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Ilias, Langvad win mountain bike marathon world titles

Perikilis Ilias and Annika Langvad won mountain bike marathon world titles on Sunday in Ornans, France.

Seven-time Greek cross-country champion Ilias pulled on the rainbow jersey after dispatching German silver medalist Moritz Milatz and Kristian Hynek of the Czech Republic.

Ilias led the 84km race from tip-to-tail through slick mud and fog. While he confirmed after the race that his plan had not been to lead from the start, once he pulled away, the 26-year-old cross-country specialist disappeared into the fog and never looked back.

Two punctures were not enough to slow Ilias and Milatz finished 2:28 down.

Shifting difficulties in the mud waylaid defending champion Christoph Sauser. He was able to fix the issue with 30km to go and shot from 15th place to fourth, just 2:58 away from defending the jersey.

Langvad retained the women’s title for Denmark.

The 28-year-old defending champion pulled away from silver medalist Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway) on the first climb and held on to a lead of just 44 seconds over the four-time marathon champion, despite a puncture and a crash in the final six kilometers of the race.

Switzerland’s Esther Süss finished third, 1:40 down.