The French rocket returns! Damien Humbert wins in his home country and takes home his first SWS champion’s bib of the season and new course record. In the women’s race, Leire Fernández of Spain comes out on top at Skyrace du Mercantour.
The seventh stage of the 2023 Skyrunner® World Series – and second race in the SkyRace category – took place today in Saint Martin Vésubie, Southeastern France.
The 30 km route with 2,100 meters of climb is the highlight of the UTCM event with over 600 participants from around the world taking part.
In the men’s race, it was local, French superstar Damien Humbert (team Inov8) who crossed the finish line first with a time of 2h46’25″, six minutes faster than the previous course record set by Sebastien Poesy last year. The 2022 Minotaur Skyrace winner took the lead in the first climb and had to fight until the very end to keep it with Shoma Otagiri of Japan (team Merrell) finishing just six seconds behind in second place. In third place was Sebastien Poesy of France (team Brooks) who completed the men’s podium.
Humbert, the male winner comments:
“I wanted to beat Sebastien’s time from last year and go under the course record so I pushed hard in the first climb and maintained the lead all the way. I could feel Shoma getting closer towards the end but I just tried to keep giving my all until the very end. This was a great event and I’m delighted to win here today.”
In the women’s race, Leire Fernández of Spain was the fastest female of the day, finishing with a time of 3h30’13” – a whopping 30 minutes faster than the previous record. In second place, just minute behind was Maria Christen of Switzerland (team Scott Running) and Martina Cumerlatoof Italy (team Asics) finished third, nine minutes behind the first woman.
Fernández, the female winner comments:
“I knew Maria was on my heels all the time so I really had to push. At the last small uphill I could feel her right behind me so I was really scared she would catch me and overtake but on the last downhill, I was able to give it my all and win. I’m returning to racing after an injury so I had no idea where my fitness would be at but I felt good today and this was definitely my day!”
Skyrace® du Mercantour falls into the “SkyRace” category, meaning less points have been awarded to the top 20 male and females compared to a “Premier”Skyrace.
The top 10 have qualified for the 2023 SkyMasters, the final race of the season. This is only as long as they complete a further 2 races of the season and the SkyMasters. More information on the rules can be found on the Skyrunner® World Series website.
The next race is Schlegeis 3000 on the 22nd of July in Zillertal, Austria.
Top 5 Women:
1. Leire Fernández Abete (ESP) – 3h30’13”
2. Maria Christen (SUI) team Scott Running – 3h31’15”
3. Martina Cumerlato (ITA) team Asics – 3h39’07”
4. Julia Garriga Ferrer (ESP) team FEEC- 3h46’29”
5. Nadège Servant (FRA) – 3h47’03”
Top 5 Men:
1. Damien Humbert (FRA) team Inov8 – 2h46’25”
2. Shoma Otagiri (JPN) team Merrell – 2h46’31”
3. Sebastien Poesy (FRA) team Brooks – 2h47’43”
4. Pascal Egli (SUI) team Dynafit – 2h57’06”
5. Titouan Galland (FRA) team Merrell – 2h58’13”