After a long breakaway of two Italians the victory in the marathon at Euros went to Chloé Geoffroy from France. In the last few laps the chasing group caught up with the leaders and only just before the finish line Chloé managed get in front.
Two Italian ladies, Luisa Woolaway and Laura Lorenzato were away and even got a lead of 40 seconds. In the peloton there were a lot of attacks, mostly from the Dutch team. Then a chasing group formed with Maite Ancin, Elsemieke van Maaren, Katja Ulbrich, Larissa Gaiser, Dominika Gardi and the two French girls Flavie Balandras and Chloé Geoffroy. We talked to new European marathon Champion…
How was the race? Chloé: “It was hard for me because I was on 125 mm wheels and there were a lot of attacks. At the beginning it was very hard to follow the girls, later when the race was faster it was easier, but the attacks were not good for me.”
Most skaters were on 110 mm wheels. Only most of the Germans and Dutch ladies were on 125 mm wheels, because they skate a lot of marathons in their own country.
When the Italian girls were gone, did you put your teammates in front to catch them? “Yeah, the last lap they were only 10 seconds in the front. So we decided that my teammate, Flavie Balandras, went in the front and go as fast as possible. Then in the last corner, the Italians were maybe less than 100 meter in front. I was behind Dominika Gardi for the sprint and I decided to go in the front and go full gas to the finish line. I caught them maybe 15 cm before the line.”
What did you think of the course? “Really short (1,3 km laps), the corners were a little bit hard to take. There was a crash in the last corner at the beginning of the race, but the track was not dangerous.”
Last July Chloé won the World Inline Cup in Harbin in a sprint before Li Sishan (chi) and Anna Odlazek (slo). In Oostende she showed that this wasn’t a coincidence.
How did the rest of the tournament go? I’m a sprinter and it was my first senior year, so it was quite hard, but I made all top 10 finishes. It was hard but I really learned a lot so it was a good experience.”
As we heard from Pascal Briand, this was not the team that went to Worlds… “No, there were only three senior ladies at Worlds, the others got a chance to race here at Euros. They are also really good.”
Do you have any more races this season? “Yes, the marathons in Berlin, Paris and one in South Korea.”
|The whole team together after the race||All the skaters and fans loudly sang the Marseillaise during the podiumceremony|
Pictures: Hidde Muije