Montane Tor des Géants: Race day 3 (Tuesday)
RACE DAY 3 (Tuesday)
Date: 13 September 2016
At the start of day 3 of the first Montane sponsored Tor des Géants, the leaderboard looks like this:
- 1st = Oliviero Bosatelli (ITA)
- 2nd = Oscar Perez Lopez (ES)
- 3rd = Julio Cernuda Aldecoa (ES)
- 1st = Lisa Borzani (ITA)
- 2nd = Silvia Ainhoa Trigueros Garrote (ES)
- 3rd = Stephanie Case (PS)
Day 3 of the 1st Montane sponsored Tor des Géants is the first day that any degree of accuracy can be given to predicting the final race leaderboard. In such a tumultuous, challenging race, where favourites can be wiped out at any stage and the podium finishers can rise and fall, day 3 is usually when the first runner is expected to cross the finish line.
From the valley at Donnas (330m), the terrain is more undulating. Peaks are closer together than previously, with the final ascent, Col Malatra (2,936m) as the sting in the tail before a gradual descent towards the finish back at Courmayeur.
Location: Between Niel and Valtournenche
We left the race yesterday with Oliviero Bosatelli charging out in front in an incredible position, almost untouchable, with quite a substantial lead on the challenging Spaniards, Oscar Perez Lopez and #TeamMontane’s Julio Cernuda Aldecoa. He shows absolutely no sign of slowing down whatsoever on race day 3 and it’s looking increasingly like no one can catch him. Leaving the town of Niel (120 miles / 192.9km in) at 23:50 on race day 2, he runs overnight, over Col Lasoney (2,364m), arriving at Gressoney life station at 03:02 on Tuesday morning. Stopping for a mere 20 minutes, he arrives later on at the next life station of Valtournenche (149 miles / 239km in) at 11:25. According to reports, he arrives looking remarkably fresh and with a regular, steady pace. He took his time at Valtournenche, chatting with the Volontors, eating a good lunch and even having a beer. Not at all behaving like someone racing to the finish line of a 205 mile / 330km race! As he walks out of the life station he remarks: “The longest race I’ve been in up to now was 180km”.
Oscar Perez Lopez arrives at Valtournenche at 15:00, also looking remarkably fresh and strong. He didn’t stop long at the life station – only as long as it took to greet Volontors and refuel. #TeamMontane’s Julio Cernuda Aldecoa is next, arriving an hour and a half after Oscar. Noticeably quieter than the other two, Julio heads for a siesta for about an hour before setting back off again. On his heels is the French racer Eric Ressencourt, who leaves Valtournenche only a few minutes after Julio.
#TeamMontane’s Petra Mücková was powering on through to Donnas yesterday. She arrives at 01:22, stopping overnight to recharge her batteries, but leaving early in the morning to climb up from the lowest point of the course (330m) up and past the Rifugio Coda (2,224m), over Col della Vecchia (2,184m), Col Lasoney (2,364m), to reach the Gressoney life station at 23:09. She has run at a consistent pace throughout, stopping for short sleeps, and is positioned within the top 100 runners of the TDG and within the top 15 ladies. For someone who took up trail running in earnestness at 26, this is a fantastic achievement!
Our happy-go-lucky Ari Veltman continues apace. Finding himself at Donnas overnight at the same time as Petra, he emerged similarly refreshed, refuelled and psyched, posting: “Let the games begin. It’s on!” on his Facebook page (here) as he documents his TDG race experience. He begins the climb up from the valley, passing over Col della Vecchia, reaching Niel (120 miles / 192.9km in) at 21:30 and continuing on towards Gressony via Col Lasoney overnight. His race strategy of taking longer rests are taking their toll on his race position, however they are paying dividends mentally and physically.
Finally the UK’s Jenn Gaskell’s ‘stealth ninja’ tactics are paying off. After spending days 1 & 2 more towards the back of the field, she has managed to move up substantially. Running steadily, not stopping for any long periods of time at any life station, she is overtaking a lot of runners. After starting race day 3 from Chardonney at 02:10, she covers a lot of ground, pushing on all the way to Niel at 00:25 – a distance of approximately 37 miles / 60km and a total ascent of 1,894m. She is currently positioned around the 200th place mark and is within the top 30 ladies.
Watch the highlights from day 3 below:
- Read more about Ari Veltman’s incredible journey here
- Read more about #TeamMontane TDG athletes here
- Track competitors live here
- View the TDG Flickr photo gallery from pre-race and race day 1 here
- View the TDG Flickr photo gallery from race day 2 here
- View Montane’s TDG photo gallery from pre-race here
- Watch Montane’s TDG race start video here
- Read Montane’s pre-race and day 1 report and watch the daily highlights from day 1 here
- Read Montane’s day 2 report and watch the daily highlights from day 2 here