The world championship in MTB marathon was held in Denmark on Saturday. In the men’s elite group, Mārtiņš Blūms won the very high sixth place in the competition of 135 participants on the 120-kilometer long and very dynamic course, who thus achieved the highest ever success among Latvian MTB marathoners in the world championships. A career record also for Oskar Muižnieks, who won the 22nd position.
After several years in mountain countries, this year the MTB marathon world championship took place in Denmark. The race organizers had taken care of a very dynamic, technical and hilly course. The length of one circle reached 40 kilometers. In the men’s elite competition, the athletes completed three laps, which covered less than 2,000 meters of altitude.
Among the 135 participants were four currently leading Latvian mountain bikers – Mārtiņš Blūms, Oskars Muižnieks, Lauris Purniņš and Māris Bogdanovičs. If Oskar and Lauri started in the middle, Blum and Bogdanovic started from the very back.
Blum and Muižnieks had a great competition. Mārtiņš, with a very explosive performance, quickly improves his positions, catching up with the leaders during the distance. Meanwhile, Oskars Muižnieks drove steadily in the second leading group. The specifics of the course were that narrow and technical sections were followed by wider sections. The main battle took place just before the bottlenecks. It often ended with falls.
New Zealander Samuel Gaze took the solo lead in the leader’s group in the final part of the race. The training partner of Tomas Skujiņas protected the lead and became the new world champion (04:16:51). Second place for multiple MTB world marathon champion Andreas Seevalds (+00:00:16)
A very engaging battle turned out to be the third place. He also got involved in it Martin Blum. Cesinieks competed fiercely with Danish and German athletes. At the finish, Mārtiņš took a high sixth place, which is again a new record in Latvian MTB history books. Mārtiņš spent 4 hours 17 minutes and 51 seconds in the distance. The bronze medal, won by home Simon Andreasen, was 3 seconds away.
The best result of his career was achieved by the daily representative of the “DTG – MySport” team Oskar Muižnieks. The athlete from the city of Liepāja demonstrated a solid performance and crossed the finish line as the 22nd fastest. Oskar won the second group finish sprint. He spent 4 hours 24 minutes and 15 seconds on the track.
European Masters Champion Lauris Purniņš finished in 64th place in the elite group. Lauris spent 4 hours 33 minutes and 21 seconds on the track. Meanwhile Maris Bogdanovich did not reach the finish line due to technical defects. 122 cyclists finished.