First Race Grand –Ballon (France) May 1st.
Emmanuel Meyssat (FRA) and Martina Straehl (SUI) have started the season with fine victories.
The 2008 WMRA Grand Prix got under way in the Alsace region of France with a 13km (men) race up the GrandBallon. Ranked 8th in last years Grand Prix and a member of the French national team, Emmanuel Meyssat outpaced Steve Vernon (GBR) in the last stages of the race to record a fine win by 21 seconds
Vernon, a British cross-country international has declared his intention to take this seasons mountain racing seriously so Meyssat can be well satisfied with his victory. German Timo Zeiler improved on his performance in this race last year moving up from 7th to third. Last years winner, Julien Rancon, came in fourth.
Emmanuel Meyssat (FRA) Steve Vernon (GBR)
As expected, Martina Straehl (SUI) ran well in the 8km womens race, but exceeded all expectations in winning in a new record time, beating the 2003 record by 1 minute 8 seconds. Victoria Wilkinson (GBR), coming into the race after a successful cross country season, representing England, and runner up in last years Grand Prix had to be satisfied in second place just in front of her young team mate Sarah Tunstall (GBR). Ann Buckley (GBR) completed an impressive showing by the British girls in finishing 5th. With the Swiss girl Maya Chollet in 4th position the French, on home ground had to wait for Valerie Galland in 6th place for their first finisher.
Full results can be seen by clicking on 'Results' below
The second Grand Prix race is in Switzerland at the venue of last years World Trophy, Saillon Ovronnaz, but on an uphill only course., on 24th May
1. Martina Straehl (SUI) 46.42 (record)
2. Victoria Wilkinson (GBR) 48.41
3. Sarah Tunstall (GBR) 50.32
4. Maya Chollet (SUI) 52.04
5. Anne Buckley (GBR) 53.11
6. Valerie Galland (FRA) 53.26
1. Emmanuel Meyssat (FRA) 61.34
2. Steve Vernon (GBR) 61.55
3. Timo Zeiler (GER) 62.14
4. Julien Rancon (FRA) 63.06
5. Phillipe Charasse (FRA) 63.36
6. Georges Burrier (FRA) 65.42