Boí Taüll – Tuesday’s afternoon was about the first competition of the Senior Men and Women – Sprint race. 75 Men and 43 Women lined up to the start of the qualification. Only the 30 fastest athletes from the qualification round made it to the quarterfinals, where the elimination battles began.
The track was shorter than last year’s, which meant that even a minor mistake could mean the end of hopes. In the men’s category, we saw the fall of the biggest favourite, Arno Lietha, and the penalty of Iwan Arnold. As a result, both Swiss athletes did not make it to the semi-finals.
Jagerčíková won the missing title
The final of the women’s race saw a close battle between Marianna Jagerčíková (Slovakia) and Emily Harrop (France). Harrop had a slight advantage after the first diamonds but made a mistake on the first transition. Jagerčíková took the lead and held it until the finish. She managed to go through the final run without making any mistakes.
“It was the last title I was missing. I was two times vice-world champion, and that was my goal. It may be my last chance, as I am now 37. The race was hard, but I like to race at altitude. We were together with Emily, but I focused on myself and pushed to the finish,” said Jagerčíková, the first Slovak skimo world champion ever.
The second to cross the finish line was Marianne Fatton of Switzerland, while Emily Harrop took the bronze medal. Célia Perillat-Pessey of France came fourth. Two Italians, Giulia Murada and Giulia Compagnoni closed the Top 6 of the race.
A dream come true for Cardona Coll
The men’s sprints attracted a lot of attention from the home fans. One of the biggest favourites of the day was Oriol Cardona Coll, who won the European Championships at this same venue last year. The Spanish sprint specialist made it to the finals, where he dominated from the start.
Cardona Coll notched the biggest win of his career as he handled a lot of pressure put on him as the favourite, especially on home soil:
“It was special to race at home. I want to thank all my friends and family who supported me. I’m sorry that Arno Lietha and Maximilien Drion didn’t make it to the finals due to problems. I was also worried that I wouldn’t make it to the final, but in the end, it worked out, and I was more at ease in the final. Fantastic day. Thank you to everyone from the organisers to those closest to me,” said Cardona Coll.
The silver medal was won by Frenchman Thibault Anselmet, who overtook his compatriot Robin Galindo, third in the elite and the winner of the U23 subcategory.
Matteo Favre (Switzerland) finished fourth, Florian Sautel (France) fifth, while Iñigo Martinez de Albornoz closed the Top 6.
Thanks to Caroline Ulrich, Switzerland won gold in the U23 women’s category. Italian athlete Katia Mascherona was second, and Maria Costa Díez of Spain was third.
“It was the first time this season that we also had the U23 ranking. My goal was to be in the finals, which didn’t happen, but I managed to win gold in the U23, and I’m happy with this result,” said Ulrich.
Robin Galindo became the U23 Sprint World Champion. Matteo Favre finished second in this subcategory, and Otto Ferrer Martínez was third.
“I prepared a lot for this race. To be third in the elite and first in the U23 is a fantastic achievement. I had a great battle with Anselmet and Favre. I am happy for the whole French team. We started good, and let’s hope we can make good results all week,” said Galindo.