The UTWT competition at the heart of the Mont Blanc massif
The UTWT competition at the heart of the Mont Blanc massif
To run around the Mont Blanc massif has been a dream for thousands of trail runners. An indescribable atmosphere, breathtaking landscapes and constant challenge are expected by the 7500 lucky ones, who got the “Saint-Graal” for one of the five races of the event.
From August 28th to September 2nd, Chamonix will pulsate to the running strides of PTL® – TDS® – OCC® – CCC® – UTMB® participants. Regarded as one of the most expected sport events of the year, UTMB® gather runners from around the world to live an unbelievable experience.
Ultra-Trail® World Tour is also ready to live a crazy week because with the 14th – 15th – and 16th UTWT races, the final competition could be decided this week. UTMB® is this year the meeting place of the trail running stars and 2017 will arguably stay in people’s minds. All the best trailers of the world are present at the event and the UTMB® winner will take a serious option on the final victory of the UTWT season.
The TDS® and the CCC®, new races of the UTWT series:
This week the Ultra-Trail® World Tour officially welcomes two new races in the competition. The TDS® with 119 kilometers and the CCC® with 101 kilometers promise beautiful adventures for the runners. With a start at Courmayeur and a full good vibes finish at Chamonix, only the courses and the athletes are different between the two races.
The favorites of the TDS®:
The TDS®, rich from it beautiful reputation, offers to the runners an experience in the middle of the nature, along the “Grande Randonnée”. A challenge of 119 kilometers and 7250 meters of elevation gain is to be expected the next August 30th. And this year the list of the athletes is unbelievable! Whereas on the women side the competition will be played between Lucy BARTHOLOMEW (winner of the Ultra-Trail® Australia 2017), Mélanie ROUSSET (1st of the UTWT Annual Ranking 2017), Marie MacNaughton (3rd of the Vibram Hong Kong 100 Ultramarathon 2017) and Lisa BORZANI (3rd of The North Face® Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2017), on the men side the final victory could be determined between Daniel JUNG (2nd of the Vibram Hong Kong 100 Ultramarathon 2017), Antoine GUILLON (winner UTWT 2015), Fulvio DAPIT (4th of The North Face® Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2017), Paul GIBLIN (3rd of the 100 Miles of Istria 2017), Michel LANNE and Sylvain CAMUS.
The favorites of the CCC® :
The CCC®, considered as the « little sister of UTMB®, is a popular race for the trail runners. The competition is tight to succeed to Mimmi KOKTA on the women side with Nathalie MAUCLAIR (2nd of the Marathon des Sables 2017), with Azara GARCIA, rich from her victory at Transgrancanaria HG 2017, and with Clare GALLAGHER. On the men side Ludovic POMMERET (winner of the UTMB® 2016), Rachid EL MORABITY (winner of the Marathon des Sables 2017), Ryan SANDES (winner of the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run 2017), Tom EVANS (3rd of the Marathon des Sables 2017), Erik CLAVERY and Aurélien COLLET. So, who will succeed to Michel LANNE this year ?
The great race of UTMB® welcome a « bevy of stars » 2017:
The UTMB® or the tour of the Mont Blanc massif offers to the runners an exceptional course and an incredible human adventure. This year, 2300 runners will start the key race of this ultra long weekend to cross 170 kilometers with 10 000 meters of elevation gain. A real challenge to surpass oneself and thrills guaranteed, the UTMB® is THE trail running race. The spirit of the public, what makes the race unique, is simply unbelievable. To finish the race one day is the goal of any trail runner…
And this year, elite athletes present on the start line give to this 15th edition a particular flavor.
Once again for Caroline Chaverot ?
On the women side, Caroline CHAVEROT, winner of the UTMB® 2016, is back this year to defend her title and after her victory at The North Face® Lavaredo Ultra Trail, nothing could stop her except maybe the Spanish Nuria PICAS, solid value of the Ultra-Trail® World Tour. Andrea HUSER can also cause her problems on the victory road this year. After an excellent season, the Swiss can win one of the most beautiful victory of her carrier on Saturday.
Fernanda MACIEL, with her 3rd place at Marathon des Sables, also competes for the victory of the race but not only. Indeed with a first place at UTMB®, the Brazilian could take the 1st place of the UTWT Annual Ranking. On the American side, there are favorites with Magdalena BOULET, proud of her 2nd place at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. Kaci LICKTEIG is also a serious contender in Chamonix.
A battle only for the great:
On the men side, the show list is amazing with Kilian JORNET in poll position. The Spanish, as a true legend, comes back at UTMB® with the firm intention of winning his fourth victory after 2008, 2009, 2011. On the victory road, François D’HAENE is also ready to repeat the feat a third time. The race record holder will still have to work towards in front of famous competitors. Xavier THEVENARD, winner of the race in 2013 and 2015 is one of the favorite for this 15th edition. So, to keep his first place at UTWT Annual Ranking 2017, Pau CAPELL will have to stand out from the mass and win in Chamonix. The Spanish realized a great season start (winner of the Transgrancanaria HG / 2nd at MIUT) and he is able to do it.
Besides the Europeans, the Americans would like to take advantage of the situation to win this year. Jim WALMSLEY has been flying for 2 seasons and is very ambitious. Tim TOLLEFSON (USA) would also like put his name on the winner’s list of the famous race. Rich from his victory at Ultra-Trail® Australia this year, Tim is coming to UTMB® in a good shape as well as Dylan BOWMAN (winner of 100 Miles of Istria 2017) and Sage CANADAY.
This week, the Mont Blanc will keep an eye on the participants