At Les Marécottes, in the Valais region, Switzerland, fresh snow and beautiful sunshine welcomed the third event of the 2016 ISMF Ski Mountaineering World Cup, valid also as European Championships. As regards the Individual race, held today, the new European champions are Michele Boscacci (ITA) in Senior men category and Laetitia Roux (FRA) in women, while Anton Palzer (GER) and Alba De Silvestro (ITA) struck gold for the Espoir category. As for the Juniors, the crowned champions are Davide Magnini (ITA) and Lena Bonnel (FRA), and among the Cadet Ekaterina Osichkina (RUS) and Florian Ulrich (SUI) got the better of their competitors.

COURSE

For the Senior and Espoir titles the 12.7-km course featured 1620 m of positive gradient spread over 5 climbs and as many downhill stretches. In turn, Senior and Espoir women and Junior men measured themselves up against a 1400-m difference (four climbs); finally, Junior women and all Cadet athletes raced on a 1200-m (3 climbs) gradient course.

SENIOR MEN

The Senior event immediately saw some staggering pace being displayed with the best contenders immediately separating the lead group from the runner-ups.
At the first climb Frenchman Matheo Jacquemoud stepped up the tempo and changed his set-up at the first checkpoint in the lead.

The dynamics of the race became clearer at the following climbs with Michele Boscacci, Anton Palzer and Kilian Jornet Burgada (SPA) competing for the lead. At the last climb the Italian Michele Boscacci got the better of the others and won the race in 1h24’31”. Kilian Jornet finished second in 1h25’00” and the Anton Palzer (GER) won the won the bronze medal. Following, Xavier Gachet, Matheo Jacquemoud, Matteo Eydallin, Didier Blanc, Alexis Sevennec, Martin Anthamatten, Virt Leo and Manfred Reichegger.

SENIOR WOMEN

Among the women, Laetitia Roux was no match to her adversaries and finished first in 1h27’36”; the Swiss Jennifer Fiechter finished in the second place in 1h30’01” and third came the Spaniard Claudia Cotrina in 1h30’36”. The top ten finisher list also included Victoria Kreuzer, Katia Tomatis, Laura Orgué, Martina Valmassoi, Nahia Quincoces, Alba De Silvestro and Ida Nilsson.

ESPOIR

Among the Espoir women, De Silvestro (Italy) confirmed her excellent form closing the race in the first position (1h36’15”) ahead of Marianne Fatton (Switzerland) and Joahanna Erhart (Austria). Among the men, as widely expected, Anton Palzer (3rd in the absolute leader board) conquered the higher step of the podium (1h25’27”) ahead of Rèmi Bonnet (Switzerland) and Nadir Maguet (Italy).

JUNIORS

Davide Magnini took the European title and the World Cup event ahead of the other Italian Nicolò Canclini and Frenchman Samuel Equy. The Junior women race saw Lena Bonnel prevail on her fellow countrywoman Adele Milloz and Giulia Murada (ITA).

CADETS

Among the Cadet athletes, the Russian Ekaterina Osichkina finished first ahead of Justine Tonso (FRA) and Samantha Bertolina (ITA). In the men race Switzerland scored a triple podium with Florian Ulrich, Patrick Perreten and Aurélien Gay.

After the successful Individual races, tomorrow will be the turn of the senior Vertical race. On Sunday, the Sprint challenge  will be the grand finale of the three-day event, with and the last continental titles assigned.

Photos HD: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0Bxbuxds-oXM6dFBjb2l2Z3JXQ2s&usp=sharing

WORLD CUP RESULTS

Online on ISMF website : http://ismf-ski.org/www/content/races-result?id=153

All the ISMF World Cup rankings are online on http://ismf-ski.org/ismf2011/rankings.php

Rankings of the day: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bxbuxds-oXM6MWM0eUxIeE5JYXM

All the results are online on ISMF website: http://ismf-ski.org/www/content/races-result?id=154

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 https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0Bxbuxds-oXM6aENMQ0FIa3E3U2c&usp=sharing Online on ISMF website : http://ismf-ski.org/www/content/races-result?id=152 All the ISMF World Cup rankings are online on http://ismf-ski.org/ismf2011/rankings.php