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ISMF World Championships, Italy and France dominated the Team race

ISMF World Championships - Boí Taull

Boí Taüll – Third day of the WÜRTH MODYF ISMF World Championships 2023 brought the week’s longest and most technical event. The team race returned to the World Championships programme after four years.

Today’s course represented pure ski mountaineering with the technical uphills and downhills, ridges and couloirs.

Clear victory of the favourites

The first to start were Senor Women at 9:00. Nine teams from five countries competed on five uphills and a total of 1920 metres of denivelation.

From the start, the French team, composed of Emily Harrop and Axelle Gachet-Mollaret, two of the best athletes, went to the attack from the first metres. The race’s hot favourites had a gap already on the first climb. They continued their dominant performance till the finish line. It’s the second World Championship gold they won together, having won the Long Distance World Championships last year.

“It was great to race something like this. All the downhills and uphills were technical, a real mountain race. This is what we love. I like racing with Axelle, and we are happy that we were able to win it today. We planned to build a lead early into the race, not to be stressed later and recover a bit before the Saturday’s Individual,” said Harrop.

The second in the finish were the Italians Alba de Silvestro and Giulia Murada. Two friends were all smiles in the finish after winning the silver medal:

“I’m happy to be on the podium because this World Champs didn’t start how I planned. I’m happy to be in second place with Alba on the best course ever because the Team race is the best. I’m quite tired, but I hope that day by day I’ll be better,” said Giulia Murada.

The last spot on the podium claimed the second French team, Célia Perillat-Pessey and Candice Bonnel.

Battle of the two classic teams for Italy

Forty minutes after the Women, the Senior Men started the third race of the week. 26 teams from 14 countries lined up for this category to tackle the 2110 metres of elevation, six climbs and downhills in the ski resort’s perimeter.

Immediately after the start, the four strongest teams formed at the front. Then, after another climb and downhill, the battle for the gold remained between just two pairs – Matteo Eydallin & Robert Antonioli (Italy) and Xavier Gachet & William Bon Mardion (France).

Eydallin and Antonioli finally built a slight lead in the last climb and held it to the finish:

“The race was technical, challenging and very close with the other team. We tried to decide the race many times but saw it wasn’t easy. We managed to win, not with a significant margin, but it was enough. We are very happy to start the World Championships with the gold medal. Now we focus on Individual race. The favourite is Rémi Bonnet, but I will try to do the best, and we will see what happens,” said Matteo Eydallin, already a three-time world champion in the Team race.

Gachet and Bon Mardion were just 52 seconds slower and proved they were one of the best skimo pairs ever.

“Nice course, true alpinism and a close race with the Italian team. We gave our maximum, but Robert and Matteo were just stronger,” said Xavier Gachet.

The second Italian team, Davide Magnini & Nadir Maguet, came in third place, 3 minutes and 52 seconds after their compatriots.

Tomorrow is the only rest day of the World Championships. Most athletes will use it to recon the track for Saturday’s Individual. The penultimate race will be streamed live from 9:10 on Saturday on TV.ISMF-SKI.ORG.

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