A few days from the ISMF Ski Mountaineering World Cup “Mondolè Ski Alp” final, the preparations at the ski complex of Prato Nevoso, Frabosa and Artesina are in full swing; indeed, for the second year in a row the resort will host the most important event of the whole World Cup.

Twenty-four hours after the end of the registration period, the continents that will be represented on the summits of the Mondolè Ski complex are as many as three: the presence of the Chinese national team will represent Asia, while the US delegation will represent the Americas. As customary, the European delegation will be in high numbers, with Andorra, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland for a total of over 100 athletes who will be lodged in the reception facilities of Val Maudagna and Val Ellero.

The three-day World Cup event will start on Friday, 18 March 2016 with the Vertical Race, setting off at 10.30am from the new part of Frabosa and finishing on Monte Moro. The finish line is not only a new addition as compared with the 2015 edition, but also a “treat” for the fans who will reach the finish line while enjoying the stunning view of the Monte Oro one-seater chairlift: opened in 1996, this line is a true one-of-a-kind in the history of skiing resorts and one one of the last still operating in Italy.

Besides the chairlift, the finish line area will be opened to technical vehicles and pedestrians after clearing the snow from the road leading to the “Baita delle Stelle” mountain lodge.

On Saturday 19 at 9.00am the rendezvous is at Conca di Prato Nevoso for the individual World Cup and Open races. Ski mountaineers of all categories, members of the FISI or any other foreign federation, will compete with the best athletes in the world on the same track, staging the 64th edition of the Tre Rifugi (start at Prato Nevoso and passages on Monte Mondolè and off-piste at Artesina). For the Open race the registration will be open until 8.00pm of Thursday 17 March.

On Sunday 20 March the even will close with the Sprint race taking place against the breath-taking backdrop of Conca di Prato Nevoso. Three pure-adrenaline events in an easily accessible setting – indeed the track is located close to the ski-lift facilities of the Mondolè Ski complex.

As regards the speciality World Cup titles, Kilian Jornet Burgada (Spain) is at the head of the Individual Race and Vertical Race tables; in the Individual Race table Michele Boscacci and Anton Palzer are the closest contenders. Kilian Jornet Burgada leads with 380 points while the two runner-ups are have 320 and 240 points, respectively. As regards the Vertical Race the Spaniard has 200 points, 40 more than Rémi Bonnet (160 points) and 95 ahead of Anton Palzer (105 points).

As far as the Sprint Race goes, the leader is the Italian specialist Robert Antonioli with 280 points; behind him are Anton Palzer and Iwan Arnond.

The women’s table sees Laetitia Roux (France) in the first position for the Individual Race and Sprint Race. In the Vertical Race Laura Orguè Vila (Spain) is firmly in the lead with 180 points, ahead of Victoria Kreuzer (Switzerland – 160 points) and Laetitia Roux (100 points).

As concerns the Individual Race, Roux is safely in the lead with 345 points, ahead of the Swiss Jennifer Fiechter (270 points) and the Spaniard Claudia Galicia Cotrina (240 points). In the Sprint Race table, Roux is first with 281 points, while Marta Garcia Farres and Marrianne Fatton are respectively second and third with 220 and 140 points.

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