Berlin Marathon Report:
Team Rollerblade Hangs on to Claim Both Men's and Women's Titles
Fila's Luca Saggiorato proved himself the master of the field sprint once again Saturday as he won the final event of the 2005 World Inline cup: the Berlin Marathon
The women's race also came down to the sprint with K2-Empire's Briggyte Mendez narrowly edging Powerslide's Brittany Bowe for the win.
In all, 8093 skaters participated in the Berlin Marathon, making it, once again, the world's largest inline skating event.
During the marathon, groups of skaters tried frequently to break away from the lead packs (men's and women's) and reach the finish line before the mass finish.
But the lead packs chased hard and fast and caught all the breakaway attempts.
In the end, both the men's and women's races came down to large field sprints, much like last week's World Cup in Duluth, Minn.
In the men's sprint, Italians finished first, second and third.
Behind Saggiorato was Bont's Francesco Zangarini and then Saggiorato's teammate Massimiliano Presti.
Presti on Top
Presti won this year's individual World Cup title. (He sealed his win last week at the Northshore Marathon.)
Rollerblade's Jorge Botero's fourth place finish Saturday, dropped him to third place in the individual rankings, behind Saggiorato.
Powerslide's Joey Mantia once again showed his ability to hang with the big boys. Skating without the help of a big team, he finished sixth, just behind Rollerblade's Shane Dobbin.
The top seven men all finished with the same time: 1 hour, 1 minute and 21 seconds. It was the fastest time posted in the Berlin Marathon since 2000.
The women's race was similar to the men's with several unsuccessful breakaway attempts.
It finally came down to a field sprint. The top nine women all posted the same time: 1 hour, 10 minutes and 43 seconds.
After Mendez and Bowe came Powerslide's Julie Glass, who has only raced lightly this year.
Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson
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