Two former World champions
and last year‘s European silver medalist are considered the top
favorites for the Marathon European Championships that will take place
on May 13, 2013 as part of the Rothaus Hegau Bike-Marathon in Singen,
Germany. Sabine Spitz and Esther Süss are aiming the Champs in another
way, than Great Britain‘s Sally Bigham does.
"A title is a title." Esther Süss leaves no doubt about her ambition.
The Olympics fifth-place from Switzerland is undoubtedly one of the
best marathon racers in the past five years. She was World Champion in
2010, Vice World Champion in 2009, 2011 and 2012 World Championships
bronze medalist, and European Champion in 2008 and 2010, which is a
clear proof of this.
Sabine Spitz (Haibike) has many similar successes in endurance racing,
but she believes that it will be hard for her to beat the rider from
Eidgenössin. "In my opinion, Esther is the top-favorite for the title.
She is certainly hard to beat," said the rider from Südbadenerin. She
was Marathon World champion in 2009 and won four World Championships
silver medals (in 2007, 2008, 2010 and in 2011). She also won the
Marathon European Championships in St. Wendel in 2007.
The fact that the Marathon European Championships will take place again
in Germany, is also one of the reasons why Sabine Spitz wants to win
her 26th international medal. "Singen is very close from where I live
and the course there suits me. My goal is to win a medal," said the
three-time Olympic medalist Spitz.
The course also suits her Swiss rival from Wheeler iXS team. The
profile is similar to the one in Albstadt where the World Cup opener is
scheduled to take place a week later.
"A good run at European Champs would also be a good motivation for the
World Cup," said Esther Süss. "And in the same time it’s hard training."
The 39-year-old Sally Bigham is also a strong competitor. The rider
from Great Britain is a marathon specialist and was Vice-European
Champion in the past two years, crossing the line behind the Finn Pia
Sundstedt, who ended her career.
"Sally is a very strong on flat sections," said Esther Süss, who also
lives not far from Singen. Bigham‘s team manager Dirk Juckwer from
German Topeak-Ergon team confirmed this. "That's right, Sally is a
world class athlete on the flat and in climbing. She misses some
skills in downhill, but by riding the new 29-inch bike, she was able to
improve. And she is currently in a super good mood," said Juckwer. We
will see Bigham in her best next Sunday. She won a cross-country race
last weekend in the UK and this weekend she is going to test her form
at the Bike Festival in Riva del Garda.
Although the above-mentioned riders are the hot contestants for the
medals, other riders might surprise as well. Polish rider Anna
Szafraniec (Kross Racing Team), who was cross country vice-world
champion in 2002, could also be a tough competitor and so is Swiss
Milena Landtwing, Bigham’s teammate, and Dutchwoman Laura Turpijn. Jane
Nüssli, who rides for the UK but lives in Switzerland might also