The race, staged on the spectacular itinerary at Caspoggio (Val Malenco – Sondrio) attracted a massive number of fans.

The Sprint Race held at the second 2016 ISMF World Cup event was welcomed by an incredible number of fans and onlookers. The race took place in the beautiful Caspoggio landscape, a few kilometres from Sondrio. A very intense morning, with races, entertainment and a huge crowd closed the 30th edition of Valtellina Orobie. At the end of the qualifying round two Italians, a German, a Spaniard and two Swiss, respectively Michele Boscacci, Robert Antonioli, Anton Palzer, Oriol Cardona Coll, Iwan Arnold, and Yannick Ecouer competed from the first to the last meter of a breath-taking final with countless turns of events. Iwan Arnold started at full speed to stretch the group thin; the Swiss kept the head of the race through set-up changes and on the foot and downhill parts. He crossed the finish line first and immediately went to take the ritual winner picture. Unfortunately his joy was interrupted by the news of a time penalty due to an irregularity in the change zone.

In the light these events the gold was passed down to German ace Anton Palzer. After him, the specialty world champion Robert Antonioli finished second. On the very challenging and spectacular Caspoggio itinerary the Italian athlete was literally worshipped by the local crowd. The third place went to a very promising talent, Oriol Cardona Coll. Then came Yannick Ecouer, a relegated Iwan Arnold and Michele Boscacci, who also received a penalty but did a very good race and was rightfully included among the undisputed stars for the upcoming continental events.

The women race, too, was incredibly hard-fought. In the end the race went to Clàudia Galicia Cotrina. The Spanish medallist won a well-deserved gold ahead of the “Queen of Ski mountaineering” Laetitia Roux and another Spaniard, Marta Garcia Farres. Martina Valmassoi finished fifth.

Right before the much-anticipated senior races, the youth races warmed up the many fans gathered at Caspoggio. After the qualifying rounds the young Italian star Nicolò Canclini was already looking like the likely contender. A very high pace uphill and a flawless downhill stretch did the trick and Canclini managed to keep the Swiss Corthay and the other Italian Davide Magnini at bay. French athletes Bellabouvier and Equy completed the top-five finishers list. The Marseillaise played at the end of the women race thanks to Adéle Milloz, who finished ahead of the Austrian Forchthammer and the other French Lena Bonnel. Two Italians, Giulia Compagnoni and Giulia Murada, completed the top five ending fourth ad fifth, respectively.

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In the women race Laetitia Roux completed her comeback over Jennifer Fiechter. After several seasons the Valtellina Orobie is back among the great worldwide ski mountaineering events as second appointment of the 2016 ISMF World Cup. The 30th edition featured an unusual start and finish to be crossed on foot. The athletes of the individual event have had to prove their worth on a track with 1750 m of positive altitude difference, 5 uphill stretches, 5 slopes, 11 set-up changes, open ridges and spectacular downhill chase-downs. The little snow that fell so far this winter had made these parts all the more athletically challenging. On his home mountains Michele Boscacci has attempted since the very start to win the race; he lived the dream and gave hope to his fans for three quarters of the race, before Kilian Jornet caught up and got the better of him. After a spectacular head-to-head, the two came together at the finish line in Campelli, a few kilometres from Albosaggia. The winner was declared by photo finish and then using the chip. Jornet finished the race in 1h, 35’28”609, Boscacci in 1h 35’28”690. Anton Palzer, the first among the Espoir, came third in 1h 35’56”, followed by a steadily and progressively growing Robert Antonioli. The top ten also included Xavier Gachet (FRA), Valentin Favre (FRA), Mathéo Jacquemoud (FRA), Martin Anthamatten (SUI), Matteo Eydallin and Alexis Sevennec (FRA). The women – and junior men – race comprised 4 uphill and as many downhill stretches (1315 D+ 1315D-). As for the women the French Laetitia Roux got her first success. The queen of ski mountaineering was restored to her throne ending the race first in 1h 42’30” before her Swiss rival Jennifer Fiechter - 1h 44’59” – and the Swede Emelie Forsberg – 1h 46’51”. Worth reporting is that Forsberg lost the second place after a time penalty: incorrect position of her skis in the bag. The Spaniard Claudia Galicia finished fourth before the azzurra Katia Tomatis; then, Valentine (France), Martina Valmassoi (Italy), Mireia Mirò and Marta Garcia (Spain) and the young – and first among the Espoir – Alba De Silvestro (Italy). In the Junior race Italy conquered the first two spots with Davide Magnini e Giulia Compagnoni; after 3 uphill and 3 downhill stretches (990 D+ 990 D-), the podium was completed by Lena Bonnel (France) and the local favourite Giulia Murada. As regards the men podium, the French Samuel Equy finished second and Nicolò Canclini won the bronze medal. Tomorrow the World Cup circus will be back on track at the Centro Sportivo Caspoggio with the Sprint event. Photo Gallery HD Online on ISMF website : All the ISMF World Cup rankings are online on