The night of Pontedilegno-Tonale, Italy, lit up to host a world premiere for this location, the ISMF World Cup. A two-day international event has been organised by the Adamello Ski Team, debuting with the today’s Sprint race held near the parterre of the Corno d’Aola slope, counting a total of 264 athletes from 14 national federations. Qualifications, heats, semi-finals and finals took place with the Swiss athletes as absolute protagonists, except for the most expected challenge, the Senior Men one, where the fastest and most strategic has been the French Thibault Anselmet. Among Women, the success was for the current Overall World Cup holder Marianne Fatton (SUI), unstoppable since the qualifications, and the same has been for her teammate Caroline Ulrich for the U20 Women category. The Spanish success arrived in the men’s field thanks to the explosive Ot Ferrer Martínez belonging to the same category.

Photo: ISMF, ©Nils Lang

It dealt with a decidedly spectacular prologue to the 2020/2021 ISMF World Cup and a competition field particularly suitable to the Sprint discipline, with a significant verticality in the final stretch of the ascent including many inversions and stairs in the snow, where the values ​​on the field have emerged since the qualifications.


Founded in 2007, the International Ski Mountaineering Federation ISMF is the global governing body for ski mountaineering competitions. Since 2016, the organization is officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee IOC. Its main goals are the promotion, regulation and development of the ski mountaineering sport worldwide. Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, the ISMF’s membership consists of 38 national mountaineering or ski sports federations in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The ISMF organizes ski mountaineering World Cups events and World Championships. For the first time, ski mountaineering has been a medal sport at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne Switzerland. The ISMF’s ambition is to become an Olympic sport by the 2026 Winter Games in Milano-Cortina, Italy.


The finals of the Senior category have been fought until the last minute. Among Women, the favourite Marianne Fatton did not betray to the expectations, managing to precede the Spanish Marta Garcia Farres and the French Léna Bonnel at the finish line. For the Italian team there have been Mara Martini and Giulia Murada, who has arrived first among U23.

Regarding the Men, after dominating his semi-final, the French Thibault Anselmet was able to manage his energy and to launch the decisive attack on the stairs, distancing the Swiss Arno Lietha and the more far away Robert Antonioli from Valtellina (ITA). That was too bad for the specialist in this discipline Nicolò Canclini, who has broken a pole at the start, losing some precious seconds. Later, he recovered the gap concluding his performance in fourth position.

Photo: ISMF, ©Nils Lang

The rankings of the U23 category, as per the ISMF regulations, have been extrapolated from those of the Senior. As anticipated, Giulia Murada from Albosaggia has won, preceding the French colleagues Marie Pollet Villard and Manon Anselmet. The male classification, instead, has confirmed the victory of the Swiss Arno Lietha, followed by the Italian Giovanni Rossi, recalled in a hurry to the starting gate of the final round after the disqualification of the Spanish Oriol Cardona Coll. At the end the bronze has been awarded to the Swiss Patrick Perreten.

The gold medallist for the U20 Women has been Caroline Ulrich (SUI), with the Italian Lisa Moreschini and the Spanish Maria Costa Diez respectively in second and third position. Ot Ferrer Martínez (ESP), Rocco Baldini (ITA) and the transalpine Rémy Garcin have got the relative male podium.

The winning Senior Women, Marianne Fatton (SUI), at the end of this hard competition day, says: “I am very happy to have won today’s race, after many months without possibility to compete. I trained a lot and I think that the victory is the perfect way to be repaid of my efforts. I hope to continue in this direction for the whole 2020/21 season”.


Senior Women
1. Marianne Fatton (SUI)
2. Marta Garcia Farres (ESP)
3. Léna Bonnel (FRA)

U23 Women
1. Giulia Murada (ITA)
2. Marie Pollet Villard (FRA)
3. Manon Anselmet (FRA)

U20 Women
1. Caroline Ulrich (SUI)
2. Lisa Moreschini (ITA)
3. Maria Costa Díez (ESP)

Senior Men
1. Thibault Anselmet (FRA)
2. Arno Lietha (SUI)
3. Robert Antonioli (ITA)

U23 Men
1. Arno Lietha (SUI)
2. Giovanni Rossi (ITA)
3. Patrick Perreten (SUI)

U20 Men
1. Ot Ferrer Martínez (ESP)
2. Rocco Baldini (ITA)
3. Rémy Garcin (FRA)


The Men’s podium has been completely Italian with the 26-year-old from Trentino Federico Nicolini, who surprises everyone by crossing first the finish line in Corno d’Aola and achieving his first victory in the World Cup. He has preceded his teammates Robert Antonioli, holder of the 2019/20 Overall World Cup, and Davide Magnini. Among Women, the French Axelle Gachet Mollaret has won, while in the U23 category, extrapolated from the Senior one, two more “made in Italy” successes have arrived with Giulia Murada (1° place) and Giorgia Felicetti (2° place) and the male gold has gone to Andrea Prandi from Bormio (ITA). As regards the U20 category, there have been two unexpected victories thanks to the German Antonia Niedermeier and the Austrian Paul Verbnjak, whereas two other podiums with the Italian colours are referred to the silver medallist Samantha Bertolina from Valtellina and to the bronze one Lisa Moreschini.

There was great anticipation especially in the men’s field, to understand the state of the physical form of the competing athletes from 14 national federations, above all in this very demanding and particular season. And at the end of the 2509 m of the race track with a difference in altitude of 680 m, starting from Pontedilegno and arriving in Corno d’Aola, the triumph has been of the Italian Federico Nicolini. He has performed a tactical race in the first part and an unexpected attack in the final rush, remaining in the leading Italian group of four athletes up to 800 metres from the finish line, when he has decided to gamble everything and for the incredulous rivals there has been nothing more to do. It has been, therefore, a great victory for the this racer who stopped the clock with a time of 23’40”. The second place has been achieved by his teammate Robert Antonioli, who has counted a delay of 9 seconds, then thirdly Davide Magnini (ITA) with 14 seconds, who has tried to leave in the middle of the race, but was then sucked again into the group. Michele Boscacci (ITA), 26 seconds later, and the yesterday’s Sprint race winner, the French Thibault Anselmet have got respectively the fourth and the fifth positions, followed by the Italian Alex Oberbacher from the Alto Adige.

Photo: ISMF

In the Women’s field, the French Axelle Gachet Mollaret has successfully managed the force and her rivals, finishing victorious with a time of 28’56″, preceding the Swedish Tove Alexandersson by 25 seconds and the Swiss Victoria Kreuzer by 44 seconds, not very satisfied with her performance. At the end, the fourth place has gone to the Italian Ilaria Veronese, arriving after 1’17” from the first.

As for the U23 categories, which have raced with the Seniors, Andrea Prandi has been closely followed by the Swiss Aurélien Gay, but has been able to precede him by 10 seconds and to be awarded of his first seasonal victory. The bronze medallist has been the Italian Sebastien Guichardaz.

The U23 Women ranking has awarded on the first step of the podium another time the Italian Giulia Murada of the Army Sports Centre, followed by her teammate Giorgia Felicetti, author of an excellent performance that has seen her just 10 seconds from the winner. The French Marie Pollet Villard has taken the third place.

The success of the German rookie Antonia Niedermaier (born 2003) in the U20 category on a track reduced to 433 metres of difference in altitude has been astonishing. She has precede Samantha Bertolina from Valtellina (ITA) by 39 seconds and afterwards the other Italian Lisa Moreschini. Among Men, on the same path of the tops, there has been an all-foreign podium with the Austrian Paul Verbnjak, 10 seconds ahead of the Spanish Albert Perez Angles (2° place) and the Swiss Robin Bussard (3° place).

Alessandro Mottinelli, in quality of Local Event Manager of the Adamello World Cup, affirms: “I am really satisfied of the results of the just concluded event. I think that the LOC’s experience in the organisation of ski mountaineering competitions contributed a lot to reach this success. We had a wonderful beginning for the 2020/21 season”.


U20 Women
1. Antonia Niedermeier (GER)
2. Samantha Bertolina (ITA)
3. Lisa Moreschini (ITA)

U20 Men
1. Paul Verbnjak (AUT)
2. Albert Perez Angles (ESP)
3. Robin Bussard (SUI)




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Post by Héctor Rubio for Trailrunningspain.