|World Champions line-up for Ice-Trail & Bellevarde VK|
A star-studded world champion line-up is heading for Val d’Isère for next weekend’s Skyrunner® World Series Ultra and Vertical races.
Newly crowned Skyrunning Ultra World Champions, Luis Alberto Hernando and Emelie Forsberg lead the field in the 65k Ice-Trail. Francois D’Haene, second to Kilian Jornet in the race last year, was a close second to Luis in the recent World Championship 80K in Chamonix. The men’s field will see among the leaders, Briton Tom Owens, third in the World Championship Sky distance; Italian Fulvio Dapit, 4th here last year; Frenchmen Martin Gafurri (7th in 2013), Fabien Antolinos, Aurelien Dunand-Pallaz, Julien Navarro and Mathieu Martinez. Australians Caine Warburton, Scott Walker and Matt Cooper; Spaniards Pao Bartolò and Jordi Bes.
Emelie Forsberg, winner here last year, is unquestionably the favourite, with competition for the podium places coming from Frenchwomen Christel Dewalle, 2nd in 2013, Maud Gobert, 4th in the World Championship 80K, Anne-Lise Rousset and Virginie Govignon; Italian Federica Boifava; SpaniardS Nuria Dominguez and Azara Garcia.
The Ice-Trail Tarentaise (ITT) has made a name for itself with enough kilometres, climb and snow to challenge the world’s best with 65 km and 5,000m vertical ascent and descent, reaching a top elevation of 3,653m and five peaks at 3,000m altitude. The records to beat are 7h35’32”, Kilian Jornet and 9h11’11” by Emelie Forsberg in 2013. This year, Kiian will be competing in the USA and returns on the skyrunning circuit for the Dolomites VK and SkyRace®.
Friday’s Face de Bellevarde VK makes a come-back after a nine-year absence and celebrates with an all-star cast. It was here that the second-ever Vertical Kilometer® took place in 1996 up the famous Olympic downhill ski slope – 2.9km between 2,000-3,000m altitude!
Heading the stacked field is the super-strong La Sportiva Team, with Italians Urban Zemmer, 3rd in the World Championships VK, Marco Moletto, Nadir Maguet; Slovenian Nejc Kuhar; Norway’s Thorbjorn Ludvigsen, (6th World Championships); Frenchmen, William Bon-Mardion, Alexis Sevennec; Spaniards Aritz Egea (8th), Agusti Roc, (12th); from Andorra, Ferran Teixido and the Casal brothers Oscar and Marc…
The glittering women’s field is led by recently crowned Skyrunning World Champion, Spaniard Laura Orguè. Italy’s Antonella Confortola, who set the record here in 2002, is back for more and ready to take on the extremely tough competition which includes Emelie Forsberg,and Christel Dewalle, who will race both distances. Among the top runners: from France, Stephanie Jimenez (7th World Championships VK) and Celine Lafaye; from Norway, Therese Sjursen.
Join us for the action on Friday and Sunday with these two completely different events – the short and the long of skyrunning!