American Bailey Kowalczyk Takes 2nd Place at Golden Trail Series Grand Final Stage 2

Announcement from the Golden Trail Series presented by Salomon Running | October 27th, 2022, Start 9:00 AM, 26.6 km, 1,425 meters V+ | Seixal, Madeira, Portugal. Above photo: @diogoabreu.

Eli Hemming (USA) finishes 8th in stage 2 men’s race, Tabor Hemming (USA) takes 13th followed by Dani Moreno (USA) in 14th in the women’s race.

Rémi Bonnet and Nienke Brinkman strengthen their leads by winning the second stage of the Madeira Ocean and Trails Stage Race.

Madeira never gives the same day twice! This morning, the sun awakened Machico bay with its warm glow. The contrast with yesterday’s thrashing rain was almost unnerving, and these changing weather conditions play a major role on the athletes’ results!

Dani Moreno. Photo: @diogoabreu.

Women’s Race

As Allie McLaughlin (Team On Running, USA) had decided to take a rain check on this second stage, Nienke Brinkman (Team Nike Trail, The Netherlands) had free rein today. She left no hope for her competitors by finishing almost 4 minutes in front.

“I felt better today than yesterday’s stage,” she admitted. “Even if I was afraid that Élise, or another good downhiller, would catch me in the technical sections or on the downhill steps. I really enjoyed myself today, but I need some rest now!”

And one great downhiller can hide another, and it was Bailey Kowalczyk (Team Salomon, USA) who finished in second place.

“I was feeling really great today! As I’m used to training on dry terrain, I knew I had to go for it today because I don’t know if it’s going to rain in the coming days. Tomorrow I’m going to use the short stage as a recovery but I’m still planning on being out there every day unless my body tells me otherwise!”

Julie Roux (Team Salomon, France) completes the women’s podium.

“It’s surprising because at first I was suffering on the climb, but I think it’s because the race set off fast because it was quite a short distance. Then there was a flatter section before the second big climb and that’s when I could give it some gas. I don’t know, I just felt really good; in the climb and the downhill, I had my mojo today! It’ll help my overall ranking. Now there’s three stages left, let’s see!”

Bailey Kowalczyk. Photo: @diogoabreu.

OPEN Category

In the OPEN category, it was Thomas Roach (GB) for the men and Malen Osa (Spain) for the women who took victory.

“As I was saying, I really wanted to win a lot of time to secure the first place for my GTNS ALL/AUT/CHE team on this stage, so that’s what I was really aiming for today!” explained Thomas Roach at the finish line.

For Malen Osa, the victory was not as easy as yesterday’s.

“It was a lot tougher today than yesterday,” she confided. “It was hot, and I felt the effects of yesterday’s effort in the beginning. Then, I started feeling better the further I went. I started catching the girls in front and I did a sprint finish to win this stage. Noémie will be tough to keep off in the three upcoming stages, I know it’ll be difficult, but I’m having a great time and I’m ready to fight for the final victory!”

Eli Hemming. Photo: @diogoabreu.

Men’s Race

He is literally flying over and above in this final! Rémi Bonnet (Team Salomon, Switzerland) seems untouchable at the end of this season. After the two USA races and the first stage of the final yesterday, the Swiss once again won the day’s race. Unbeatable on the climbs, one by one his pursuers were left reeling, some had to bow down and dropped sharply in the rankings.

“I still felt really good,” he confided at the finish line. “In the climbs I felt I still had power in reserve, so I tried to break the others. Elhousine wanted to keep up, but I think he was out of his depth, especially as it was a very hot day, and he hadn’t drunk a drop…”

The Moroccan would crash and burn and finish way back in 50th place. Opening up an opportunity for a runner that we weren’t expecting on the podium: Thomas Roach (GB) participating in the Final of the OPEN category and for the Golden Trail National Series ALL/AUT/CHE. He made the sensation of the week by beating the best ELITE category runners.

“I’m really happy to have got some time for the GTNS team,” he explained. “I was in 5th at the top of the first climb and holding, Petro was slowing down on the seaside stretch so I managed to overtake him, and finish in 2nd place, I’m so happy! Today was a stage that suited me well even if I had a nasty fall in the gravel, I couldn’t stop myself, it was like slipping on ice and I finally stopped 15 metres lower down. But it was nothing serious and I think tomorrow, after a good warm up, it will be a short stage that will also suit me well!”

In third position we find a guy who is used to having excellent results on stage races. Bart Przedwojewski (Team Salomon, Poland) won the 2020 Golden Trail Championship with a similar race format.

“I’m so thrilled with my race today! Yesterday I decided not to overdo it to have more energy than the others today and it paid off because I felt really good. At the start, the pace was a bit too fast for me, so I slowed down, but I was surprised to see athletes like Petro Mamu, almost at a standstill in the final kilometres and so I went from 8th place to 3rd. I feel good but I’m a bit worried about my knee. I fell and I hope it’s not too bad.”

Morgan Elliott. Photo: @diogoabreu.

Germany, Austria, Switzerland increases the lead

In the Golden Trail National Series Teams ranking, the GTNS ALL/AUT/CHE continues to lead and took advantage of this second stage to widen the gap with GTNS ITALY. There are now 17 minutes that separate the two teams, while GTNS FRA are now 42 minutes behind second place.




1 – RÉMI BONNET (CHE – SALOMON/RED BULL): 02:08:12 (+100 pts)
2 – THOMAS ROACH (GBR): 02:17:32 (+88 pts)
3 – BART PRZEDWOJEWSKI (POL – SALOMON): 02:18:17 (+78 pts)
4 – THIBAUT BARONIAN (FRA – SALOMON): 02:18:46 (+72 pts)
5 – MANUEL INNERHOFER (AUT – SALOMON) 02:21:57 (+68 pts)


1 – NIENKE BRINKMAN (NLD – NIKE TRAIL): 02:39:55 (+100 pts)
2 – BAILEY KOWALCZYK (USA – SALOMON): 02:43:38 (+ 88 pts)
3 – JULIE ROUX (FRA – SALOMON): 02:44:44 (+ 78 pts)
4 – ÉLISE PONCET (FRA – SIDAS X MATRYX): 02:46:02 (+72 pts)
5 – PHILIARIES KISANG (KEN – DAUDIN / ON RUNNING): 02:46:48 (+68 pts)

Dani Moreno. Photo: @diogoabreu.



3 – RUY UEDA (JAP – RED BULL): 510 pts
4 – ELI HEMMING (USA): 499 pts


2 – SARA ALONSO (ESP – SALOMON): 622 pts


1 – GTNS GER/AUT/CH: 10:20:07
2 – GTNS ITALY: 10:22:46
3 – GTNS FRA: 10:49:49
4 – GTNS ESP/POR: 11:08:58
5 – GTNS MEXICO: 11:10:06

Complete Stage 2 Results

Editor’s Note: Athletes competing in the Golden Trail Series are forced to participate in the QUARTZ health policy – a non-WADA complaint testing regime that purports to be an anti-doping program.

Two-time World Mountain Running Champion Joseph Gray said the following about QUARTZ after his refusal to participate at Golden Trail Series race Pikes Peak Ascent this past August “My decision not to participate in the QUARTZ testing at Pikes Peak is based on my opinion that this is not a sufficient drug testing program compared to US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which I am completely compliant with. In my opinion, our sport needs real drug testing, not a company parading as one yet only serving as a “health checkup.”

You can learn more about WADA anti-doping and other testing programs in our six part clean sport series written by 2017 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championship silver medalist Tayte Pollmann.

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