Sören Nissen won the UCI Bike Marathon, an event within the BIKE Festival Willingen. 116 km had to be raced through the German Sauerland region and Willingen by an international field including top riders such as Swiss Marathon Champion Urs Huber, Dutch pro Pieter Weening and Sascha Weber from Germany.
Early in the race, after the first 3 km-long climb the field had already broken apart. The remaining lead group was 20-strong including Sören Nissen. The Luxembourgian Marathon Champion had decided to quicken the pace, according to some of his competitors, and put pressure on the field because a couple of them were stronger sprinters than him.
About 40 km before the finish the riders left in front were Sascha Weber, Urs Huber and Pieter Weening, who all started to attack each other. When Weber broke away, Huber and Weening fell back, and Nissen, too had to let go of Weber. Yet the gap between Weber and Nissen was never bigger than 30 to 40 seconds. “I could see him in front of me several times, that helped to keep close.”
Twelve kilometers before the finish, Sören Nissen eventually caught up with Sascha Weber – and even passed him on the final climb. Nissen used the last few kilometers to increase his lead. At the finish line he was more than a minute ahead of Urs Huber, who also had managed to overtake Weber.
“What a great victory! This confirmed the idea that you can achieve anything as long as you believe in yourself”, he summed-up the race. It was even more beautiful to ride so strong, again. Nissen had to skip the previous race of the UCI Marathon world Cup Series in Portugal due to health reasons. The next races categorized by the UCI are the world cups in Poland and Czech Republic.