LAUSANNE, 1st March 2017 – The miracle came at sunrise in Piancavallo. It cleared the sky out, dry bones and souls from the rainy hours of yesterday Sprint and deliver a convincing sunshine over the Vertical race and the Champs. Add some fresh snow in the night and morning breeze which gave consistency to the snow and here you are the perfect day to go get another bunch of medals. The 2017 world Championship Vertical race took place mostly in the ski area, with an on piste track, first along a small mountain road and then heading up steeper and steeper to the finish line. For the 233 contestants this Vertical had a double meaning. “As it happened also in the past, like in Switzerland at Les Marecottes – Alpinski last year – said Armando Mariotta ISMF president – the competition is valid also for the world Cup discipline ranking”. The reason is simple: the world Cup calendar has counted just one Vertical so far, in the Andorra opening stage. One more is scheduled in the last stop of the season in Val d’Aran, next April. So the third race to decide who deserves the discipline cup would be this one: double challenge, one goal. To be as fast as rockets in the “chrono” climb. Looking at the current Vertical ranking there might have been at least six athletes – those already on the Vertical podium in Andorra – to feel more involved in the chase. Emelie Forsberg, Sweden, and Swiss Werner Marti were the vertical winner last January. Followed by Axelle Mollaret, France and Spanish Laura Orgué Vila, among the ladies and Kilian Jornet Burgada, Spain and Swiss Remi Bonnet, on the men’ side. Some of them, like Burgada, Forsberg, Mollaret and Marti made the most of it, fighting for the double target of day, but the games were open enough for some other outsiders from the crowd to go for some glory in this “one way up” format race. That is how, for example, experience in mountain running and a great deal of courage helped Andrea Mayr, from Austria, to go for the gold. The Austrian lady put down a perfect run on Swedish ranking leader Emelie Forsberg, who managed to grab second place and silver medal in the final rush, keeping the leadership also for the Vertical world cup ranking. French Axelle Mollaret rounded out the ladies’ senior podium in third, satisfied with the bronze and the precious point for the world Cup.
The men race was as tough as expected and again it was the favourite playground for two among the main protagonists of the season so far: Damiano Lenzi and Kilian Jornet Burgada set the pace and did not wait around. The Italian, psyched with the fresh Individual result and the gold medal in Alpago, deeply wanted to earn himself another prize but was overwhelmed by the fury of Spanish Burgada, Individual senior medalist, who managed to shoot the simplest and most effective skiing, taking the lead and the victory, 12” ahead of Lenzi. Wise Werner Marti, Switzerland, run a conservative climb and is now bronze medal, although he’s been overcome by Burgada in the vertical ranking of the world Cup.
Earlier in the day, the “younger” programme with the Cadet race saw some fresh smiles on the podium with Léo Besson, Aurelien Gay and Matteo Sostizzo to grab the medals together with Samantha Bertolina, Justin Tonso and Caroline Ulrich. In the Junior category gold medal to Russia with Ekaterina Osichkina, silver to Italy with Giulia Murada and bronze to France with Mallaurie Mattana. As for the gentlemen, thumbs up for the new Junior world championship from Italy, Davide Magnini ahead of Stefan Knopf, Germany, and Maximilien Drion, from Belgium, second time in a row on the podium after yesterday Sprint.
Tomorrow there is one more chance to grab some medals and world glory: it will be Relay race time, which will be hosted in the Piancavallo mountains basin to frame the perfect Grand Finale for the 2017 world Championships which graduated a little less than 100 guys from 25 different countries.
Kilian Jornet Burgada (ESP): “I am happy with my result, the 10th medal in a Champs. But this one has a special meaning because we had great results also as a team and I feel it is about time we passed something to the youngsters if we really want this sport to proceed!”
Andrea Mayr (AUT): “Right from the start I was in second position, then I decide to try and take the lead. It paid off: until the middle section I had some 30” advantage on Emelie Forsberg and managed to keep the gap. I am so happy for this world title: I already had six in mountain running but this is the first one in skimo world Champs!”
For full results
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