Skyrace des Matheysins proves that even in good weather, it’s as hardcore as ever. French runner Frederick Tranchard (team Scott Running) defends his title against hungry pack of young guns and Johanna Åström of Sweden (team Arc’teryx) comes out on top after glorious battle with the female field at 13th race of the 2021 Skyrunner World Series.
Tranchand Keeps His Cool to Defend the Title
Ever since it’s Skyrunner World Series debut in 2019, Skyrace des Matheysins has gained its reputation as the big bad boy of the circuit. Although treacherous weather conditions, which led to steps being cut into the snow and poor visibility, the race was a huge success and skyrunners from all over the world have been queueing up to tackle it. Fast forward to 2021, it’s race day in St-Honore and the sun is shining. Were athletes disappointed? Absolutely not.
Skyrunning fans and spectators, also those watching the live broadcasting at home, waited eagerly for the famous starting gun of the race to go off. As soon as it sounded, a team of young French and Italian racers took off at sprinting speed. The pack included Italian Gianluca Ghiano (team Brooks), Remi Lonchampt of France (team Buff), Leonard Mitrica of Romania and French runner Benjamin Roubiol.
By the top of the first climb, most of the young team were unable to keep up the pace and had dropped back. It was the 2020 race winner Frederic Tranchand who arrived first followed by Omi Ryunosuke of Japan (team Adidas terrex) and fellow French runner Damien Humbert (team Odlo). Ryunosuke fell back going over the ridge and by the time the leading men reached the final descent, the top three had changed. Young French runner Roubiol made an impressive comeback flying on the downhill and climbing into second place.
Tranchand successfully defended his title with a time of 2h24’58”, just two minutes short of his 2020 record. Roubiol came in second less than two minutes behind and Italian runner Cristian Minoggio appeared from almost nowehere to take third, 2’19” behind the winner.
“I wasn’t sure if I would race today due to illness and injury in recent weeks but yesterday I made the decision as I felt strong enough and I didn’t want to miss doing the course with good weather”, explains the 2020 champion.“It’s great to have such a well-known skyrace here in France and to see it getting even more popular. The level is stronger each year. Today it was interesting to race against many new faces. Let’s see how it is next year.”
Åström and Tindley Go Head-To-Head
In the female field, it was clear face-off from the word go between two strong athletes, Johanna Åström of Sweden and Scotland’s Georgia Tindley (team Merrell). The ladies ran side by side at the beginning with Åström pulling away slightly going into the first climb. However, after deciding she would give her all to fight for the win, Tindley switches gear, overtaking around five men and Åström and arriving at the top of the first climb first. After putting up a great fight, Tindley was not fast enough to compete with Åström this time and fell back into second place by the time they reached the ridge.
“Today was very different to when I ran here in 2019 – blue sky instead of thick fog and firm ground instead of wet snow! Definitely prefer it this way round. The race started super fast and from the start it was a battle for first. I didn’t win it, but I’m glad I tried! Well done to Johanna on a super strong performance. Good feelings the whole way round and the most beautiful, varied course makes it my favourite race of the year (so far)!”, commented the Scottish athlete.
With a time of 2h55’04”, Åström was crowned as the winner of Skyrace des Matheysins 2021 followed 4’47” after by Tindley in second and Italian runner Fabiola Conti completed the females podium 5’30” after the winner. All three women, now find themselves in the top 10 in the overall ranking. Stay tuned for the last race in Limone next weekend where all three will once again be competing.
Full results of Skyrace des Matheysins here.