Sunday February 20, the Haut-Marnaise Athlé 52 agreement led 40 of its residents to the semi-finals of the French championships, in Charleville-Mézières (Ardennes). Eight of them have qualified for the final, which will be held next March at Les Mureaux.
“We are under the sun of Charleville-Mézières” quipped the announcer. It must be said that the semi-finals of the French championship on Sunday were hardly spared by the storm Franklin, between strong gusts and almost permanent rain.
The ball of the eleven races of the day was opened by the male masters, from 10 am. Pascal Konecny, leader of Athlé 52, had warned: Frédérick Walczak was going to be there…he was!
Najim Habri (Villers) had gone far ahead and was never going to be caught again, leading the 9.6 kilometer race. But Frédérick Walczak hit the right wagon straight away and even found himself lonely in the 6and square. He may have been caught up by other competitors, the Haut-Marnais secured a 9th place synonymous with the final at Les Mureaux.
The minimes took over from the masters in the morning. The women started first. For Athlé 52, hardly any suspense: Marie Combier-Gorisse defended the colors of Haute-Marne, already assured of her place in the final. She placed 16th, after tackling a “muddy course with more hills than I’m used to. The girls in front were also very fast. Her male counterpart, Nathan Yung, didn’t experience quite the same scenario. After a rather cautious start, in the middle of the peloton, the minimal male of the Haut-Marne agreement ended up giving way from the second and last loop. He finished in 75th place, too far for the Ile-de-France deadline. The big feat of arms of the day was to be credited to Soline Mourgues among the cadets. The regional champion, in Charmes, showed who was the boss of her category. She was quick to take the lead from the start, before knocking out the competition halfway through. Winner in the Vosges, she dominated in the Ardennes on Sunday and is ideally placed for the final.
The cadets of Haute-Marne also had a good race and took a ticket for Les Mureaux, except for Lucas Yung (82nd). His comrades Pierre Varnier and Baptiste Constant ranked 9th and 18th respectively. The first city has made a rather impressive rise. He had to save some juice to climb many places to the top 10.
No more podiums in the afternoon
For the semi-finals of the French championship, the Athlé 52 only missed the call for the women’s cross court.
A sort of intermission for Haute-Marne: the show resumed with the men’s cross court, in which Bolognese Julien Reczkowicz appeared. The Covid-19 having deprived him of training, he could not defend his chances of qualification at Les Mureaux. The road to the French championships ended for him in 39th place.
The queen races were approaching, but the juniors still had to compete.
The women took the start first for five kilometers of racing: Claire Garnier started relatively well, before experiencing a drop in speed on a climb. La Bragarde however activated the “turbo” to go from the middle of the peloton… to 5th place, just that, and the qualification as a bonus! Among the men, Edwin Guyot played a fine strategist: he remained huddled in a group, before accelerating shortly before the finish. His 22nd place ensures him the final, to the delight of Fabrice Guyot, his trainer and father. At the end of the semi-finals, the long crosses were not extremely successful for the Athlé 52.
In the ladies, everything happened at the back of the race. Marie-Charlotte Comptdaer-Bonnaire was absent as expected. This Sunday, the best Haut-Marnaise in cross-long was called Magali Perrin, “happy, not moved for a penny, but satisfied after a muddy and windy cross. »
Finally, the men’s long cross concluded the day. It mixed seniors and hopefuls and five Haut-Marnais were there. The first of them on arrival was Antoine Delattre (67th, therefore not qualified). On the other hand, Grégory Thouvrez (76th) will go to Les Mureaux in March: he finished 16th in the race.
It should be noted that the Athlé 52 obtained another podium than that of Soline Mourgues: she was ranked 2nd by team in the men’s Masters.
It will be necessary to tick the dates from March 11 to 13, at Les Mureaux, for the Haute-Marne finalists.
The reactions of Haut-Marnais
Frédérick Walczak (9th in the men’s Masters): “I started my race correctly and stayed in the lead car. Afterwards, I still lack the resources to be consistent over an entire race. But I really fought and went into battle with qualifying in mind. My performance can be improved and I think I’m beyond where I should have been. »
Nathan Yung (75th in the men’s minims): “I was fine at the start. I was put in difficulty by the wind, because it was blowing in front of us at the start. The first hill completely broke my rhythm and the others passed me by. I also struggled to manage the course, as it was very slippery. »
Soline Mourgues (winner among the cadets): “I chose not to leave too quickly, in order to find the right moment to go ahead. With this victory, I feel really good and I can calmly approach the final of the French championships. I’m aiming for a top 10 there, even if I know that at Les Mureaux the distance will be longer. I’ll see how I’m going to handle this. »
Pierre Varnier (9th in the cadets): “I had a knee injury for six months. So I’m all the more satisfied to be able to qualify! I think I managed to make up a little delay from the start in the difficulties. I faced the sand, which was a first for me. I’ve never gone so fast and I’m proud of myself! »
Julien Reczkowicz (39th on the men’s cross court): “Because of the Covid, I could not have adequate preparation, so close to the semi-finals. Unfortunately, you can’t be on top all the time. This time I couldn’t do better. »
Claire Garnier (5th among female juniors): “During the first loop, I went to the front of the race to take shelter. But in the second, I had a huge slack in my legs. But I’m often comfortable at the end of the race. For the final, I will see what my form will be. »
Ewin Guyot (22nd in the men’s juniors): “My father and trainer recommended a strategy to me: to stay behind others and emerge at the right time. I only started training again a month ago and I really enjoyed this race! A great birthday present for my dad! »
Antoine Delattre (69th in the men’s long cross): “Very surprised to arrive first in the group! In terms of the conditions, I would say that on the contrary it did me a favor. I always felt less comfortable on asphalt. I gained confidence and I held on! »
The results of the semi-finals
1. C. Adam (Obernai) 12’09”… 16. Mr. Combier-Gorisse (ECAC) 13’42”… 48. C. Forgeot (ECAC) 14’46”… 60. L. Balanger (ECAC) 15’05”…
1. T. Ligier (Val Morteau) 12’06”… 75. N. Yung (ECAC) 16’18”…
1. N. Habri (Villers) 33’27”… 9. F. Walczak (Bologna) 35’26”… 23. O.Block (Saint-Dizier) 26’50”… 35. Mr. Relange (ECAC) 37’47”… 43. C. Sickler (Langres) 38’26”… 74. L. Odin (Langres) 40’34”… 112. D. Berthet (ECAC) 43’48”… 134. L. Thouvrez (Saint-Dizier) 47’14”… 137. D. Perrin (Langres) 47’40”… 142. P. Martinot (Saint-Dizier) 49’42”… 147. E. Lapierre (Saint-Dizier) 52’20”…
1. S. Mourgues (Saint-Dizier) 14’11”
1. G. Rohmer (Obernai) 17’07”… 9. P. Varnier (Saint-Dizier) 18’09”… 18. B.Constant (ECAC) 18’27”… 82. L. Yung (ECAC) 20’37”…
Women’s Cross Court
1. F. Abaroge (Strasbourg) 17’36”
1. V. Henz (Metz) 21’19… 22. E. Guyot (Bologna) 23’16”… 64. E. Guerdner (Langres) 25’37”…
Women’s Elite Cross
1. M. Rollin (CA Vrigois) 29’14”… 90. Mr. Perrin (Langres) 39’50”… 94. S. Donadel (ECAC) 40’08”… 98. S. Broise (Langres) 40’48”… 107. Mr. Bacroix (Saint-Dizier) 44’01”…
Men’s Elite Cross
1. M. Goerger (Luxeuil) 31’22”… 67. A. Delattre (Saint-Dizier) 36’45”… 76. G. Thouvrez (Saint-Dizier) 37’03”… 103. J. Chalus (Langres) 38’08”… 165. Mr. Verriere (Langres) 43’23”…
1. L. Shower (Metz) 20’34”… 5. C. Garnier (Saint-Dizier) 21’31”…
Men’s short cross
1. A. Miellet (Dijon) 14’… 39. J. Reczkowicz (Bologna) 15’54”…