Josef Rottmoser and Laetitia Roux dominated in the Val Comelico-Sappada Sprint Race.

On the Black Piste the juniors Oriol Cardona Coll and Giulia Compagnoni won, and Alessandra Cazzanelli and Anton Palzer won the gold medal in the Espoir categories.

The first Sprint Race of the World Cup season took place this morning on the snows of Sappada (Italy), the German Josef "Seppi" Rottmoser celebrates his birthday with a gold medal, Laetitia Roux won almost with a photo finish, defending herself with her teeth against attacks from Maude Mathys who until the last curve before the finish line was in the lead.

The first to set off under the "start" arch of the "Pista Nera" for the qualifiers were the young people of the Junior categories, for them the path to the finish line was straight. Of the men Federico Nicolini, Oriol Cardona Coll, Simon Bellabouvier, Peter Canclini, Baptiste Spicher and Micha Steiner lucked out. The race started with the Spaniard Cardona Coll attacking, Federico Nicolini tried to take the first position, behind them was Bellabouvier. Downhill there was no comparison, the Spaniard after 3'18" cut in front of Nicolini and Bellabouvier at the finish line. Pietro Canclini and Micha Steiner were fourth and fifth respectively.

In the women's race the Italian Giulia Compagnoni started out decided, immediately gaining a few seconds on her opponents, her team mate Alba De Silvestro and Sophie Mollard didn't want to loose too many seconds.

In the short stretch on foot Compagnoni increased the gap, Alba De Silvestro had a moment of indecision that had her leaving the change with a slight delay, the French woman tried to stay glued to Compagnoni but didn't manage it. The Italian won the gold medal with a time of 4'24’’, De Silvestro was second by five seconds, while Sophie Mollard was third.

After the Juniors' flower giving ceremony the Seniors’ knockout stages left, with athletes leaving one at a time with a thirty second gap between one athlete and the next. The following spectacle was articulated by the departures of the various quarter and semi-final qualification heats. 

Of the men Werner Marti, Marcel Theux, Alexis Sevennec, William Bon Mardion, Anton Palzer and Josef Rottmoser reached the finals. The German Rottmoser is the favourite with the fastest qualifying time of 3'42". He won all the heats that led him in the finals. Silence fell, a few moments passed and there was a jostle immediately, Rottmoser springs into first position, behind him was his countryman Anton Palzer and just behind him William Bon Mardion. Half way up the slope, Rottmoser was firmly in command, Palzer earned second position in the section on foot and maintained it in descent, the Frenchman Bon Mardion tried to catch up on Palzer, but without success. Before the last curve, the young German lifted his hands for the victory of his friend Rottmoser who closed with 3'47". Palzer was therefore second with 3'52" while Bon Mardion arrived five seconds away from the second step of the podium.

In the women's final Mathys Maude left immediately in the lead, Laetitia Roux controlled her second position, in third place the surprise of the day arrived, the Canadian Melanie Bernier. Mathys remained in first position throughout the race, Laetitia Roux came up alongside the Swiss woman on the last corner and in the final sprint gained a few centimetres, which allowed her to cross the finish line first with a time of 3'54", only half a second ahead of Mathys, Bernier confirmed the third place.

In the female Espoir category Allessandra Cazzanelli won over Axelle Mollaret on the basis of Cazzanelli's better qualification time given that both were classified fifth in their respective semi-finals. In third place was the Swiss woman Jennifer Fiechter.

The best times of the day were recorded by the winner Rottmoser,3'39", and Laetitia Roux, 3'54".

Of the men Palzer climbs once again onto the podium of Sappada winning the first position in the Espoir catergory, in second place is Nadir Maquet while Iwan Arnold is in third place. 

Tomorrow at 9 am the individual trial will set off.



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