Malgrado il tempo traditore, la staff organizzativo con la collaborazione di un tempestivo servizio meteo è riuscito ad anticipare i cambiamenti che si sarebbero susseguiti, promuovendo dei cambiamenti (ritardo nella partenza e piccole modifiche nel percorso di gara), mentre davvero eroici sono stati i concorrenti che si sono dovuti cimentare con le difficoltà aggiuntive di vento, freddo e acqua.
Nel CCC, si impone tra gli uomini Manu Gault e, tra le donne la britannica Virginie Govignon (12h457').
Mentre nell'UTMB, il podio maschile è così composto:
1- Kilian Jornet Burgada (Spagna) 20h36'43
2- Iker Karrera Aranburu (Spagna) 20h45'30
3- Sébastien Chaigneau (FRA) en 20h55'41
Di seguito il comunicato stampa integrale.
An event full of twists and turns.
Treacherous weather, many course changes, and favourites not wishing to give the slightest ground to adversity: the 2011 UTMB® will have proved exceptional for its movement. The organisation, due to a wonderful teamwork with the forecasters of Meteo France, offered an impressing show brilliantly anticipating the climatic vagaries, so everything took place in the best safety conditions...for the runners, the volunteers and all the members of the organisation.
On the evening of Friday 26th, Manu Gault and Virginie Govignon scored their names for the first time in the Pantheon of open nature racing, by winning the CCC®, laid out between Courmayeur and Chamonix.
Just before the starting gun in Courmayeur's main square, the organisation had warned each of the competitors by SMS that the start of the course would be "shunted", for safety reasons. Violent storms had been forecast for the Grand Col Ferret. Race control's strategy was therefore to make the pack pass as quickly as possible to this stage of the course. This meant doing without the ascent of the Tête de la Tronche, and heading directly towards Bertone. Other modifications were planned at the end of the course; the runners linked Champex to Chamonix but avoiding Bovine, Catogne and the Tête aux Vents, also exposed to storms. This meant a declared total course of 93km and 5100m D+.
The "newcomers" in the pack got going at a brisk pace. Among them Julien Jorro (FR), but also Mickael Pasero (FR) and the title-holder Xavier Thévenard (FR).
More prudently, Manu Gault and the Canadian Adam Campbell stayed at respectable distances until Champex (6 minutes), before imposing their leadership on the competition. At Trient, Gault drove the point home, putting 15 minutes' distance between him and Campbell. The Greek Kalofyris, already 3rd last year, appeared in the same position, 30 minutes behind. It was a formation which would remain almost the same until the Finish, when the rain started to fall without interruption.
It was a fine reward for the athlete from Le Gard, who in July had placed a great deal on the Worlds in Ireland, but had missed it through sickness. "You can never say at the Start of a race « I'm going to win », but what was certain, is that I was definitely motivated to do really well."
For the girls, Britanny's Virginie Govignon completed an already glittering 2011 season, by winning after 12H47 of effort. "I really was fed up during the final hour of the race" Virginie said at the Finish. "I really went mental, praying that the girls behind would not come back."
The same day, launch of the UTMB® at 11:30PM instead of 06:30PM
From the start of the evening, the disturbances did not spare the Mont-Blanc massif. Temperatures plummeting, stormy depressions and snowfall would have obliged the organisers to delay the Start of the 9th UTMB®, on Friday 26th, by 5 hours to 23h30.
This timetable change also implied a modification of the track at the end of the course: in fact, to avoid a too belated Finish for the final runners on Sunday, the ascent of la Tête du Vent and the descent of La Flégère were cut out in the profit of the route of 2003 passing by the Petit balcon sud.
On Saturday morning, after an enormous storm on Bovine friday, the refreshment post had been destroyed. Even with all it's efforts, the organisation haven't been able to restor it in acceptable safety conditions in a way that everything could have been ready for the passage of the runners. They took the decision to leave out the ascent to Bovine and to divert the UTMB® via Martigny the same one that had been used the day before for the CCC® (during the storm). In the end, the route worked out at 170km et 9700m D+, the distance between Champex and Trient represents 5,6km and 690 m D+ more.
With this, the torrent of the 2,300 competitors was launched along the roads of Chamonix, under an intensifying rain. Covered to brave rain, cold, wind and snowfall announced for the high points of the course, the whole of the pack had taken precautions to confront this first night of racing.
As might have been expected, the Start was swift. Pascal Giguet livened up the Start of the race, going into the lead at St. Gervais. The density of these 2011 contenders was quickly confirmed, with some 24 runners inside 10 minutes at this point on the course.
With Les Contamines (km 31) behind, serious things were being disputed, since the competitors would be entering the heart of the mountainous terrain. The Croix du Bonhomme pass constituted the first real difficulty on the course. Under a fine snowfall, Mike Wolfe (USA), Kilian Jornet (SPA) and Nemeth Csaba (HUN) were the first to point towards the summit, following by Miguel Heras and Iker Karrera (SPA). Sébastien Chaigneau (FRA) gradually whittled down his delay to come back on the descent of the pass, and to catch up with the race leaders.
Starting at Courmayeur, the leading quartet split into two duets: Jornet-Karerra, then Chaigneau/Heras only a few minutes apart in turn crossed the Grand Col Ferret. This is before the inseparables regrouped together at Champex (SWI)
The ultimate decision will be decided during the ascent from Martigny where Kilian Jornet, produced his acceleration. Only Iker Karrera, for his first appearance on a race as long as this one, was resisting. Sébastien Chaigneau, wonderful all along the day, kept the distance around 6-7 minutes. Spain triumphs on the Place de l'Amitié, Jornet the Catalan finishes in 20h36mn in front of the Basque Karrera in 20h45mn and Sébastien Chaigneau (FRA) in 20h55.
As for the girls, the triple UTMB® championess Liz Hawker has, since yesterday evening, been heading for an epic 4th. Staying with the boys, the Britisher already had built up a lead of more than 1h45 minutes over Nerea Martinez (SPA) after 140km of racing, and Maud Gobert. We are waiting for her arrival around 23:00PM
MEN RESULTS UTMB®
1- Kilian Jornet Burgada 20h36'43
2- Iker Karrera Aranburu 20h45'30
3- Sébastien Chaigneau en 20h55'41
The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®
Les Trailers du Mont-Blanc - Catherine Poletti
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