suffering from stomach issues, and was feeling weak in the lead up to the race. On the day though, he was feeling good, "but then a mechanical meant that I had to throw my strategy out of the window". He finished 22nd.

Full Results
1Periklis Ilias (Greece)4:18:17
2Moritz Milatz (Germany)0:02:28
3Kristian Hynek (Czech Republic)0:02:37
4Christoph Sauser (Switzerland)0:02:58
5Jiri Novak (Czech Republic)0:04:59
6Martin Gujan (Switzerland)0:05:25
7Thomas Dietsch (France)0:06:13
8Alexey Medvedev (Russian Federation)0:06:53
9Tim Bohme (Germany)0:07:05
10Alexandre Moos (Switzerland)0:09:01
11Lukas Buchli (Switzerland)0:10:11
12Robert Mennen (Germany)0:11:45
13Nicola Rohrbach (Switzerland)0:12:23
14Markus Bauer (Germany)0:12:32
15Calle Friberg (Sweden)0:12:51
16Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spain)0:14:49
17Kevin Van Hoovels (Belgium)0:16:14
18Max Knox (South Africa)0:16:21
19Jochen Kass (Germany)0:17:21
20Konny Looser (Switzerland)0:18:26
21Stefan Sahm (Germany)0:18:27
22Alban Lakata (Austria)0:18:54
23Matthias Leisling (Germany)0:20:10
24Hector Leonardo Paez Leon (Colombia)0:20:47
25Michal Lami (Slovakia)0:22:15
26Hannes Genze (Germany)0:22:56
27Juan Pedro Trujillo Hernandez (Spain)0:22:57
28Ruben Almeida (Portugal)0:23:02
29Claus Crone (Denmark)0:29:23
30Kevin Evans (South Africa)0:29:32
31Tony Longo (Italy)0:30:03
32Jérome Chevallier (France)0:31:20
33Damian Perrin (Switzerland)0:31:37
34Jo Thorson Nordskar (Norway)0:32:21
35Hans Becking (Netherlands)0:32:50
36Marcus Nicolai (Germany)0:32:59
37Roland Golderer (Germany)0:33:02
38Rupert Palmberger (Germany)0:33:28
39Jesus Del Nero Montes (Spain)0:33:45
40Erik Skovgaard Knudsen (Denmark)0:36:11
41Stefan Roffler (Switzerland)0:36:44
42Lenart Noc (Slovenia)0:38:56
43Lars Granberg (Norway)0:39:34
44Hermann Pernsteiner (Austria)0:39:35
45Caspar Austa (Estonia)0:41:47
46Uwe Hardter (Germany)0:43:06
47Gregory Pascal (France)0:43:21
48Milton Javier Ramos Gamez (Honduras)0:44:44
49Damiano Ferraro (Italy)0:46:46
50Peeter Pruus (Estonia)0:47:08
51Norbert Wyss (Switzerland)0:47:27
52Sebastian Stark (Germany)0:51:10
53Luca Ronchi (Italy)0:51:23
54Maxime Folco (France)0:54:07
55Andreas Huber (Germany)0:55:29
56Oliver Zurbrugg (Switzerland)0:58:50
57Nico Bell (South Africa)0:59:09
58Manuel Pliem (Austria)0:59:15
59Michael Schuchardt (Germany)1:00:59
60Frans Claes (Belgium)1:01:18
61Tim Dunford (Great Britain)1:02:45
62Motoshi Kadota (Japan)1:07:34
63Frédéric Gombert (France)1:08:03
64Steffen Thum (Germany)1:09:43
65Romain Cleret (France)1:09:55
66Yves Corminboeuf (Switzerland)1:09:56
67Mike Schuler (Switzerland)1:10:47
68Shun Matsumoto (Japan)1:10:53
69Martin Larsen (Denmark)1:10:58
70Martin Foger (Austria)1:11:42
71Mikael Salomonsson (Sweden)1:12:35
72Andrew Blair (Australia)1:13:03
73Dana Weber (United States of America)1:14:20
74Remi Laffont (France)1:14:56
75Mariusz Marszacek (Poland)1:23:05
76Thomas Holtkamp (Germany)1:23:52
77Jan Preus (Germany)1:27:12
78Robert Wittmann (Germany)1:29:03
79Yuki Ikeda (Japan)1:32:34
80Oliver Vonhausen (Germany)1:38:12
81Adrian Jusinski (Poland)1:47:59
82Timothy Carleton (Canada)1:53:15
83Ali Çakas (Turkey)1:55:08
84Yanosuke Fujimoto (Japan)2:15:27
85Michal Ziulek (Poland)2:19:56
86Justin Price (New Zealand)2:20:46
87Bayram Eroglu (Turkey)2:24:40
88Victor Galvez Perez (Chile)2:25:54
89Ioannis Skordas (Greece)2:49:00
90José Juan Trejo Gachuzo (Mexico)3:38:05
91Cesar Trejo Gachuzo (Mexico)3:38:07
DNFAndreas Kugler (Switzerland)
DNFSimon Gegenheimer (Germany)
DNFUrs Huber (Switzerland)
DNFDavid Schöggl (Austria)
DNFKarl Platt (Germany)
DNFLuis Alberto Costa Leao Pinto (Portugal)
DNFSören Nissen (Denmark)
DNFJakob Nimpf (Austria)
DNFArnaud Rapillard (Switzerland)
DNFJuri Ragnoli (Italy)
DNFPiotr Truszczynski (Poland)
DNFMirko Celestino (Italy)
DNFJohnny Cattaneo (Italy)
DNFPhilipp Gerber (Switzerland)
DNFMassimo De Bertolis (Italy)
DNFHansueli Stauffer (Switzerland)
DNFSamuele Porro (Italy)
DNFChristian Kreuchler (Germany)
DNFJhon Jairo Botero Salazar (Colombia)
DNFMarcel Reiser (Germany)
DNFPierre-Geoffroy Plantet (France)
DNFLars Ragnar Manengen (Norway)
DNFAllan Bachmann (Denmark)
DNFJaime Yesid Chia Amaya (Colombia)
DNFDavid George (South Africa)
DNFErki Pütsep (Estonia)
DNFTorsten Marx (Germany)
DNFDaniele Mensi (Italy)
DNFJan Jobanek (Czech Republic)
DNFFlorian Willbold (Germany)
DNFKarl Egloff (Ecuador)
DNFFlorian Thie (Switzerland)
DNFRobby De Bock (Belgium)
DNFWolfram Kurschat (Germany)
DNFVincent Arnaud (France)
DNFThomas Bundgaard Jensen (Denmark)
DNFSergio Mantecon Gutierrez (Spain)
DNFStéphane Tempier (France)
DNFMaxime Marotte (France)
DNFMathias Flückiger (Switzerland)
DNFMarkus Kaufmann (Germany)
DNFHamza Kansiz (Turkey)
DNFHakon Austad (Norway)
DNFBen Thomas (Great Britain)
DNFMickael Szkolnik (France)
DNFSébastien Einsle (Luxembourg)


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