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Finally – Gold for Sally!

Sally Bigham celebrates in an impressive manner her first international champions title at the Marathon European Championships in Sigulda. Kristian Hynek completes the successful day for the Topeak-Ergon Racing Team in Latvia with a Bronze Medal.

60 kilometers of solo riding in the wind and minutes brimming with emotion — she desperately wanted this gold medal. After winning four times European silver and one silver at World Championships, Iron Sally wanted to finally slip over the leader jersey in the Baltic states. The Brit had such a strong will. She went solo after only 20 kilometers. 

”It was a little risky, because it also was very windy today. But I saw during the first few climbs that I was the strongest,” Sally Bigham explains her reason for taking initiative so early and then riding solo for 80 kilometers on her Canyon-Hardtail up to the title with a lead of more than 5 Minutes.

The lead grew continuously, but the enjoyment only set in one kilometer from the finish line during the last climb when she cranked through an honor guard formed by the audience. Goosebumps included. ”It was a very special moment when I rode into the finish, simply great. Our team cheered and it was so nice that I could give them something back after all this hard work,” says Sally Bigham in a faltering voice. ”No Silver Sally today,” adds Sally laughing. No, it’s a radiant Golden Girl from the Topeak-Ergon racing stable today in Sigulda.

It would not have taken much more for the team to return home with two European Championship titles. About 60 of 103 kilometers had been ridden when Kristian Hynek along with two companions initiated a three-man top flight. His hope that Alban Lakata would come along did not come true. He was in a less than optimal position in a trail when a Latvian opened up a gap in front of him.

Another Latvian, Peeter Pruus, and the Portuguese Tiago Ferreira follow Hynek while Alban didn’t join the leg shaking within the group in pursuit for the benefit of his teammate. While Pruus basically refused leadership work, Ferreira eventually discontinued his efforts as well. ”We had false information about our time cushion, which is why I made speed,” tells Kristian Hynek. The Czech was lacking gunpowder when he climbed the last hill one kilometer from the finish line. 

Pruus and Ferreira had preserved their energy and pulled away to Gold and Silver. Bronze went to Hynek for the second time in his career. ”I have mixed feelings, a medal is always good, but I was good for the title as well,” says Hynek. More clear are Alban Lakata’s feelings. ”I’m pretty frustrated, because my fitness is very good. I’m annoyed about the lost opportunity right now, but my ambitions are just growing because of it,” reveals Lakata who came in sixth. 

Now we are looking forward to the UCI World Championships at the end of June in France …

Further informationen and results at: www.velo.lv

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