As a prelude to a big start for Friday’s UTMB at 5pm, the CCC took off this morning at 9am from Courmayeur, with 1,900 runners ready to battle it out on the 101km track and 6100m D+.
Norway’s Stian Engermund was the great animator in the first half of the race. A great connoisseur of Montblanc’s ways to win the OCC title in 2019 and this year’s Montblanc Marathon, the Norwegian jumped into the lead up to Champix Lac, where”The race really begins.”According to specialists.
As a beginner at this distance, Angermond gave up irreparably due to a thigh injury. Then Frenchman Thibaut Gariver, who finished second in the event in 2019, took control of the race to climb onto the Getty, and took the lead (66 km), leading by more than 3 minutes. A lead the radiologist at Lyon would not quit, to win in 10:23.
“This year I came with an extra incentive. I had the injury for about 12 months, and we often come back stronger after that. I think it was my case,” Clarify the winner at the finish line.
Still in the top ten from the start, New Zealand veteran Scott Hooker, third at UTMB 2019, patiently took his time and gradually moved up the standings to finish the race, second, at 10:47 am. “There were so many runners faster than me this morning at first, that I told myself I shouldn’t let myself get carried away at their own pace” Said the man from Christchurch, who started his comeback after halfway, to finish with a 14-minute lead over the winner.
Frenchman Thibaut Baronian, for whom it was his first outing in competition over such a long distance, was fully aware of this new experience, as he finished third in the event, at 10:53 am and to his greatest delight!
On the women’s front, Spain’s Marta Mollest Codina is currently at the top of the rankings. It is expected to arrive in Chamonix around 9:42 pm.
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