Jonathan Albon and Sara Alonso take today’s win, Davide Magnini and Sara Alonso lead the overall ranking!
A new race route and new winners! After 42 kilometres of grinding effort, Jonathan Albon(Team The North Face, Great Britain) and Sara Alonso (Team Salomon, Spain) win the Marathon du Mont-Blanc, with its new 2022 version whose course’s finish line is right at the heart of Chamonix. With the Zegama winners absent the Golden Trail World Series overall ranking reveals new leaders: Davide Magnini (Team Salomon, Italy) and Sara Alonso.
Jonathan Albon pushed the limits
New to the Golden Trail World Series, Jonathan Albon was one of the favourites for this Marathon du Mont Blanc. The Brit, reigning World Trail Running Champion, did not disappoint. Never far behind, despite a rocket start from Théo Détienne (Team Salomon, France) and African runners such as Petro Mamu (Team Scarpa, Eritrea), he used his quality climbing and downhill skills to take the lead at Vallorcine, and never gave it back. “I love France, he confided at the finish line. I don’t think I’ve lost in France, after the OCC and the Templiers. So, it’s a good job I’m coming back! I don’t really like the beginning of races because you’re too fresh, and you’re just waiting to get tired. The second half of the race is much better and I can really push in the uphill as well as the downhill. In the final downhill, I saw the camera guys on a bend and lost concentration for a split second and fell, and my calves cramped up afterwards, but I made it and I’m really happy!” Behind him, Davide Magnini also knew how to grit his teeth and pull a fantastic second place, synonymous with top position in the Golden Trail Series overall ranking. “It’s without doubt one of the toughest races I’ve ever run. I didn’t have great sensations at the start, I very quickly had pains all over the place and especially stomach issues. I couldn’t keep the pace in the first uphill to Le Tour, or to Posettes. I was going to throw in the towel at Vallorcine, my legs were killing me, there was nothing, no energy. Then all of a sudden it came back; I could keep the pace and I started moving up the ranking. I’m really pleased with what I managed to do to get this second place, which means I grab first place in the Golden Trail Series overall ranking. Now the plan is to go and get something either at Stranda or Zinal, depending on my recovery.” Ruy Ueda (Team Red Bull, Japan) took third place thanks to his lightning-fast last downhill. “The start was really fast, he admitted at the finish line. I tried to keep my own pace without trying to keep up with the others. In Vallorcine I thought I could get into the top 10 but I never imagined getting the podium, I’m really thrilled!”
Sara Alonso validates
In Zegama she hit big by finishing on the podium, Sara Alonso just confirmed her incredible form by winning, for the first time in her career, a Golden Trail World Series race. “It was incredible! I was feeling so good, but I wanted to take it easy until the first big downhill. I knew it was my strong point, and as soon as I could I went all out. Then when I’d taken the lead I started ticking off the kilometres in my head, 20 left to go, 15, now there’s 10. I didn’t want to believe it but I knew it was possible. But in the last downhill I took a huge fall and then I thought “No it’s not possible!” But it was more of a scare than being painful: everything was fine! I’ve been waiting for this victory and I’m super thrilled!“. More unexpected was the superb second place from Caitlin Fielder (Team Salomon, New Zealand). “I needed this result for my self-confidence, she confided at the finish. I need to believe in my racing skills and this race has done me a lot of good. We were really close together at the start and I felt I went out way too fast, but I stayed confident and kept the pace up. I didn’t believe in this second place because we all know that anything can happen before the finish line, but I’m so pleased that all my efforts have paid off!” Third place was fought out in a sprint between Dani Moreno (Team Hoka One One/Rabbit, USA) and Anaïs Sabrié (Team Sidas X Matryx, France), which was won by the American. “Oh man, it’s a really hard course, she gasped at the finish line. I left too much of a gap in the first part of the race, I managed to cut the time down but not enough to catch Caitlin and Sara. I’m really happy with the race and to have got this podium spot. Also, the atmosphere was crazy on the trails, and I loved it!”
After this second stage in Chamonix, the Golden Trail World Series is headed to Norway for the Stranda Fjord Trail Race that will take place on 6th August. Will the leaders of the overall ranking be able to keep hold of their places, or will we see new names pop out of the hat?
1 – JONATHAN ALBON (GBR – THE NORTH FACE): 03:35:20 (+200 pts)
2 – DAVIDE MAGNINI (ITA – SALOMON): 03:39:41 (+176 pts)
3 – RUY UEDA (JAP – RED BULL): 03:40:42 (+156 pts)
4 – ELHOUSINE ELAZZAOUI (MAR – PINI MOUNTAIN RACING): 03:43:19 (+144 pts)
5 – THIBAUT BARONIAN (FRA – SALOMON): 03:47:27 (+136 pts)
1 – SARA ALONSO (ESP – SALOMON): 04:14:49 (+200 pts)
2 – CAITLIN FIELDER (NZL – SALOMON): 04:20:21 (+ 176 pts)
3 – DANI MORENO (USA – HOKA ONE ONE/RABBIT): 04:21:52 (+ 156 pts)
4 – ANAÏS SABRIÉ (FRA – TEAM SIDAS X MATRYX): 04:22:10 (+144 pts)
5 – MARCELA VASINOVA (CZE – SALOMON): 04:24:35 (+136 pts)
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