Racing News > 2006 Val d'Europe

Barbotin, Finster Win Val d'Europe Marathon in Paris
Smith, Presti remains in first place
Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson

Salomon Skatesmart's Nathalie Barbotin broke away from the main pack about five kilometers from the finish line of today's Val d'Europe inline marathon and hung on for a narrow victory.

The 30-year-old French skater took off on a solo flyer about five kilometers from the finish, said race director Christophe Audoire.

She built a lead of 20 to 30 seconds. The chase pack gained on her in the final kilometer. But she held onto her lead and finished 10 meters ahead of second-place Simona Di Eugenio.

First World Cup Win

The men's race provided a surprise winner: World Inline Center's Danny Finster of Australia, who has never before won a World Cup event.

The 26-year-old did not race in the World Cup last year. In 2004, he finished 36th in the individual rankings as a member of the Bont International Team. He did not finish in the top ten in any top-class event, although he managed 3rd and 6th place finishes in subclass races.

In today's 40.7-kilometer event Finster was part of a group of skaters who broke away from the main pack about 1 kilometer from the finish, Audoire said.

The main pack caught all the skaters in the breakaway group — except for Finster, who finished in front by 20 meters.

Two French skaters rounded out the top three: Maxime Provost (second) and Powerslide's Alexis Contin (third).

Still on Top

The reigning World Cup champion Massimiliano Presti finished behind the leaders in fifth place but nonetheless retained his lead in the individual rankings.

Hyper's Jessica Smith retained her lead in the rankings, although she did not compete in the event.

Smith and Presti both earned 125 points for their wins in the first stage of the World Cup two weeks ago in Seoul, Korea. Today's race was a sub class event. Winners only collected 50 points a piece.

About 500 speed skaters and 1000 fitness skaters participated in today's event. The race was held on a 3.7-kilometer road course at the Disneyworld Resort theme park in Paris.

About 40,000 spectators and park visitors watched the race, Audoire said. Before the race, skaters paraded through the theme park.

The World Cup moves to Switzerland next Saturday for the Basel World Inline Cup.

Related reading

• Go to list of top finishers.

• Go to more Racing News.

Go to the Beginner's Guide to Outdoor Racing

(posted April 8, 2006)

Related reading

• Go to list of top finishers.

• Go to Seoul photos.

• Go to more Racing News.

Go to the Beginner's Guide to Outdoor Racing


Copyright © 2006 by Robert Burnson

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