Great traffic of athletes, a thousand, at the start (and arrival) Saturday, July 14th, in the three races (30, 55 and 105 km) of the Gran Trail Courmayeur, in its sixth edition. Unlike the past, departures and arrivals have had as their epicenter in Piazza Brocherel, in the center of Courmayeur, to the advantage of welcoming the spectators. A choice that found everyone happily agree: the athletes, the tourists - mostly foreigners - and, certainly not the last, the sponsors and the traders.
Starting at 9am with 300 "colleagues", after three hours and three minutes, the winner of the 30 kilometers arrived, the twenty-nine year old Kevin Houlné, born in Colmar, in Alsace. Coming from road cycling (he was also part of french national team) he has applied in trail running in the last 4 years, training in the few spare time that left him his profession as an engineer in Civil Engineering. It has been almost a vault in the long and overcrowded via Roma, because the second classified, the lombard Andrea Meoli, for ten years on the trails, crossed the line with only 7 seconds of delay. Five minutes after the men's podium was completed with the arrival of Gianluca Borrione, 25 years old, from Aosta Valley and just two years in the trail running world.
French is also the winner of the women's 30 kilometers, Marie Janod, twenty-two yers old, from the Jura. An athlete who started running in the mountains very young as she has 6 years of trail behind her. The biology student, who closed in 3 hours 50 minutes and 47 seconds, has left behind her the Swiss Vanessa Armelao (3.55.31) and the Italian Gisella Zuccarotto (4, 12.59).
Instead, it’s Italian the victory in 55 kilometers (starting at 7). In the men's category, first place for Fabio Cavallo, 33, an electrician and a top athlete also in ski mountaineering. He crossed the line after 6 hours, 39 minutes and 4 seconds, anticipating the norwegian Terje Sandness 6.43.59 and the Scotsman Colin Thorton (6.50.01).
In the women's classification has excelled the Genoese Simona Gambaro (7.43.33) in front of the British Holly Rush (7.46.02) and the Norwegian Elisabeth Borgersen (8.04.07)
Many foreigners in the ranking and this is one of the records of the Gran Trail Courmayeur 2018 that, in addition to having almost doubled the number of competitors in the race compared to last year, has also seen a greater representation of countries across the border: 36.
While the arrivals of the short and intermediate race are followed, more than 300 athletes involved in the long race, the 105 km, are still in the race. Standing longer on the tracks they have faced some short and, given the heat, beneficial thunderstorms and some extra snowfield - all previously made safe - to cross. The first arrivals are scheduled in the dark with the front lamps lit, behind which you could reveal Franco Collé and Giuliano Cavallo, both from Aosta Valley, who are running along the high-altitude trails almost shoulder to shoulder.