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Jacopo Larcher - Strange Heroes
From Vertical to Skymarathon, the success of La Sportiva mountain runing team was simply great: winners of this impressive Italian weekend, Tadei Pivk and Maite Maiora in the sky category and Michele Boscacci and Valentina Bellotti in the Vertical.
The third leg of the 2017 Migu Run Skyrunner® World Series Sky Classic category had everything going for it – a stacked international field, a super-technical high altitude course and picture-postcard weather. Sunday’s Livigno SkyMarathon, represents one of the most challenging courses in the category.
Reaching 3,000m altitude, the 34 km course is highly technical, with fixed chains, ridges, moraine and snow fields. With last-minute course revisions to ensure the safety of the 151 competitors, the total vertical climb was established at 2,670m, due to snow conditions at the summit.
The day went to Skyrunning World Champion, Spaniard Maite Maiora and Italian Tadei Pivk, last year’s race winner and both La Sportiva toal look global ambassador.
Maiora is going from strength to strength after a spectacular win in a spectacular race. She not only led comfortably from start to finish, but also endured a fall and subsequently six stitches to her knee. She closed in 4h37’30”.
“Frankly, my knee hurts a bit but I’m so, so happy!” she commented. “It was a really tough race. In a difficult race you risk and anything can happen. The first part was the hardest, but it’s the part I like best – the ascent.
An excellent second place went to Rumanian Denisa Dragomir and in third, Spaniard Laia Andreu.
For Pivk, it was a sound come-back, taking the top of the podium for the second time round. “I came back again this year. The race changed slightly and it was even harder! Aritz [Egea] was ahead of me and held a good pace. I had to keep an eye on him so he wouldn’t get too close.” Evidently, the strategy paid off and he closed in 3h52’32”, just less than two minutes over his rival, Spaniard Aritz Egea. Eduardo Hernandez rounded off the podium.
Opening this 3 days of races, the sixth event on the new Vertical Kilometer® World Circuit Friday: Santa Caterina Vertical Kilometer.
Short and sweet, the race climbs exactly 1,000m vertically over 2.9 km with an average incline of 35% – just the way the VK specialists like it. Italy is home to some of the best Vertical Kilometer athletes in the world, as the results and rankings demonstrate.
First to reach the 2,739m summit was La Sportiva ambassador and Skimountaineering champion Michele Boscacci in 34’56”, followed by Nejc Kuhar in 35’14”and Patrick Facchini in 35’40”. The women’s podium was headed by Valentina Belotti in 41’26”, with a new entry on the international VK scene from Finland, Susanna Saapunki, second in 42’23”. In third, Francesca Rossi who closed in 43’08”.
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