WMRA. SILVER LABEL Primiero Dolomiti Trail. WIN CHEVIER AND SAAPUNKI
WMRA. SILVER LABEL PRIMIERO DOLOMITI TRAIL. WIN CHEVIER AND SAAPUNKI. Our WMRA section bring us the latest info about the Silver Label race cellebrated in Valle di Primiero (Trentino – Italy)
In the male race Kenyan Lolkurraru escapes, but the Italian Chevrier catches up and wins. While Saapunki the Finnish cross-country skier stretches from the start and beats the Kenyan favourite Murigi.
WMRA. SILVER LABEL PRIMIERO DOLOMITI TRAIL 2023
The Primiero Valley (Trentino – Italy) is a land of great sport appointments and today a special event took place: the Primiero Dolomiti Trail, the “Silver Label” race of the Valsir World Cup circuit and authentic end-of-season festival of mountain running.
The gazelles, this time, suffered. Therefore, it was the turn of the ‘reindeer’ Susanna Saapunki (FIN), already a successful cross-country skier in the World Cup, and of the ‘ibex’ Xavier Chevrier, no stranger to striking results in the running trail, to celebrate on the top step of the podium.
It was a morning to be framed, striding along the steep Primiero trails alternated with technical balcony descents on Fiera di Primiero and valley cart tracks, which put the participants’ physiques to the test. Among the juniors, Nicola Morosini from Brescia and the two South Tyrolean women from Merano Anna Hofer and Emily Vucemillo stood out, first and second respectively.
Escape and victory in style for the number one Italian Xavier Chevrier, as well as for the Finnish Susanna Saapunki. Champions of the maximum circuit and many enthusiasts run in the silence of the nature of the Primiero Valley, feeling part of it like chamois climbing lightly on mountain paths. A perfect sunny day, an exceptional 3.4 km circuit with 230 m/height difference non-trivial, all accompanied by the iconic Pale di San Martino.
The “big” have not disappointed the expectations gifting to the public of Fiera di Primiero an adrenalin-fuelled race with continuous twists and turns. Immediately the top athletes took the lead, then Henri Aymonod from Valle D’Aosta, winner of the Overall Cup ranking in 2021, opened the gas in the direction of Sante Caterine where the GPM was located. At the first passage of Fiera di Primiero, the Kenyan Lengen Lolkurraru was first, behind Chevrier and Aymonod and the other Kenyan Timothy Kimutai Kiriu controlled the situation. The big jolt came from two-time world champion Chevrier who, unleashed, took the lead. A perfect push on his boots and an impeccable technical action allowed the star from Valle d’Aosta to gain immediately a good margin. Behind him, the race was very close between Aymonod, the Canadian Remi Leroux and Alberto Vender from Trentino. The Kenyans, who perhaps started too strongly, lost some ground, while the experienced Alex Baldaccini, Michael Galassi and Liam Meirow came up.
Honourable entry and spectacular victory for the champion Xavier Chevrier in Fiera di Primiero, just as he did in the 26K of the Primiero Marathon 2021, who concluded his last mountain running race of the season with a time of 43’32”. Remi Leroux surprised the Italian Aymonod right at the end, for the latter an excellent third place at the Primiero Dolomiti Trail. Finally, the wooden medal went to Alberto Vender.
The women’s race was more or less similar: Finland’s Susanna Saapunki took the reins of the race straight away, edging out the Kenyan favourite Lucy Murigi, England’s Sara Willhoit and the newly crowned Italian champion Vivien Bonzi. The multi-sport athlete Saapunki, who is as fast on the run as she is on the narrow skis, stretched out on the last lap, with the Kenyan Murigi suffering a 10-second delay, followed by a brilliant Bonzi, who wanted to be part of the games at all costs. Susanna Saapunki literally pulled away, celebrating at the finish line after 51′ of the race. 1’33” behind for the experienced Murigi, while Sara Willhoit completed the podium. Slipping off the podium was the Italian Bonzi, who suffered an attack by the Briton in the final.
Exciting race also among the juniors, both male and female. The selection took place already on the first lap when Nicola Morosini (US Rogno) set a great pace and on the uphill stretch towards the GPM of Sante Caterine accelerated the pace on the pursuers Francesco Bongio and the home athlete Hermann Debertolis. The race, however, was still wide open and in fact on the last lap Bongio made his way up, but Morosini relaunched the action. Final head-to-head between the pair Bongio and Morosini. With a time of 30’53”, the Italian champion Nicola Morosini triumphed, beating Bongio by only 6″. Third was a superlative Hermann Debertolis, the outsider of the day who only entered the race yesterday. Debertolis is a skialper and used this competition as preparation for the upcoming winter season.
The story of the junior women race saw only one protagonist, the South Tyrolean Anna Hofer (Sportclub Merano). She did not feel the fatigue on the uphill sprints, at times walking on the steepest points, but immediately resumed her race, indeed her sweet ‘dance’ at high altitude. Lap after lap she increased her lead over teammate Emily Vucemillo. A triumphant entry on the long avenue of Fiera di Primiero for the champion Hofer, who pulled a good 1’49” ahead of her fellow citizen Vucemillo. Third place for Sara Baroni (US Quercia). Amateurs also competed in today’s race, with the Primiero race forming part of the Gran Premio Montagne Trentine.