SIERRE ZINAL 2021 GOES TO KILIAN JORNET AND MAUDE MATHYS. AGAIN.
SIERRE ZINAL 2021 GOES TO KILIAN JORNET AND MAUDE MATHYS. AGAIN. Our WMRA WORLD CUP 2021 section bring us probably the the biggest mountain race in the world, Sierre-Zinal!!
It is a WMRA long distance mountain race, with 31k/D+2.000m that boasts of a unique 48 years history. It has the most competitive field of all the World Cup races, and this morning we enjoyed a superb event.
SIERRE ZINAL 2021 GOES TO
KILIAN JORNET AND MAUDE MATHYS. AGAIN.
As far as our mountain running goes, by anybody’s metrics Sierre-Zinal is among the most revered races in the world. In terms of the competition it attracts each year, there’s no doubt about the quality and depth of the field.
This year was no different. We had an 8-time winner (Kilian Jornet), a
3-time winner (Lucy Murigi), both record holders (Maude Mathys and Kilian), and both leaders of the current world rankings (Murigi and Henri Aymonod).
Throw in a huge number of men and women who regularly appear on podiums for mountain and trail races all over the world every week and the race was definitely on.
Race profile, as shown below, offer a 31k/D+2.000m course, with three key sections, Initial relentless climb of D+1300m, the middle ground up and down, then the D-500m plunge to the finish on the las t 3k.
SIERRE ZINAL 2021, RACE REPORT.
Conditions were somewhat cooler than we see some years, so we knew we could be on for a fast time. Another early indicator was that the camera operators weren’t able to stay in touch with the leading men or women on the first climb, so we quickly lost visuals on the faster runners!
It wasn’t until the first timing point at Ponchette, at around 7.5k, that we found out who was leading both races. It was no surprise to see defending champion Maude Mathys (SUI) emerge first. In fact, it was something of a surprise to see Nienke Brinkman (NED) in second place.
But her recent win at the Zermatt Marathon showed her class, even if she wasn’t among the known pre-race favourites here. Anais Sabrie (FRA) was next to reach Ponchette, completing the women’s top three.
In the early stages of the men’s race Kilian was biding his time, sitting in behind Remi Bonnet (SUI) and Petro Mamu (ERI) on the first climb. By the time they reached Ponchette Mamu, Kilian and Bonnet had struck out and were all together and this continued to Chandolin (12km).
KILIAN KICKS OFF.
At this point, over the 20k mark Kilian decided that he was going to have to put some distance between himself and Mamu, so he dropped the hammer. In true Kilian style, even while hammering it downhill he was still smiling and
chatting with the ebike riders manning the video cameras.
He succeeded in striking out alone, opening a small gap, and Mamu was left in his wake, falling back a few places.
Meanwhile, in the women’s race Mathys maintained a small lead of just over a minute at Chandolin, while Brinkman continued to chase and maintain a good gap of 4 minutes on third-placed Sabrie. Behind Sabrie, Blandine L’Hirondel (FRA) was about a minute behind.
Behind Kilian the men’s race was definitely a race of two halves. Bonnet had fallen off the pace a little and our Grossglockner Berglauf winner, Lengen Lolkurraru (KEN), was now chasing Kilian hard in second. Thibault Baronian (FRA) and Cesare Maestri (ITA) were lurking in fourth and fifth place, within striking distance of the podium places and Robbie Simpson (GBR), who has three second place finishes to his name here, had moved up to seventh.
MATHYS FLIES ALL THE WAY TO THE FINISH. FKT.
Mathys continued to push hard and was absolutely dominating the women’s race. She laid down an unbelievably fast 1.55 split at Hotel Weisshorn, giving her a four minute lead over Nienke Brinkman. Sabrie was now five minutes behind Brinkman,
Mathys was taking the steep switchbacks carefully and Brinkman was gaining a little, but the gap was just too big and Mathys hit the finishing straight over
three minutes ahead, with so much buffer that she decided to walk some of the final metres on her hands!
It was a third victory in a row for Mathys, who looked elated. Shortly afterwards Kilian rounded the corner to take his ninth victory! It was a great touch that he
was greeted by Mathys and they could celebrate together.
Brinkman claimed a huge second place in the women’s race
too. A fantastic result and we’re excited about seeing her in more mountain races in the future. Sabrie completed the women’s podium.
KILIAN WINS, ROBBIE SIMPSON STRIKES SILVER FOR 4TH TIME.
Meanwhile, the race after Kilian was getting more and more exciting. By the 26k Kilian was still in the lead and he now had about 90 seconds on second- placed Lolkurraru, but now Simpson was just behind in third and Maestri was on his heels.
The men’s race was all coming down to who was the best descender and who had the legs when they hit the concrete. Kilian and Simpson proved to hace the heart and soul for it.
Just 42 seconds after Kilian, Simpson claimed second place in the men’s race, his fourth runner-up spot here, but he proclaimed it his “best second” in his post-race interview. Maestri completed the mens podium
SIERRE ZINAL 2021 RESULTS.
Top 5 women
1. Maude Mathys (SUI) 2.46.03
2. Nienke Brinkman (NED) 2.48.58
3. Anais Sabrie (FRA) 2.55.23
4. Blandine L’Hirondel (FRA) 2.59.08
5. Kwamboka Omosa Teresiah (KEN) 2.59.28
Top 5 men
1. Kilian Jornet (SPA) 2.31.44
2. Robbie Simpson (GBR) 2.32.26
3. Cesare Maestri (ITA) 2.33.51
4. Lengen Lolkurraru (KEN) 2.34.28
5. Davide Magnini (ITA) 2.34.38
See full results at: https://www.datasport.com/live/ranking?racenr=23138&kat=11
A note worth remembering: The race set the women off 15 minutes ahead of the men and this meant that we got to see the women on the start line, the coverage throughout the race was equal, and crucially the first few women and men arrived at the finish line at roughly the same time, again leading to equal coverage.
15AUG Next stop for the World Cup WMRA is Krkonossky Half Marathon on August 15 th in the Czech Republic. Find more information here: http://krkonosskypulmaraton.maratonstav.cz/krkonossky-pulmaraton-eng/
WMRA WORLD CUP 2021 CALENDAR
Summary 2021 World Cup key facts:
12 Event locations
16 Races in 3 categories
- 7AUG The world’s highest level mountain race arrives: The Sierre-Zinal in Switzerland, celebrates its 48th edition with more than 4,000 bibs running. The 2019 edition will be remembered for the double record achieved by Jornet and Mahtys. In 2021 it will race in Long Mountain mode on its iconic 31k/+2,200m. https://www.sierre-zinal.com
- 15AUG. We travel north of the Czech Republic for the Krkonossky Half Marathon. A world cup veteran arrives only a week after Sierre-Zinal and will be the next Classic, on a 21k/+1,200m http://www.maratonstav.cz
- 4-5SEP Journey goes to northern Italy to experience the Vertical Nasego and Nasego Trophy. It will start with the Uphill about 4.2k/+1000m and the next day the Classic about 21.5k/+1.336m. http://www.trofeonasegocorsainmontagna.com/
- 11-12SEP Spain debuts with the spectacular Aragonese Pyrenees offered by Canfranc Canfranc. Will hold two races climbing up to almost three thousand meters of altitude. They will be the 45k/+3910m Long Mountain or the Classic over 16k/+1,600m. https://canfranccanfranc.com
- 26SEP Return to Italy with the Ciolo Trophy. High pace race, about 11km/+496km in Classic mode.
- 3OCT Zumaia Flysch Trail will give the winners of Classic and Long Mountain. There will be a Long Mountain over 42k/+3000m, and also a Classic with 22k/+850m ascent. http://www.zumaiaflyschtrail.com
- 10OCT Vertical Kilometer Chiavenna-Lagunac will give Uphill champion. This classic of Italian mountain racing has already been a WMRA-affiliated race and is known as the “vertical race of records” with a 3.2k/+1,000m trace its conditions are perfect for breaking the world record. http://www.kilometroverticalelagunc.it
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