Sauser & Henzi win marathon world's

Swiss pair roll over opposition in Belgium

Christoph Sauser (Specialized), 31 and Petra Henzi (Fischer-BMC), 38 took a double victory for Switzerland at the UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships in Verviers, Belgium on Sunday.

Sauser battled compatriot and defending champion Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida), 27, for the first 80km of the 105km race in the Ardennes region of Belgium before a mechanical problem with his chain, followed by a puncture put Näf out of the race.

Sauser kept up the pressure and eventually crossed the line over 5 minutes ahead of Belgium's Roel Paulissen (Cannondale), 31, with Thomas Dietsch (Bianchi), 33, of France in third.

In the absence of defending champion Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesja, who is recovering from a stomach virus that has ended her 2007 season, Henzi's main competition came from Germany's Sabine Spitz (Ghost International), 36, who eventually finished two minutes behind the Swiss woman. Finland's Pia Sundstedt, 32, was third.

The men's fields included two notable names, albeit for very different reasons. Finishing in seventh place, just under ten minutes behind Sauser, Italian Gilberto Simoni demonstrated that he's also quite useful in the dirt. Simoni, 36, has twice won the Giro d'Italia (Italy's equivalent of the Tour de France) and has indicated that he plans to finish his career with a stint in mountain biking.

Just ahead of Simoni, Belgium's Filip Meirhaeghe, 36, is one of very few mountain bike racers to have returned to the sport after being busted for doping. Mountain bike world champion in 2003 and 2002 world cup series winner, Meirhaeghe was caught using blood-booster EPO in 2004 and suspended for two years. He said at the time that he would retire, but returned to racing in 2006.


1 Christoph Sauser (Switzerland)4:23:06
2 Roel Paulissen (Belgium)0:05:23
3 Thomas Dietsch (France)0:07:26
4 Hector Leonardo Paez Leon (Colombia)0:08:21
5 Massimo De Bertolis (Italy)0:08:50
6 Filip Meirhaeghe (Belgium)0:09:51
7 Gilberto Simoni (Italy)0:09:52
8 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Sweden)0:09:53
9 Karl Platt (Germany)0:09:54
10 Alban Lakata (Austria)0:10:12
11 Moritz Milatz (Germany)0:14:21
12 Andreas Kugler (Switzerland)0:14:35
13 Bas Peters (Netherlands)0:15:31
14 Julio Humberto Caro Silva (Colombia)0:15:31
15 Aleksejs Saramotins (Latvia)0:17:19
16 Sandro Spaeth (Switzerland)0:17:50
17 Karl Markt (Austria)0:17:53
18 Stefan Sahm (Germany)0:18:45
19 Johann Pallhuber (Italy)0:18:54
20 Marzio Deho (Italy)0:19:30
21 Martin Kraler (Austria)0:21:48
22 Thomas Zahnd (Switzerland)0:22:04
23 Roland Stauder (Italy)0:22:19
24 Hannes Genze (Germany)0:25:02
25 Tomas Vokrouhlik (Czech Republic)0:25:04
26 Jérôme Chevallier (France)0:25:05
27 Ramses Bekkenk (Netherlands)0:25:09
28 Mario Alberto Rojas Rojas (Colombia)0:26:07
29 Mike Felderer (Italy)0:26:51
30 Roland Golderer (Germany)0:26:57
31 Frank Schotman (Netherlands)0:26:58
32 James Ouchterlony (Great Britain)0:27:25
33 Urs Huber (Switzerland)0:29:02
34 Nicolas Vermeulen (Belgium)0:29:39
35 Jan Jobanek (Czech Republic)0:30:08
36 Pierre-Geoffroy Plantet (France)0:30:40
37 Paolo Montoya (Costa Rica)0:32:33
38 Ruud Rentmeester (Netherlands)0:32:48
39 Tim Wijnants (Belgium)0:32:57
40 Joris Massaer (Belgium)0:36:04
41 Kevin Van Hoovels (Belgium)0:36:05
42 Kris Lapere (Belgium)0:36:09
43 Martin Horak (Czech Republic)0:37:20
44 Jhon Jairo Botero Salazar (Colombia)0:37:37
45 William Bjergfelt (Great Britain)0:37:50
46 Eero Jappinen (Finland)0:38:05
47 Kevin Evans (South Africa)0:38:43
48 Rick Evers (Netherlands)0:40:57
49 Ivan Rybarik (Czech Republic)0:42:54
50 Oldrich Hakl (Czech Republic)0:42:57
51 Bjorn Rondelez (Belgium)0:43:04
52 Ramon Bianchi (Italy)0:43:05
53 Peter Coddens (Belgium)0:44:53
54 Max Friedrich (Germany)0:45:29
55 Gabor Bogar (Hungary)0:46:35
56 Ken Van Den Bulke (Belgium)0:47:22
57 Thomas Stoll (Switzerland)0:48:17
58 Lukas Buchli (Switzerland)0:48:19
59 Silvio Bundi (Switzerland)0:48:28
60 Wilco Verwegen (Netherlands)0:48:58
61 Nico Berckmans (Belgium)0:49:09
62 Dries Govaerts (Belgium)0:49:52
63 Daniel Gathof (Germany)0:49:52
64 Marton Blazso (Hungary)0:49:59
65 Kris Henderieckx (Belgium)0:51:37
66 Jan Weevers (Netherlands)0:51:49
67 Michael Borup (Denmark)0:52:06
68 Leon De Jong (Netherlands)0:53:02
69 Thomas Frischknecht (Switzerland)0:53:40
70 Emil Lindgren (Sweden)0:54:03
71 Kris Janssens (Belgium)0:54:41
72 Olegs Melehs (Latvia)0:54:55
73 Kris Hertens (Belgium)0:55:20
74 Aurélien Collet (France)0:55:29
75 Peter Szalay (Hungary)0:59:41
76 Ervins Smolins (Latvia)0:59:51
77 Alexis Swetloff (Great Britain)1:01:32
78 Michael Storgaard Iversen (Denmark)1:01:39
79 Baticon Nunez (Spain)1:02:14
80 Jose Silva (Portugal)1:03:12
81 Wolfgang Mayer (Germany)1:03:26
82 Dries Hollanders (Belgium)1:05:57
83 Thomas Achouri (Belgium)1:06:46
84 Bart Van Keimpema (Netherlands)1:07:42
85 Tibor Gijssen (Netherlands)1:07:47
86 Jaco Venter (South Africa)1:09:46
87 Mikko Siltanen (Finland)1:09:49
88 Marcel Reiser (Germany)1:11:11
89 Reinis Andrijanovs (Latvia)1:13:26
90 Robby De Bock (Belgium)1:13:46
91 Thibaut Legastelois (France)1:13:47
92 Peter Ven (Belgium)1:14:07
93 Daigoro Yamada (Japan)1:15:57
94 John Paul Pearton (South Africa)1:16:03
95 Joao Marinho (Portugal)1:16:23
96 Job Van Hout (Netherlands)1:16:54
97 Bart Spierings (Netherlands)1:18:01
98 Emmanuel Morel (France)1:19:21
99 Rudy Megevand (France)1:22:45
100 Justice Makhale (South Africa)1:29:43
101 Sébastien Schuler (France)1:31:26
102 Timothy Carleton (Canada)1:32:15
103 Didzis Praulins (Latvia)1:34:03
104 Jonathan Cormier (France)1:34:37
105 Tom Hartkamp (Netherlands)1:36:44
106 Johan Van Zyl (South Africa)1:37:58
107 Jérome Junker (Luxembourg)1:40:13
108 Thibaut Ruamps (France)1:42:05
109 Ad De Brabander (Netherlands)1:42:23
110 Stéphane Urbain (France)1:53:13
111 Nelson Luis (Luxembourg)1:54:20
112 Frank Luikens (Netherlands)1:56:36
113 Karlis Smilktens (Latvia)1:58:53
114 Florent Martin (France)2:00:12
DNF Mathias Smet (Belgium) 
DNF Kristof Houben (Belgium) 
DNF Martino Fruet (Italy) 
DNF Ludovic Mottet (Belgium) 
DNF Steffen Thum (Germany) 
DNF Roman Rametsteiner (Austria) 
DNF Bjorn Brems (Belgium) 
DNF Dario Acquaroli (Italy) 
DNF Justin Price (New Zealand) 
DNF Tim Bohme (Germany) 
DNF Kashi Leuchs (New Zealand) 
DNF Johnny Cattaneo (Italy) 
DNF Davy Coenen (Belgium) 
DNF Ralph Naef (Switzerland) 
1 Petra Henzi (Switzerland)5:12:11
2 Sabine Spitz (Germany)0:02:07
3 Pia Sundstedt (Finland)0:11:59
4 Elsbeth Van Rooij-Vink (Netherlands)0:23:22
5 Esther Süss (Switzerland)0:23:49
6 Evelyn Staffler (Italy)0:27:10
7 Arielle Van Meurs (Netherlands)0:28:50
8 Katrin Schwing (Germany)0:33:33
9 Sarah Koba (Switzerland)0:33:47
10 Anna Enocsson (Sweden)0:34:01
11 Fabienne Heinzmann (Switzerland)0:35:54
12 Andrea Kuster (Switzerland)0:40:32
13 Asa Erlandsson (Sweden)0:43:39
14 Michela Benzoni (Italy)0:44:51
15 Ivonne Kraft (Germany)0:47:22
16 Ivanda Eiduka (Latvia)0:47:49
17 Yolanda Speedy (South Africa)0:52:07
18 Jenny Copnall (Great Britain)0:53:06
19 Lene Byberg (Norway)0:53:07
20 Carina Ketonen (Finland)0:55:04
21 Jennifer O'Connor (New Zealand)0:59:34
22 Virginie Souchon (France)1:02:44
23 Sandra Santanyes Murillo (Spain)1:05:07
24 Tatjana Dold (Germany)1:05:41
25 Elizabeth Scalia (Great Britain)1:05:44
26 Tania Raats (South Africa)1:07:18
27 Barbora Radova (Czech Republic)1:09:23
28 Nina Kunz (Germany)1:14:01
29 Emma Colson (Australia)1:14:03
30 Kerstin Brachtendorf (Germany)1:31:19
31 Amy-Jane Mundy (South Africa)1:36:14
32 Kristien Nelen (Belgium)1:49:17
33 Monika Derntl (Austria)1:58:29
34 Shari Hausbeck (United States Of America)2:04:19
35 Daniela Bargholt (Germany)2:04:53
36 Anda Savlenko (Latvia)2:40:50
37 Dolores Maechler-Rupp (Switzerland)4:35:57
DNF Blaza Klemencic (Slovenia) 
DNF Gabi Stanger (Germany) 
DNF Kim Saenen (Belgium) 
DNF Lucia Curikova (Czech Republic) 
DNF Caroline Beysserias (France) 
DNF Petra Mermans (Belgium) 
DNF Ellane Van Wyk (South Africa) 
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