Ponte di Legno – The third edition of the ISMF -LGC World Championships Long Distance Team saw a tough ski mountaineering race in Adamello-Brenta Natural Park. This year 125 teams from 15 countries participated in the open race, while 13 men’s and 9 women’s teams competed in the Long Distance Team World Championships.
The course was 39 kilometres long, with 3115 metres of ascent and 3455 negative metres. Four climbs in total – Passo Presena (2990 m), Punta Venerocolo (3312 m), Cresta Croce (3307 m) and Passo Tre Denti (2996 m) – and tough downhills made the race a demanding one. Especially the last descent made the legs burn.
Adamello Ski Raid 2023 started at 6:00. Davide Magnini and Nadir Maguet (Italy) pulled the leading group in the first uphill. Even the high pace did not reduce the group, and five duos came together to Passo Presena (2990 m). From this point on, it wasn’t a battle with uphills and downhills, but also with altitude. Thirty kilometres and more than 2000 metres of denivelation still left.
Robert Antonioli & Matteo Eydallin (Italy) and Mathéo Jacquemoud & Samuel Equy (France) were together in the front. The Italian duo created a small gap on the penultimate summit and then increased it on the last mountain. They managed to keep their lead in the last long and technical downhill and became world champions.
“I know this race very well, as it was my fifth start here. So I told Robert to remember to drink and eat and go at our regular pace. Today, the French team was very strong. We created a small gap in Cresta Croce, then did the last climb and downhill full gas. The legs are not so happy about this strategy, but we were able to win, so we are happy,” said Matteo Eydallin. The Italian machines won two World titles in March, as they won the World Championships in the Team race in Boí Taüll, Spain.
Defending champions Jacquemoud and Equy finished second by 2 minutes and 49 seconds. According to Equy, it was a very tough day in difficult conditions. Especially the last descent gave them a hard time.
The bronze spot was for another French team – William Bon Mardion and Xavier Gachet. The long-time team racing partners were battling for the last place on the podium the entire race.
In La Grande Course races, the men & women have the same course and start time. From the beginning, the women’s race was in the hands of the biggest favourites, Axelle Gachet-Mollaret & Emily Harrop. The French champions retained the long-distance World title, winning with 10 minutes gap. It’s their fourth team race win together in the past two years: Tour du Rutor 2022 (ISMF-LGC WCH Long Distance), World Championships Team race 2023, Pierra Menta 2023 and Adamello Ski Raid 2023 (ISMF-LGC WCH Long Distance).
“Really, really hard day with not-so-good visibility for most of the race. Maybe the hardest part of the race was the last downhill. We are happy to win the gold. It’s always a pleasure to race with Axelle, we are a good team and enjoy each race we do together,” said Emily Harrop.
Alba De Silvestro and Giulia Murada were second for almost half of the race but did not finish. Murada was not feeling well in the morning and was forced to abandon. She is currently fine, which is the most important thing.
The silver medal grabbed the Bonnel sisters, Candice & Léna. It was also the fourth medal for France of the day. Giulia Compagnoni & Ilaria Veronese (Italy) were the third to cross the finish line.