Michele Boscacci and Laetitia Roux new European ski mountaineering champions

The European ski mountaineering championships are currently taking place in Les Marécottes in Switzerland. The individual race was won on 02/05/2016 by the Italian Michele Boscacci and the French Laetitia Roux.

In Les Marécottes, in the Swiss region of Valais, fresh snow and beautiful sunshine hosted the third stage of the 2016 ISMF Ski Mountaineering World Cup, also valid as European Championships. Yesterday’s senior individual race was won by Michele Boscacci (ITA) and Laetitia Roux (FRA), while Anton Palzer (GER) and Alba De Silvestro (ITA) took gold in their Espoir category. Davide Magnini (ITA) and Lena Bonnel (FRA) won the Junior category, while Ekaterina Osichkina (RUS) and Florian Ulrich (SUI) got the better of their Cadet rivals.

The 12.7 km course for the Senior and Espoir categories included 1620 m of elevation gain spread over 5 climbs and as many descents. The Senior and Espoir women as well as the junior men competed at a vertical drop of 1400m (four climbs), while the junior women and all the cadet athletes ran along a 1200m course (3 climbs).

The senior event started at an astounding pace, with the strongest athletes immediately setting themselves apart from the rest of the field. On the first climb, Frenchman Matheo Jacquemoud picks up the pace, takes the lead and changes set-up at the first checkpoint. As the race unfolded in the following climbs, Michele Boscacci, Anton Palzer and Kilian Jornet Burgada all clashed for the lead. On the last climb, Boscacci managed to escape to win the race in 1h24’31 ”. Kilian Jornet finished second in 1h25’00 ”while Anton Palzer (GER) took bronze. These three were closely followed by Xavier Gachet, Matheo Jacquemoud, Matteo Eydallin, Didier Blanc, Alexis Sevennec, Martin Anthamatten, Virt Leo and Manfred Reichegger.

Laetitia Roux left her opponents no chance and finished first in 1h27’36 ”; Switzerland’s Jennifer Fiechter finished second in 1h30’01 ”and Spain’s Claudia Cotrina finished third in 1h30’36”. The top ten list also included Victoria Kreuzer, Katia Tomatis, Laura Orgué, Martina Valmassoi, Nahia Quincoces, Alba De Silvestro and Ida Nilsson.

In the Espoir women, De Silvestro (Italy) confirmed her excellent form by finishing the race in the lead (1h36’15 ”) ahead of Marianne Fatton (Switzerland) and Joahanna Erhart (Austria). In the men, as expected, Anton Palzer (3rd in the absolute ranking) climbs on the highest podium (1h25’27 ”) ahead of Rèmi Bonnet (Switzerland) and Nadir Maguet (Italy).

Davide Magnini won the European title and the World Cup event ahead of the other Italian Nicolò Canclini and the French Samuel Equy. The junior girls race saw Lena Bonnel beat her teammate Adele Milloz and Giulia Murada (ITA).

Among the cadet athletes, the Russian Ekaterina Osichkina finished first ahead of Justine Tonso (FRA) and Samantha Bertolina (ITA). In men, Switzerland won a triple podium with Florian Ulrich, Patrick Perreten and Aurélien Gay.

After the success of the individual races, the competitions continue today with the senior vertical race. Sunday, the Sprint Challenge will be the grand finale of the three-day event.