Zumaya Flysch è stata la sede della 14^ e 15^ prova di coppa del mondo WMRA con la gara marathon da 42km e la mountain classic da 22km. I corridori hanno dovuto affrontare condizioni piuttosto difficili con pioggia e vento forte che hanno appesantito il terreno.
Partenza al buio per i corridori impegnati in questa distanza e vittoria finale per la leader di coppa Charlotte Morgan che trionfa in 5h18’30, superando la favorita della vigilia Ohiana Kortazar seconda in 5h26’25. Più staccata al terzo posto Belen Perez (ESP) che chiude in 6h29’55”.
In campo maschile in testa fin da subito si è portato lo spagnolo Raul Criado, già a podio in diverse prove long distance di coppa che man mano ha incrementato il suo vantaggio fino a chiudere in 4h35’16” con un notevole vantaggio sul secondo classificato, lo spagnolo Ismail Razga 4h59’25. Terza piazza per Igon Mancisidor 5.03.22.
22k classic mountain
Il meteo alla partenza della 22km si presentava ancora inclemente e ad aumentare le difficoltà ora era anche la presenza di fango dovuta ai passaggi dei precedenti concorrenti.
Fin dalle prime battute a livello femminile c’è stato in testa il duo keniano Njeru and Murigi. Dopo un’intensa “battaglia” ad avere la meglio, come la settimana prima al Trofeo Ciolo, è stata la Njeru 1h42’14” che precede di meno di un minuto la keniana dell’atletica Saluzzo Murigi 1h42’14”. Alice Gaggi chiude il podio con un tempo finale di 1h49’18”.
In campo maschile nelle prime battute sono stati il keniano Ndungu e l’ungherese Szabo a condurre la gara. Ma ben presto il keniano ha allungato il passo andando ad aumentare il proprio vantaggio fino a chiudere in 1h36’48”. Bravo comunque Szabo a contenere il distacco e chiudere in 1h37’1″. Terzo posto per Amets Aramberri (ESP) in 1h37’59.
Zumaia Flysch race report
The runners woke to rainy conditions in Zumaia, ready to take on a course with softer conditions underfoot than we’re used to in the World Cup! Zumaia Flysch was the venue for stage 14 and 15 of this year’s competition, with the 42k race going off first at 7.30am, then the 22k race at 8.30am.
42k long mountain race
The runners tackling the marathon distance set off in the dark in a drizzly square in Zumaia. The start line included Charlotte Morgan (GBR), who has had a fantastic World Cup this year with wins at Canfranc Marathon and Tatra Race Run. But it was expected to be a tough battle with Oihana Kortazar (ESP), who won Canfranc Marathon last year. In the men’s race the stand-out runner was Raul Criado (ESP), who has also been on the podium at several World Cup events this year, but he faced a tough field of Spanish runners, including many locals from the Basque Country.
In the early stages of the women’s race it was Kortazar leading Morgan by a short distance. But at around the halfway point Morgan caught Kortazar and then slowly began to pull away throughout the second half. Morgan won in 5.18.30, with Kortazar second in 5.26.25. There was a big gap back to third placed Belen Perez (ESP) who finished in 6.29.55.
In the men’s race there was a clear leader from the start and that was Criado. He proceeded to stretch that lead further and further over the course of the race and the almost 3000m of elevation. The field of talented Spanish runners chased Criado but he was to prove too strong. Criado won in 4.35.16 with a big gap back to Ismail Razga (ESP) in second in 4.59.25. Igon Mancisidor (ESP) was third in 5.03.22.
Full results for the marathon at: http://www.kronoak.com/live/2021/flyschzumaia42k/
22k classic mountain race
Conditions were still damp when the 22k classic distance runners set off. By now there was a fair bit of mud on the course, which added to the considerable challenge of a lot of uphill and downhill along the coastal route. Many of the athletes toeing the line were lying in the top 10 World Cup rankings, including Joyce Njeru (KEN), Lucy Murigi (KEN), Alice Gaggi (ITA), Geoffrey Ndungu (KEN) and Sandor Szabo (HUN).
In the women’s race it was Njeru and Murigi who set the early pace, and indeed were neck and neck for much of the race as they battled the conditions. Eventually it was Njeru who came out on top, taking another World Cup victory, hot on the heels of Trofeo Ciolo, but it was close. Njeru won in 1.41.32 with Murigi less than a minute behind in 1.42.14. Gaggi who came through for third place in 1.49.18.
In the men’s race Ndungu and Szabo led from the front. Like Njeru and Murigi they worked with each other in the early stages tried to make a break from the chasing pack. Ndungu gradually pulled away and took the win in 1.36.48 but Szabo was right behind him in 1.37.13. Amets Aramberri (ESP) was also close behind in third in 1.37.59.
Full results for the 22k at: http://www.kronoak.com/live/2021/flyschzumaia21k/