Jornet wins mammoth battle with De Gasperi
At the Giir di Mont race in Italy on Sunday there was a battle royal for the king of the mountains between arguably the world’s top two mountain and sky runners, Spain’s Kilian Jornet and Italy’s Marco de Gasperi…
After three tough and typically hot hours it was Kilian who took top spot in a new course record time of 3:01:03, two and half minutes up on De Gasperi. Such was their effort over the last few miles that the two runners had over 15 mins to spare on third-placed man Stefano Butti, with Brit Tom Owens in fourth.
De Gasperi had looked good going into the last part of the race and held a full 4 mins advantage at one point, however Jornet wasn’t to be denied this race which he calls “special” and overhauled the Italian to take yet another win in this event which brings Italian mountain running fans out in their thousands.
There is little on the international circuit now that Kilian is yet to win, and of course his multiple world title winning efforts in ski mountaineering also ensure that he is revered across mountain sports.
Yesterday, De Gasperi and the rest of the quality field assembled in Premana would agree that he was once again untouchable, and though it’s difficult to assign the term mountain running legend to someone so young, Jornet’s exploits over the last 5 years throughout the world have ensured that Catalan is well on the way to such a status.
The UK’s Owens was pragmatic as ever and gracious in defeat:
“It was so hot out there, and though I am very happy with fourth it would have been nice to catch Butti for a podium. The legs weren’t really working properly today, and in the end it was an exercise in survival!”
“That’s it for racing for a while, it’s all about the prep for the Trans Rockies now with Ricky Lightfoot in three weeks”.
In the women’s race another Spainish athlete Mireia Miro carried all before her on this runnable yet relentless race – which takes in three big climbs and descents along its 32km route. Like Jornet, Miro’s winter discipline is also ski mountaineering which helps develop great climbing ability and her time of 3:48:50 was a full 12 mins up on experienced international Stephanie Jimenez.
Russia’s Zhanna Vokueva was third with New Zealander Anna Frost in fourth.
Full results and photo galleries now online at the Sport di Montagne site here