Montane Tor des Géants: Race day 4 (Wednesday)

RACE DAY 4 (Wednesday)

Date: 14 September 2016

At the start of day 4 of the first Montane sponsored Tor des Géants, the leaderboard looks like this:

Men

  • 1st = Oliviero Bosatelli (ITA)
  • 2nd = Oscar Perez Lopez (ES)
  • 3rd = Pablo Criado Toca (ES)

Women

  • 1st = Lisa Borzani (ITA)
  • 2nd = Stephanie Case (PS)
  • 3rd = Maria Semerjian (FR)

Day 4 of the 1st Montane sponsored Tor des Géants is when the celebrations start! The first of the runners arrives, signalling the slow, but steadily increasing stream of race finishers across the line on Via Roma in the centre of Courmayeur.

Fans, friends, family, staff and supporters begin to gather at the finish line to applaud courageous athletes in style.

Location: Courmayeur race finish

47-year-old Oliviero Bosatelli from Bergamo, Italy, has had the most incredible experience. Taking the lead from Gianluca Galeati just after midnight on day 2 at the town of Eaux Rousses (50.6 miles / 81.4km in), the runner, who is a fireman by trade, quite literally ‘set the race on fire’. Without a glance backwards, Bosatelli took the bull by the horns and created a huge gap between himself and challengers. He has been virtually untouchable for the majority of the race, running firm without any signs of fatigue.

His last check in on Tuesday (race day 3) was at Oyace at 20:34. He ran overnight over Col Brison (2,492m) to arrive at the Ollomont life station shortly after midnight at the very start of race day 4. He is almost 5.5 hours ahead of Oscar Perez Lopez in 2nd at this stage. Breezing through Ollomont, over Col Champillon (2,709m) and Col Malatra (2,936m) then cruising gracefully into Courmayeur at 13:10 (Italian time) in a total time of 75 hours 10 minutes, making this notoriously difficult race look easy. He even had enough energy to run a little victory lap up and down Via Roma with the Italian flag, jumping over the finish line! Here is the moment he finished (video, in Italian).

Montane sponsored Tor des Géants race winner Oliviero Bosatelli. Image by Stefano Jeantet

Montane sponsored Tor des Géants race winner Oliviero Bosatelli. Image by Stefano Jeantet

Oscar Perez Lopez was next to cross the line. Starting day 4 by arriving at the Oyace life station at 01:24, the stalwart Spaniard made his way to the finish in Courmayeur crossing the line at 19:14. The TDG crew were on hand to welcome him in – after a lengthy introduction (fast forward to around 11:30 in for some English), his arrival was captured on film. Watch it here.

Location: Between Valtournenche and Bosses

At the last report #TeamMontane runner Julio Cernuda Aldecoa had left the Valtournenche life station at 17:35 on race day 3. He left to continue onwards overnight to Rifugio Cunéy (2,656m) with France’s Eric Ressencourt and Spain’s Pablo Criado Toca snapping at his heels. He arrives at the Rifugio at 00:43 on race day 4 with around 25 minutes on fellow Spaniard Pablo, but sadly between Rifugio Cunéy and the town of Oyace, Pablo proves too strong to hold on to. Julio arrives at Oyace just behind him at 06:04, together with Eric Ressencourt. From Oyace, Eric too overtakes and Julio arrives at the Ollomont life station in 5th position at 11:04. He stays there until 14:52, giving rise to speculation about whether he has sustained an injury or is totally and utterly exhausted. At the time of writing, Julio is still travelling between the Ollomont life station and the town of Saint-Rhémy en-Bosses. Julio, we hope you are alright!

Pablo Criado Toca (3rd) followed by Eric Ressencourt (4th). Image by Stefano Jeantet

Pablo Criado Toca (3rd) followed by Eric Ressencourt (4th). Image by Stefano Jeantet

We left #TeamMontane’s Petra Mücková at the Gressoney life station (128 miles / 205.9km in) and Rifugio Cunéy yesterday. She was doing well, positioned within the top 100 TDG runners and within the top 15 ladies. Racing sensibly, taking longer breaks at the larger life stations, she leaves Gressony at 04:17 on race day 4, running over the 2,777m Col Pinter, through the Champoluc checkpoint at 08:55, arriving at Valtournenche at 13:21. A brief pause here and then she’s off again at 15:01 heading up and away towards Rifugio Cunéy, where she clocks in at 22:03 before continuing yet again into the night, like a true Trojan. All the while, she is improving her race position through the 80s, into the high 70s. Similarly, her position in the ladies category is steadily improving, from 15th lower.

After setting off from Niel at 21:30 yesterday, plucky Israeli #TeamMontane athlete Ari Veltman arrives at the Gressoney life station (128 miles / 205.9km) at 01:52. True to form, before getting some rest, he took a video of his Gressoney experience and posted it to his facebook page. After approximately 5 hours rest, he sets off again, with another live facebook session from the top of Col des Fontaines, near Valtournenche (watch it here). He reports that he is tired, his knees are hurting and that he is looking forward to a shower at the next life station. He is still smiling! He arrives at Valtournenche at 16:46, where he intends to take a recuperation break before setting back out to conquer the remaining 100km and 4 major climbs before the finish. At this stage, his race position is hovering around 100, having pulled up the rankings from race day 3. He meets up with his parents at Valtournenche and seeks help for his feet and right knee (view photos on facebook here). Still psyched for a finish.

Finally, #TeamMontane’s Jenn Gaskell arrives at Niel just after midnight on day 4, hovering around the 200th rank and within the top 30 ladies. She arrives at Gressoney at 06:20 and contrary to her usual tactics, stops for a little longer this time to combat fatigue and exhaustion that will be setting in after 128 miles / 205.9km. She pushes on over Col Pinter (2,776m) during the day, arriving at Champoluc at 17:00. Valtournenche follows at 21:37, with a speedier turnaround this time, leaving again at 22:02. At the time of writing, she has massively improved her position, catapulting herself to 126th and 19th in the ladies category. What determination and what a racer!

Watch the highlights from day 4 below:

Keep watching Montane’s Facebook and Twitter for race updates and the latest from #TeamMontane athletes.


FURTHER INFORMATION

 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
  • Read Montane’s day 3 report and watch the daily highlights from day 3 here

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