On Sunday the Estonian skiing centre Joulumae hosted the first stage of Roller Skiing Baltic Cup, the Nevene Roller Skiing Marathon. Estonian Algo Karp was unbeatable in the men's 42km mass start free competition, on the ladies' side the fastestover the same distance was clinched by Latvian Zane Eglite.
The member of Estonian national ski team Algo Karp pulled away from the rest of the start field already after the first third of the distance and increased his lead, reaching the finish in 1:16:47,4. Karp left behind the closest rivals by almost two and a half minutes. Two Estonians Anti Saarepuu and the older of the Vahtra brothers, Eeri were fighting for the second place in the finishing straight. More experienced Saarepuu, in sprint semifinalist at the Olympic games and World Championships, showed his superiority and took second place, beating his younger teammate by a half a second.
On the ladies the winner was decided long time before the finish. After first half of the competition Latvian Zane Eglite shook off Estonia's Marju Meema and won the competition for the second time in a row, in the time of 1:40:52,8. Meema finished in second place, 2:44 behind the winner, third place went to Estonian Liis Veroja.
The half marathon distance was won by Nordic Combined Han Hendrik Piho (EST), who beat his teammate Karl August Tiirma just by one tenth of a second. Victory in the ladies competition was convincingly claimed by Estonian Anette Veerpalu.
All together 47 athletes from Baltic countries and Russia competed in Joulumae. The Baltic Cup continues in Lithuania on September 22nd and the third closing stage will be hosted by Priekuli, Latvia.
Contributed by Ivars Bacis