Geoffray and Martinez are the 2023 overall season champions. Alonso and Delorenzi are crowned winners of the 2023 Skyrunner World Series SkyMasters.
After six months and thirteen races, it all came down to the final finish line of the season. The Limone Xtreme SkyMasters would not only crown its winners but it was a race to determine the best of the entire season. 80 athletes from over 20 nationalities started the race after qualifying throughout the season or being selected as a Wild Card. Not all were competing for the overall title and prize money pool, only those who had completed three races plus the SkyMasters would be eligible.
Wild Card, Sara Alonso of Spain (team Ascics) and Roberto Delorenzi of Switzerland (team Brooks) lead the race from start to finish, taking home the final winners bibs of the season.
Female winner, Alonso, comments:
“I have wanted to compete in Limone for so many years. At the beginning of the season my plan was to take part in the whole series but I got injured and therefore it wasn’t possible. Luckily I was able to gain entry as a wild card. I tried to push as hard as I could in the uphill because I’m better uphill than descending. It was a beautiful race but also very hard. I enjoyed it a lot and I hope to complete the full circuit and compete for the overall next year.”
Male winner, Delorenzi, comments:
“I am feeling so good! I knew the course well. I have done this race four times. Today I felt good from the start and tried to push from the beginning of the uphill. Luckily for me I was always in the front. I gained some seconds at the top of the first climb and just ran my pace. At the end I struggled a little in the final downhill and I could feel Manuel gaining on me but I managed to keep going and beat him by 30 seconds. I am really happy to end my season like this.”
In the women’s race, Karina Carsolio of Mexico (team Black Diamond) flew in the final downhill and managed to secure her second place in the race and in the overall ranking, four minutes behind Alonso. Olivia Magnone of France (team Esclops D’Azun) closed the women’s podium, five minutes behind Alonso.
In the men’s race, it was a great battle for second and third between the pre-SkyMasters overall leader, Antonio Martinez of (Team Scarpa) and Manuel Martinez (Team Scarpa / Land Trail), both Spain, who brought the heat in the final descent and applied the pressure to Delorenzi. Just seconds separated the two men at the top of the final downhill but Merillas was able to pull ahead and finish in second place ahead of Martinez.
After an exciting season, the world was watching to see who be the overall season champions, taking home the €20,000 prize money. With little points separating the top three in both men’s and women’s ranking, it was impossible to predict.
Finally, after a fourth-place finish for Clementine Geoffray of France (team Kiprun), and a third for Antonio Martinez, both had the most points of the season and slipped on the champions bibs at the finish line.
Female champion, Geoffray, comments:
“This is the dream end to my season! It’s the “cherry on the cake” for 2023. This result is even more great because I really pushed myself to my mental and physical limits.”
Male champion, Martinez, comments:
“It’s incredible. I knew winning the overall would be hard but not impossible. I ran my own race today. I felt good and was overtaking people. When I saw the top guys in front of me I got some motivation to push harder. I must say that today is thanks to Manu – when I caught him we ran together as a team and helped each other. It’s a lovely way to end the season. I couldn’t be more happy.”
After a second-place finish for Carsolio, she climbed two places in the overall ranking. Following an injury, Iris Pessey of France (team Scott Running), who was leading the ranking, was unable to pull off her usual podium performance and therefore dropped to third place overall.
For the men, the top three going into the final race remained the same. Merillas finished ahead of Frederic Tranchand of France (team Scott Running), who placed fifth in Limone.
WADA were also present at the event carrying out anti-doping tests on the top athletes to ensure it was a fair race for all.