|Face de Bellevarde VK – champions past and present sky high|
Today’s Vertical Kilometer® on Val d’Isère’s Face de Bellevarde Olympic ski slope, saw champions from past and present excel in the lung-busting 1,000m vertical ascent which reaches 2,809m altitude.
Salomon’s Laura Orguè, recently crowned Skyrunning World Champion for the Vertical distance set a new record in 40’52”, breaking the long standing record set by team-mate Antonella Confortola in 2002 by 18”. Twelve years on and Antonella has made an incredible come-back, just ten seconds off her original record of 42’40”. Third lady was France’s Axelle Mollaret. Italian Francesca Rossi (La Sportiva) was fourth and Salomon’s Stephanie Jimenez, fifth. After her incredible performance, Laura commented, “I thought it was too steep for me!” The challenging 2.9 km course, in fact, covers sections with an average 33% incline and stretches around 50% up to a maximum 63%.
The men’s race fell short of Marco De Gasperi’s 2003 record, but Italian Marco Moletto took the win in 36’50”, closely followed by La Sportiva team mate, Nejc Kuhar from Slovenia, 8” later. Another great come-back after ten years, in third place is Spaniard Agustì Roc, (FEEC), three times Skyrunner® World Series Champion, in 37’18”. La Sportiva continued their dominance with Italian Nadir Maguet, fourth, and Frenchman Alexis Sevennec (SCOTT Sports) was in fifth position.
Salomon’s Emelie Forsberg, last year’s Ice-Trail winner and 2014 Skyrunning World Champion for the Ultra distance, placed 6th in 45’33”. “I’m not used to the Vertical Kilometer®”, she commented afterwards, “but I loved it and wanted to go on forever. I’d like to train specifically for it and learn the technique”. The technique in fact involves the use of ski poles, which help maintain the centre of gravity and assist the body in the upward impulse.
Laura Orguè and Augsti Roc now take over the lead of the Skyrunner® World Series Vertical ranking.
1. Augustì Roc (FEEC) – 150 points
2. Nadir Maguet (La Sportiva) – 140 points
3. Marc Casal Mir (Race Land) – 108 points
1. Laura Orguè (Salomon) – 188 points
2. Antonella Confortola (Salomon) – 158 points
3. Stefanie Jimenez (Salomon) – 140 points
The weekend’s racing takes a break until Sunday’s Ice-Trail Tarantaise (ITT). Despite the current difficult weather conditions, race organiser Laurent Vinner is confident the original 65km course with a gruelling 5,000m vertical ascent and descent will be confirmed.