Italy's Bernard Dematteis (© Organisers)
Bernard Dematteis and Andrea Mayr retained their titles at the 13th European Mountain Running Championships in the French Alps by the town of Gap on Saturday (12).
Italy’s Dematteis won the senior men’s 12.8km three-lap race in 56:10, with his 28-year-old twin brother Martin third in 56:32. The pair were separated by Great Britain’s Robbie Simpson who took silver in 56:19.
Bernard was in front after the first lap in 19:25, leading Martin by 22 seconds, with France’s Julien Rancon third in 19:47.
On the end of the second lap, Simpson came through strongly and moved up to second but was 23 seconds behind Bernard, who passed the checkpoint in 37:21, with Martin third in 37:50.
Simpson closed further on the last lap but could not quite reel in Bernard. Turkey’s six-time European champion Ahmet Arslan was down in eighth place on this occasion, crossing the line in 58.22.
Led by the Dematteis twins, Italy easily took the team title with 11 points from Great Britain with 27 and France with 31.
The women’s senior race over 8.1km, and over two laps out on the mountains, looked beforehand like it might be a close race but the reverse was true as Mayr dominated to win for a second consecutive year.
Mayr had a lead of 50 seconds after the opening lap with Mateja Kosovelj of Slovenia and Italy’s 2013 world champion Alice Gaggi battling for second place.
The in-form Austrian then extended her advantage in the second half of the race as she won in 39:43. Kosovelj was second in 40:53, Austria’s Sabine Reiner moved up to third in 41:03 and Gaggi finished fourth in 41:22.
Italy again took the team title with 20 points ahead of Great Britain with 31 and Austria completing the podium with 36.
The day had begun with the junior women’s 4.2km race which brought victory for Great Britain’s Georgia Malir in 22:10 as she fended off Turkey's Bahar Atalay, who was second in 22:20 and fellow Turk Burcu Subatan was third in 22:42.
Atalay and Subatan's podium finishes helped Turkey secure the title with Great Britain again in second place and France edging out the Czech Republic for bronze.
It was a similar outcome in the junior men’s 8.1km race as Turkey took second and third behind Czech Republic’s Dominik Sadlo, who won gold in 37:23. He was followed home by Ferhat Bozkurt, in 37:42, with 2013 European junior champion Ramazan Karagoz third this time in 38:19.
Italy took their third team title of the day with 20 points while, in a tight contest, Czech Republic had to settle for silver with 24 points and Turkey were third with 26 points.
European Athletics for the IAAF