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The Italian Michele Boscacci and the French Axelle Gachet-Mollaret win the Individual race in Arinsal, La Massana

Te Individual race at the Comapedrosa Andorra World Cup (Foto Maurizio Torri)

Lausanne – Today’s competition has been a real ski mountaineering race. Proposed by the mountain guide Carlo Ferrari and held on the border peaks between Andorra and Spain, it has counted almost 130 athletes representing 15 different countries. Furthermore, a perfect combo made up optimal weather and ideal snow conditions has created an unforgettable day for a race in the mountains.

A track loop with six steep ascents, several transitions, technical descents and two parts on foot for a total difference in altitude of about 1920 m have excited the Italian Michele Boscacci who took the first step of the podium ahead of the French Xavier Gachet and the teammate Robert Antonioli. In reality, after a second lap closing the gap between the rivals, the first man to cross the finish line has been the World Champion of the Individual discipline Matteo Eydallin (ITA), but a penalty imposed by the referees for skipping some directional flags on the uphill section took him off the podium.

It has been a real thrilling competition also for the Senior Women with five ascents, two parts on foot and 1610 m of height difference. Here, as expected, the transalpine Axelle Gachet-Mollaret has managed to defend herself from the attacks of the Swedish Tove Alexandersson. Once again, the bronze medal has been for the emerging Emily Harrop (FRA).

As for the U23 category, behind Samantha Bertolina (ITA), the French Perrine Gindre and the compatriot Katia Mascherona have arrived in second and third position respectively, while Paul Verbnjak (AUT – 1° place), Matteo Sostizzo (ITA – 2° place) and Albert Pérez Anglès (ESP – 3° place) have completed the Men’s podium.

Among U20s, Caroline Ulrich (SUI) has arrived first, ahead of María Ordóñez Cobacho (ESP) and Grace Staberg (USA). Anselme Damevin (FRA) and the Swiss twins Thomas and Robin Bussard have reached in order the three top male steps.

After the first race day in Andorra, the worldwide ski mountaineering élite will return to compete in the Vertical race of tomorrow. The track will be the same of last year adopted during the ISMF World Championships held in the Arinsal-La Massana ski resort. For the occasion, the Senior Men and Women and the U20 Men will have to face a difference in altitude of 720 m, while the U20 Women will start a little higher with 420 m of height difference.