Grand Raid de la Réunion – Results
The Grand Raid de la Réunion was the last stage of the 2015 edition of the Ultra-Trail World Tour.
The elites knew the importance of this race for the final ranking. Everything was still possible for a few runners. 4 men and 4 women at the start line of the Diagonale des Fous had the possibility to be 2015 Champions.
There were 2 633 runners who set off from St Pierre towards St Denis, at the heart of Réunion’s National Park, for 163km of race and 9 920 m of ascent along one of the world’s most difficult routes!
For the men, the victory of Antoine Guillon was particularly beautiful. After 8 participations, Antoine royally climbs on to the top step of the podium. Around him, there are numerous favourites like the Lithuanian, Gediminas Grinius whose quest was the UTWT title, the Spaniards Iker Karrera or Pau Bartolo, The Frenchman Cyril Cointre or even the American Michael Guardian, without forgetting numerous runners from the Réunion itself who wanted to do well on home soil.
As from the start of the race, all the favourites were grouped for the first 40km led by Jannick Sery from la Réunion. Gediminas Grinius, in the lead of the UTWT ranking before this last stage, was a part of this leading group, knowing that a finish in the first 5 would assure him the final title of UTWT champion. In the early morning the distance separating the group was still minimal, but little by little, he lost ground and it was at Roche Plate where he dropped. Antoine Guillon took the race lead, as from the rise of day at Cilaos, and he never left this position even if behind him the battle raged between Freddy Thevenin and Iker Karerra, which they disputed for a long time. But several hours before the finish, the Frenchman Sébastien Camus created a surprise with an exceptional come-back which pushed Antoine to fall. He hurt his hand and broke a finger, Antoine let the doubt install but he held on to the end.
For the women, the suspense was total during the 163kms, like never in the past! The favourite, Nathalie Mauclair, twice winner here previously, started in the lead, with a battle with Émilie Lecomte back on form! The abandonment in Cilaos of Caroline Chaverot, second in the provisional UTWT ranking, but never really in the race, gave way definitively to a wrestle for the 2015 title with the rearguard being Nuria Picas (ESP), winner of the 2014 UTWT, and the Swiss Andréa Huser who has had an exceptional 2015 season.
Never more than 30minutes separated the 4 women. Emilie took the race lead at Marla (79 km) while Nathalie lost ground and allowed those following her to catch up. The distances changed over the kilometres and Nuria, took her turn in the lead and crossed the line in first position, only a minute’s advance on Emilie Lecomte and a short half hour ahead of Andréa Huser. Nathalie Mauclair finished 4th.
These four women all took places in the first 18 in the scratch category…. A relatively rare performance which should be noted!
Ranking, last stage
Antoine Guillon (FRA) 24hrs17min
Sébastien Camus (FRA) 24hrs41min
Freddy Thevenin (FRA) 25hrs17min
Nuria Picas (ESP) 28hrs11min
Emilie Lecomte (FRA) 28hrs12min
Andrea Huser (SUI) 28hrs38min
Full Results and Final General ranking HERE!