OtherRacingAustria's National Championships: Urain and Schairer Long Distance Champions

FasterSkier FasterSkierApril 13, 2005

Austria held it's long-distance National Championships on April 3rd in Bad Gastein, with mass-start freestyle races for men (30km) and women (15km). The 33-year-old World Cup and Olympic veteran Gerhard Urain held off his more celebrated teammate, Olympic medalist Christian Hoffman, to win the 30km mass-start freestyle by just three-tenths of a second.

Urain's win was especially significant considering that Hoffman is the only World Cup skier ever to have beaten Norwegian hero Thomas Alsgaard in a final 200-meter sprint. This sensational upset occurred during the 1999 Ramsau World Championships, at the end of the men's 4 x 10km relay.

Hoffman has certainly not faded since then, with several top-three finishes in some of the later World Cups of this season. Urain's best World Cup result this year was 21st in an individual-start classic race in Otepaa, Estonia. However Urain was able to step it up a notch or two to become a National Champion in the 30km freestyle.

In the women's 15km, Sabrina Schairer topped a much smaller women's field of only seven skiers. However it was far from a runaway victory for Schairer, who came across the line just 2.1 seconds clear of Monika Baer. Renate Roider was almost a minute back in third place.

Another National Championships race was held back in December of this season, in the form of a 1.2km freestyle sprint. In contrast with many other nations including Sweden, Norway, Canada, and the U.S., apparently these two competitions were the only National Championships races that Austria held this season. However, as is the case in most of the strongest ski nations, there are a fair number of high-level FIS competitions in Austria other than the National Championships. This provides those skiers who are just below the World Cup level a crucial stepping stone to the highest level of international competition.

Results: Austrian National Championships, Women's 15km Mass-Start Freestyle:

1 3055022 SCHAIRER Sabrina 1982 AUT 0:41:41.1 122.71
2 3055023 BAER Monika 1986 AUT 0:41:43.2 123.89
3 1045369 ROIDER Renate 1971 AUT 0:42:36.3 153.61
4 3055020 GITSCHTALER Sabrina 1986 AUT 0:43:03.2 168.67
5 3055025 BIECHL Daniela 1984 AUT 0:43:56.7 198.61
6 1323953 RABEDER Elke 1977 AUT 0:44:34.8 219.94
7 3205150 RUPPANER Daniela 1986 GER 0:45:36.3 254.36

Results – Austrian National Championships, Men's 30km Mass-Start Freestyle:

1 1046436 URAIN Gerhard 1972 AUT 01:13:35.7 32.97
2 1094839 HOFFMANN Christian 1974 AUT 01:13:36.0 33.07
3 1282728 PINTER Juergen 1979 AUT 01:14:50.1 56.56
4 3050046 ROTTMANN Wolfgang 1973 AUT 01:15:14.4 64.26
5 1272737 EDER Johannes 1979 AUT 01:15:49.8 75.49
6 1065254 GANNER Norbert 1966 AUT 01:15:49.9 75.52
7 1094742 DIETHARD Roland 1973 AUT 01:16:00.6 78.91
8 3050072 SCHULER Harald 1985 AUT 01:16:58.0 97.11
9 3050043 WURM Harald 1984 AUT 01:18:44.0 130.72
10 1370998 KEPLINGER Markus 1981 AUT 01:18:44.6 130.91
11 3050007 EDER Johann 1983 AUT 01:18:53.4 133.70
12 1254695 MAYER Marc 1978 AUT 01:19:03.7 136.96
13 1370901 GRABMAYR Markus 1981 AUT 01:19:31.5 145.78
14 3050041 EBERHARTER Michael 1983 AUT 01:19:44.2 149.80
15 3050115 WIMBERGER Edi 1985 AUT 01:25:23.4 257.35
16 3050070 MAIER Wolfgang 1986 AUT 01:25:38.7 262.20
17 3050031 RAINER Thomas 1986 AUT 01:26:19.5 275.13
18 3050028 KEPLINGER Bernhard 1985 AUT 01:28:11.4 310.61
19 1326087 SCHWARZ Andreas 1976 AUT 01:29:49.4 341.68
20 3050029 PIRKLBAUER Marco 1986 AUT 01:33:04.1 403.41
21 3050074 TATSCHL Josef 1986 AUT 01:35:51.1 456.36

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