From the start, Dahle Flesjaa drove away at such a tremendous speed that all of her opponents lost contact only a few meters into the race. With her victory at this year’s European marathon championships, she has completed her medal collection: Now the Norwegian has won every title in mountain biking. She has become Olympic champion, world champion over the marathon as well as over the classic cross country distance, she has won the worldcup overall several times, the European cross country championship and now the last title that was still missing: that as European champion in the marathon discipline.
Her team mate Ralph Näf showed a similarily superior race in the men’s competition. Early on, he attacked and dropped the other riders - and was not caught again until the finish. For Näf, this was only his second race showing after a severe crash at Fort William’s worldcup race had forced him out of competition, following last weekend’s Swiss cross country championships. By winning the European marathon championships, he has become one of the main contenders for next weekend’s European cross country championships. All riders of the «Multivan Merida Biking Team» will be starting at this race, including medal favourites like Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa, José Hermida and Ralph Näf. Dahle Flesjaa is the defending champion, Hermida has won this title in 2004 and Näf one year earlier..
Results European Championships Marathon 2006, Men:1. Ralph Näf (SUI)2. Thomas Stoll (SUI) +2.373. Andreas Kugler (SUI) + 3.024. Roland Stauder (ITA) + 5'195. Johan Pallhuber (ITA) + 6'50"
Results European Championships Marathon 2006, Women:1. Rita Gunn Flesjaa Dahle (NOR)2. Pia Sundstedt (FIN) + 4'323. Dolores Mächler-Rupp (SUI) + 9.034. Elena Giacomuzzi (ITA) + 10.185. Esther Süss (SUI) + 13.31