Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Tomas Slovak and Cyrille Carré win the Ardèche Marathon in France. Kiko Vega takes the singles title.

The moments before the start. Photo: Canoë-Kayak Magazine
After the cancellation due to flood conditions in 2012, it was held last Saturday a new edition of the International Marathon of Ardeche, in the French region of Rhône-Alpes , on a medium-low water level, which was no obstacle for a great show.

1,472 paddlers gathered under a fine sunny day that made the delight of competitors and spectators. Among the favorites, big names in the international scene, with all sights set on the current world champion and Olympic medalist in K1 1000m Max Hoff, who returned to his first discipline (river descent) with his teammate Tobias Bong. Having already won the Ardèche three times with Stiefenhofer , he tried again this time commanding a K2 that...
from the early stages took the lead of the race. Behind them, just a few meters away, the new couple formed by Czech Tomas Slovak (K1 champion in former editions) and Frenchman Cyrille Carré , bronze at the recent Copenhagen Marathon Worlds and one of the most versatile paddlers in this last years. However, the thrust of the Germans opened a 30 seconds gap that they could keep up to half race smoothly.

Slovak (front) and Carré (back) celebrate victory. Photo: Le Dauphiné
But in the second half of the race, Hoff began have leg cramps , which made him start losing pace. A few kilometers after, Slovak and Carré closed the gap and were soon counterattacking and seized the Hoff hard time getting enough meters to face on their own the finish line. Just 20 seconds were enough for Carré to get his third title in K2, tying Hoff in overall victories. Following Hoff and Bong, but more than two minutes later, the third position went to the French Benoît Le Roux and Remi Pété (Brest).

Kiko Vega (ESP), winner in singles on a surfski. Photo: Le Dauphiné
In K1, Spanish show with team memebers of SCD Ribadesella taking 5 out of top ten positions. Most of them opted for a surfski boat (and even one sea kayak) and Kiko Vega took the victory ahead of another great Sprint specialist, Slovenian Jost Zakrajsek. Both arrived respectively in positions 12th and 14th in the overall standings . A little further back came in third place Luis Amado Pérez and fourth was his teammate Miguel Llorens. Óscar Hernández in 7th and Pedro Gutiérrez in 9th (after suffering a painful hand injury by the rub of his paddle and losing a few positions in the last kilometers) rounded the perfect race of the Spanish team.

In the women's competition , the K2 title for the French couple by Malaterre and Hostens in a very good time of 1h55' (30th place overall), while in K1 there was a great fight for victory until the final meters, with Deborah Fogel (SUI) and Annika Gierenz (GER) neck by neck, with final victory in the sprint for the Swiss, staying the German in a well-deserved second place. Just one minute behind them , the French Lise Vinet completed the podium.

In Mixed K2 category, victory for brother and sister Achim and Alke Overbeck. The couple from Brunswick rounded the great results of the German national Team with their teammates from Köln  Hoff , Bong and Gierenz, among others.

Here you can check the results of the marathon and of the team challenge.

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