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Early-Season Wins in Belgium And Germany

Sören Nissen wins the first run of the Belgian Ardennes Marathon Series and, for the fourth time, the Kellerwald Bike Marathon in Germany.

Sören Nissen wins at La Hallonienne (foto: courtesy of the organizer, BAMS)

The native Dane and Luxembourgian by choice won the first run of the Ardennes Marathon Series. In the “La Hallonienne“ race in Grand-Halleux Sören Nissen rode to an almost start-to-finish victory. Very early he had broken away from the pursuit on his STEVENS Sonora to tackle the 75 kilometers (47 miles) and 1900 meters (6234 feet) of elevation in the Belgian Ardennes with climbs like Côte de Wanne und der Côte de Stockeau - well known from the Classic Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

At the finish line the Luxembourgian marathon and cross country champion had a more than three minutes lead over the competition, before Sebastien Carabin won the fight for second place over Joris Massaer and and Dutch rider Roel Verhoeven.

“Nice to see that this Belgian MTB series has developed into a high-class race program within five years with many top riders from the World Tour and from cyclocross.”

The Belgian Ardennes Marathon Series consists of seven runs throughout the whole season. The next race will start on May 19th at the La Rockalienne.

… Nissen had won the 22nd edition of the Kellerwald Bike Marathon [Link]. On the morning of April 14th at the start in Gilserberg he and his STEVENS Sonora had 127 kilometers (79 miles) and 3,500 meters (11,483 feet) plus temperatures around freezing in front of them. The course was a mix of wide forest roads and a couple of technical descends.

Nissen’s tactics were to ride calmly until the final lap and to make no mistakes. It worked out well, only former Belgian marathon champion Joris Massaer was able to follow Nissen’s attack in the final lap.

At the finish line Sören Nissen could celebrate his fourth victory in the Kellerwald Bike Marathon – “another victory, and I am the sole record holder”, said Nissen.

The upcoming weekend Nissen will follow his tradition to ride the ”Roc d’Ardenne“ in Houffalize, Belgium, the next race of the series which he had won three times in a row from 2014 to 2016. Last year he “only” finished third – time to take revenge and to climb in the world rankings. After the first two races with top-ten placings in each, Nissen jumped from place 53 to 14.

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