Il francese Xavier Thevenard ha vinto il TDS® - Sur les traces des Ducs de Savoie, partito ieri, 27 agosto 2014, alle 7.00 del mattino, in 14h12'. E' il primo atleta ad essere il vincitore delle tre maggiori competizioni del The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®, avendo vinto il CCC nel 2010 e l'UTMB nel 2013. Dopo che le due maggiori favorite della gara femminile sono state costrette al ritiro, ha preso il sopravvento la spagnuola Teresa Nimez Perez, seguita dall'italiana Lisa Borzani.
Alle ore 8.00 del 28 agosto 2014, con favorevoli condizioni meteo, ha preso il via la prima edizione della OCC® (Orsière-Champex-Chamonix), l'unica competizione del palinsesto, al di sotto dei 100 km (53 km, per l'esattezza).
Chamonix, August 28, 2014... And 1, 2, 3 wins for Xavier Thévenard
Last night, the French runner Xavier Thévenard carved his name in the history of The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® by winning the TDS® (sur les traces des Ducs de Savoie). It took him only 14h12 to complete the race (119km/7 300m of ascent). He has been warmly welcomed in the center of Chamonix last night, until he crossed the finish line at 9:15pm and greeted the crowd that cheered for him all along his effort.
After an impressing success last year on the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® (UTMB® 169km/9 600m of ascent 20h34min57sec) and his victory on the CCC® (101km/6 000m of ascent) in 2010, the little French guy from Jura actually owns the title of the three major races of The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Banc®. He is the first athlete ever to accomplish this hat-trick.
"I had this race in mind for a little while now" said Xavier after crossing the finish line.
But the young man has been taken of doubts these last weeks, mostly because of tiredness. Thanks to his team, he overcame this tricky moment and finally appeared at his best on the start line at 7:am last morning in Courmayeur. "The difficulty is always to realize a personal ambition, a preparation. So I can I say that it is a huge satisfaction today. This victory erases a little bit my results at the beginning of the season. I managed my speed all along, always keeping an eye on what was happening behind me. Focusing on my speed was enough to make the difference. When I saw that I was 30 minutes ahead in Les Contamines, I really started to believed in a possible win" - Xavier says .
After the downpour that fell on Chamonix Tuesday, a beaming sun and perfect conditions were set for the 1600 contestants of this TDS®.
Xavier Thévenard quickly took the head and ran away in front of the pack. Closely following his footsteps, a young Nepalese of 31 years old, Samir Tamang. Winner of the Hong Kong 100km in the beginning of the year, the Nepalese military was following the French's steps in the first third of the race before yielding to difficulties of the ground. "If I had been him, I wouldn't had tried to follow Xavier" - said Dawa Sherpa while congratulating his fellow countryman. Tamang had never done a race longer than 100 km before, and was running for the first time on European paths. "Let's say that the distance caused me the more trouble, more than tracks' lay out" - explained Samir. He had a hard time finishing this TDS®, playing hide and seek with Jordi Bes, winner of CCC® in 2013. Despite everything, Tamang resisted on Jordi's return, and will take the second place, leaving the 3rd one to Spanish.
French flags were fluttering when they were seeing the head of the race, Maud Gobert and Agnès Hervé running through checkpoints. Unfortunately, tired and sick, the first one gave up at Col Joly (Km 68) while she was considerably leading the race. While on second position, Agnès Hervé gave up a little bit earlier. All suitable withdrawals for Spanish Teresa Nimez Perez who'll be the first woman to cross the finish line before the Italian Lisa Borzani.
At 8.00 this morning, this long week of race was keeping it up with the start of the first OCC® (Orsière-Champex-Chamonix), the only race in the program which doesn't exceed 100 km. The OCC® (52km and 3 300m of ascent) started under the sun which, hopefully, will continues to shine for the major race: UTMB® at 5:30pm on Friday in Chamonix.