28 kilometers awaited 110 happy SUP racers at the 2022 Marathon International des Gorges de l’Ardèche last weekend in Vallon Pont d’Arc, a renowned and historic long-distance kayak river event in the South of France opened to Stand Up Paddlers since 2016. Following last year’s event status as a Euro Tour regional event for the very first time, the Marathon de l’Ardèche was this year a Euro Tour grand slam event, meaning that important points were at stake for potentially the overall crown of the 2022 Euro Tour in the Men’s category. With Michael Booth in the lead in the rankings but watching at home in Australia, two men could still win the overall title if they won this last grand slam event: the Frenchman Titouan Puyo and the Australian powerhouse Ty Judson, both NSP team riders. Scroll down for the LIVE feed replays, full results and video highlights of the event. Photos by Mario Entero / Euro Tour.
Replay of the 2022 Ardèche Marathon SUP Race
Pre-race LIVE feed
Finish LIVE feed
Titouan Puyo wins his 2nd Marathon de l’Ardèche and his 2nd Euro Tour crown
The big favorite however was Titouan Puyo, fresh from winning silver and bronze medals in Puerto Rico at the 2022 ISA World SUP & Paddleboard championships as well as the team title with France. The French captain from New Caledonia did not disappoint. He took control of the race early leading a group of 4 SUP racers at the front to break away from the rest of the pack. With him, French veteran and former kayak world champion Mickael Fargier, who also happens to be have won the event in 2019, the Italian SUP racer Paolo Marconi and Titouan’s NSP teammate, Ty Judson. Titouan, who was also the winner of both the Marathon and the Euro Tour in 2021, came to the event location early and had time for a full run a couple of days. His experience showed quickly in the rapids as he lead the group until half way through the 28km course, before he took off on his own and arrived with a 3-minute lead.
Behind him and with no experience of whitewater racing, Paolo Marconi was impressive in 2nd position, followed closely by 46-year-old Mickael Fargier. 3 other French kayakist-turned-paddlers follow: Xavier Gensse, 2022 vice-world champions Theo Viens, and 1992 Olympian Vincent Fondeviole.
Unfortunately for Ty Judson who felt the water level was high enough to pick a long fin for the race, his hopes to fight for a Euro Tour title were shattered after his fin broke against a rock halfway through the course. Ty ended up paddling down the river on his knees settling for a 3rd 2022 Euro Tour position overall after a stellar SUP Race season which started in April ath the Carolina Cup following two years of absence on the racing scene.
Results – Top 10 Men:
1. Titouan Puyo
2. Paolo Marconi
3. Michael Fargier
4. Xavier Gensse
5. Theo Viens
6. Vincent Fondeviole
7. Eric Archambault
8. Cyril Garbous
9. Tommaso Pampinella
10. Leo Vergeze
Men’s Euro Tour Podium
1. Titouan Puyo
2. Michael Booth
3. Ty Judson
Susak Molinero signs a great come back to the international racing scene
On the women’s side, the anticipated battle between new mom and returning international SUP racer Susak Molinero and 4-time Long Distance and Ultra Long-Distance French Champion Fanny Tessier, did not happen as the Spaniard Molinero was able to take off early with a very high-frequency stroke which she was able to maintain all the way through the 28 kilometers of descent, falling only twice. A feat which should be underlined as Susak, just like her companion Paolo Marconi, had no experience with river rapids before the race. Last year’s female winner, Fanny Tessier, finished in 2nd, concluding a very prolific year with 2 national titles. Emmanuelle Marcon, one of the most consistent SUP racers in France, took the 3rd place and Fanatic-sponsored French waterwoman Sandrine Berthe arrived in 4th only 300 meters ahead of Laurence Kress from Hossegor.
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