Van Hoovels wins Roc Trophy, international podium in Roc Marathon

Kevin Van Hoovels secured the overall win in the Roc Trophy by finishing tenth in Sunday's Roc Marathon. Britain?s Mandie James won the women?s event. Germany?s Simon Stiebjahn and Swiss Ariane Lüthi took the win in the marathon.

The Roc Marathon, an official UCI event, boasted a strong international entry list. Simon Stiebjahn was the fastest on a 83 km journey through the forests of Houffalize in 3:41.23. The German, the 2012 European marathon champion, finished with an average speed of over 23 kilometres per hour. Stiebjahn was joined on the podium by Dutchman Robert De Nijs and Luxembourg’s Sören Nissen.

Kevin Van Hoovels’s tenth position was enough to claim the overall win in the Roc Trophy, the general ranking combining Friday’s Roc Night, Saturday’s Roc d’Ardenne and Sunday’s Roc Marathon. Van Hoovels started with a four-minute lead over Maxime Latourte and easily kept the Frenchman at bay by over 16 minutes. Bram Huysentruyt took third in the Roc Trophy. Cyclocross rider David Van der Poel gave a good account of himself in 17th place of the Roc Marathon.

The women’s Roc Trophy was a duel between Britain’s Mandie James and Audrey Becco from France. After a gruelling marathon James took a decisive win. With a time of 6 hours and 27 minutes she was over 45 minutes clear of Becco. Switzerland’s Ariane Lüthi won the marathon in 4:33.48, with a six-minute gap to Norwegian Hildegunn Gjertrud Hovdenak and 15 minutes on Germany’s Stefanie Dohrn. Lüthi’s win doesn’t comes as a surprise, having five wins in the famed Cape Epic to her name.

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