The Hamburg Marathon, World Masters Championships and Gross-Gerau International Criterium
Inline speed skaters in Europe had their choice of two highly competitive events this weekend: the Hamburg Marathon and the Gross-Gerau International Criterium, both in Germany.
Most of the over-30 skaters chose the marathon, which was also conducted as the World Masters Championships.
Arnaud Gicquel, 33, of France won the marathon in a time of 1 hour 7 minutes and 30 seconds. In doing so, he also won the over-30 division of the World Masters Championships.
His Saab-Salomon teammate, 27-year-old Franck Cardin, finished right behind him.
The second master skater across the line was Massimiliano Presti, who finished fifth overall. The 30-year-old Presti won last year's World Inline Cup.
Eleven minutes behind him was his father (and coach) Guiseppe Presti, who finished first in the over-50 division with a time of 1:22:06.
The win made Guiseppe the Presti families third world champion. Guiseppe's younger son is Bont champion Luca Presti.
Gross-Gerau International Criterium
On the other side of Germany in the town of Gross-Gerau, south of Frankfurt, 750 inline skaters competed in the town's 27th annual International Criterium.
The criterium was thick with young talent, much of which will make its first 2005 World Inline Cup appearance this weekend in Basel.
Powerslide's Sandra Gomez of Spain won the overall title in the women's event. Gomez started her season strong this year with a win in the first stage of the World Inline Cup in Seoul.
Swiss skater Alain Gloor, who is on the Rollerblade Athleticum team, won the men's event. Gloor finished 24th in the Seoul Marathon.
Inline and ice champion Chad Hedrick, who finished 20th in Seoul, proved at the event that he can still win on wheels. He was the victor in the 10,000 meter elimination.
The Hamburg Marathon is a huge multi-sport event, which includes more than 20,000 runners.
About 650 skaters raced in the event Sunday. The number would have been larger except for the strict entry requirements.
No skater is allowed in the marathon who cannot complete the full distance (26.2 miles) in less than two hours.
results from Gross-Gerau (in German)
Copyright © 2006 by Robert Burnson