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Bonnet and Gachet-Mollaret dominate shortened Vertical race


Arinsal (Andorra) – The second competition day in Arinsal, Andorra, brought us the first Vertical race of the WÜRTH MODYF ISMF World Cup 202/23. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a classic Arinsal’s Vertical. The night before the race, the organising committee decided to shorten the track due to the expected strong winds. The finish was about halfway through, after 360 vertical metres.

The short course promised a dynamic race from the first metres. The women’s race started at a high pace. Axelle Gachet-Mollaret was controlling the situation from the front of the group, and the rest of the field was waiting for her attack. After increasing the pace, Axelle gained metre by metre and showed absolute dominance in today’s skimo. She won with a comfortable gap:

“The race was shorter than it used to be. I didn’t start too fast, so I saved some energy for the end. The wind was strong, but the cold was not as high as I expected. Two wins out of two races, I’m satisfied with this weekend,” said Gachet-Mollaret, who is now sitting second in the overall standings. The second to cross the finish line was Sarah Dreier of Austria, who made an excellent recovery after her boot came off its binding at the beginning of the race. Célia Perillat-Pessey, the current World Cup leader, completed the podium in third place and continues to have her best season yet.

Bonnet won in his style

The men’s race also started at a fast pace. Oriol Cardona Coll (Spain) and Nadir Maguet (Italy) tried to attack, but the main favourite Rémi Bonnet stayed calm. The Swiss athlete timed his attack, and nobody had a chance to resist him. At the finish, he was half a minute faster than the second Maximilien Drion du Chapois of Belgium.

“I was really motivated after yesterday’s second place. I won here the last three editions. This race suits me well, and I want to repeat this the next year and in the years to come. I think my shape is the best I had in my life, so I want to do a good season,” said Rémi Bonnet, unquestionably the strongest uphill athlete in winter and summer.

Second in the Vertical, third in the Individual. Maximilien Drion du Chapois of Belgium had the best weekend of his career. He is now third overall and fully motivated for the second half of the season:

“What a weekend, I am so happy with the races. Today I was thinking for a while about following Rémi, but then I switched the focus to the guys behind me. The last section was difficult, my legs were burning, but I managed to keep second place. The shape is good, and so is my season so far.”

The WÜRTH MODYF ISMF World Cup will continue in the second week of February in Morgins, Switzerland. The fourth stop of the circuit will be crucial for the development of the overall standings as there will be three disciplines – Sprint, Vertical and Individual.
You can re-watch the Vertical race on TV.ISMF-SKI.ORG.