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Langvad storms to marathon title

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Elisabeth Brandau (Germany) leads the women's field

Elisabeth Brandau (Germany) leads the women's field
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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Sabine Spitz (Germany) finishes the marathon with another medal

Sabine Spitz (Germany) finishes the marathon with another medal
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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Sabine Spitz, Annika Langvad, Esther Suss

Sabine Spitz, Annika Langvad, Esther Suss
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)
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Annika Langvad (Denmark) wins the women's marathon world championship in Montebelluna, Italy

Annika Langvad (Denmark) wins the women's marathon world championship in Montebelluna, Italy
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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Sabine Spitz (Germany) finishes second.

Sabine Spitz (Germany) finishes second.
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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2010 marathon world champion Esther Süss (Switzerland) finishes third.

2010 marathon world champion Esther Süss (Switzerland) finishes third.
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway) races to seventh place in her namesake race

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway) races to seventh place in her namesake race
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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A delighted Annika Langvad (Denmark) earns the marathon world championship title.

A delighted Annika Langvad (Denmark) earns the marathon world championship title.
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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A victorious Annika Langvad (Denmark)

A victorious Annika Langvad (Denmark)
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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Elite women's podium at marathon Worlds

Elite women's podium at marathon Worlds
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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Sabine Spitz (Germany) in second, Annika Langvad (Denmark) in first, and Esther Süss (Switzerland) in third

Sabine Spitz (Germany) in second, Annika Langvad (Denmark) in first, and Esther Süss (Switzerland) in third
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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Sabine Spitz (Germany) in second, Annika Langvad (Denmark) in first, and Esther Süss (Switzerland) in third

Sabine Spitz (Germany) in second, Annika Langvad (Denmark) in first, and Esther Süss (Switzerland) in third
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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Colorful confetti at the women's awards ceremony.

Colorful confetti at the women's awards ceremony.
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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The women on the podium

The women on the podium
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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Newly crowned world champion Annika Langvad (Denmark) opens the champagne

Newly crowned world champion Annika Langvad (Denmark) opens the champagne
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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Esther Süss (Switzerland) sets the pace

Esther Süss (Switzerland) sets the pace
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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Annika Langvad (Denmark) stretches her legs

Annika Langvad (Denmark) stretches her legs
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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The elite women on a dusty road

The elite women on a dusty road
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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Pia Sundstedt (Finland)

Pia Sundstedt (Finland)
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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The favorites mark each other

The favorites mark each other
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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Former world champion Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa was Norway's top finisher

Former world champion Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa was Norway's top finisher
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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Sally Bigham (Great Britain)

Sally Bigham (Great Britain)
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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A historic setting for the marathon Worlds

A historic setting for the marathon Worlds
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)
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Elisabeth Brandau (Germany) may be Germany's next top marathoner after Sabine Spitz

Elisabeth Brandau (Germany) may be Germany's next top marathoner after Sabine Spitz
(Image credit: Gunn Rita Marathon – the Granfondo del Montello)

Denmark's Annika Langvad claimed the marathon world championship title with a superbly paced race over Germany's Sabine Spitz and Switzerland's Esther Süss in Montebelluna, Italy, on Sunday.

"I know this win is a little bit of a surprise for some people, but I just felt good and strong throughout the whole race, so that I really believed I could do this," said Langvad, who earned her first elite world title.

The race began coming apart just 7km into the 98.3km race, with Süss setting a brisk pace. The defending champion was joined by Serena Calvetti (Italy), Sally Bigham (Great Britain) and 20 other riders.

Another acceleration by Süss's teammate Ariane Luethi further whittled the lead group to 10, with the main contenders all present in the chase behind the Swiss rider. Among them were favorites like Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway), Süss, Spitz and Pia Sundstedt (Finland).

Luethi gained a maximum 3:27, but 71km into the race she was caught by a chasing group with Spitz, Elisabeth Brandau (Germany), Süss and Langvad. Sundstedt was the first of the next group of chasers while Dahle Flesjaa was dropped.

Langvad then put in an acceleration that the others could not match, and was able to hold on to a sizable lead over Spitz to don the rainbow jersey.

"I managed to stay calm, and as the kilometres to go decreased, I became more motivated," said Langvad. "My decisive attack and my staying in front alone galvanized me even more."

Spitz earned a silver medal, keeping her medal-winning streak alive. She has won a medal at each of the five consecutive marathon Worlds at which she has raced. In 2009, that medal was gold.

"It is great to be here again and have won a medal," said Spitz. "The race was not easy and strongly influenced by the tactics. I think I've now reached my best form."

Dahle Flesjaa, for whom this annual Gunn-Rita marathon is named, finished in seventh place. "I felt very good right until the 20-kilometers-to-go mark, but then surprisingly all my power had gone. If you want to compete for the podium places against such strong competitors, you really need to have an outstanding day," she said after the finish.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Annika Langvad (Denmark)4:20:33
2Sabine Spitz (Germany)0:01:56
3Esther Süss (Switzerland)0:03:23
4Pia Sundstedt (Finland)0:05:32
5Elisabeth Brandau (Germany)0:05:34
6Sally Bigham (Great Britain)0:08:53
7Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway)0:11:15
8Monique Pua Mata (United States Of America)0:11:51
9Birgit Söllner (Germany)0:13:05
10Nina Gaessler (Germany)0:16:32
11Arielle Boek - Van Meurs (Netherlands)0:17:30
12Jane Nussli (Great Britain)0:21:30
13Michela Benzoni (Italy)0:22:57
14Anna Ferrari (Italy)0:27:30
15Lelde Ardave (Latvia)0:30:31
16Daniela Veronesi (Italy)0:32:45
17Roberta Gasparini (Italy)0:33:07
18Emmy Thelberg (Sweden)0:34:15
19Sarah Zimmerlin (Germany)0:35:58
20Annette Griner (Germany)0:36:06
21Sofia Pezzatti (Switzerland)0:39:21
22Alessia Ghezzo (Italy)0:40:17
23Sandra Klomp (Italy)0:41:20
24Andrea Kuster (Switzerland)0:47:55
25Verena Krenslehner (Austria)0:48:02
26Linda Larsen (Norway)0:48:43
27Stefania Zanasca (Italy)0:58:30
28Angelica Edvardsson (Sweden)1:06:15
29Beatrice Balducci (Italy)1:20:49
30Jasmin Erhardt (Germany)1:24:03
DNFIvanda Eiduka (Latvia)
DNFPavlina Sulcova (Czech Republic)
DNFSerena Calvetti (Italy)
DNFFrancesca Bugnone (Italy)
DSQAriane Luethi (Switzerland)

 

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