Announcement from the Golden Trail Series presented by Salomon Running | 28th October 28th, 2022, Start 5:00 PM, 6.6 km, 350 meters V+ | Canical, Madeira, Portugal. Above photo: @diogoabreu.
Allie McLaughlin (USA) takes 2nd place in 31:15, Sofia Laukli (USA) in 3rd running 31:36. Tabor Hemming (USA) finishes stage 3 in 8th place in 32:56 while Bailey Kowalczyk (USA) comes home in 12th place in 33:59. In the men’s race Eli Hemming (USA) matched his wife with an 8th place finish in 27:12.
In a short but intense time trial Elhousine Elazzaoui and Nienke Brinkman demonstrated their speed.
The Golden Trail Series Final is well under way. The day’s stage, third out of five, was a little different: a 6.6 km time trial the length of the São Lourenço peninsula, where the runners set off two-by-two every 30 seconds. Due to the short distance of today’s challenge, it carried half the usual points, which allowed some athletes to change positions in the overall ranking.
We know she’s in her groove on fast rolling sections, Nienke Brinkman (Team Nike Trail, The Netherlands) let her legs do the talking today by inflicting almost one minute on her main rival of the day Allie McLaughlin (Team On Running, USA).
“Today’s stage had my name written all over it, but I knew that Allie and Sophia didn’t plan to run stage 4 to keep some in the tank for stage 5. It’s a shame because there are some great uphills tomorrow and it would’ve been a good battle.”
Allie McLaughlin said she had a blast today.
“Sophia and I were up against each other on the start list. I couldn’t have wished for a better match because we get on really well and are very similar in terms of ability and fitness. Today I was faster, but Sophia often beats me. In fact, you never know who will beat who as we are always very close. But I must admit today was really fun!”
Sophia Laukli (Team Salomon, USA) rounds off this time trial podium.
“We were neck and neck throughout the stage. I took the lead at the start of the downhill, but I felt that Allie needed to pass me, so I let her go. I knew she was stronger on that type of terrain.”
He was often well placed, he even rattled Rémi Bonnet (Team Salomon, Switzerland) on the first stage this week, before completely crashing and burning on the second stage. Elhousine Elazzaoui (Team Pini Mountain Racing, Morocco) seems to have fully recovered, as shown by his first ever victory on one of the Golden Trail Series races.
“Yesterday, I had a pain in my leg, and I was really disappointed to have finished the stage badly. But today I had more energy, and I knew this format suited me, so I really pushed hard and I’m very happy to have won this stage!”
Hot on his heels, Rémi Bonnet had to settle for second place, having been used to the top step on the podium for the last 4 races.
“I’m particularly happy for Elhousine,” he confided. “He’s always pushing hard and that forces me to stretch myself in races. He deserves this victory for everything he’s done this season!”
Petro Mamu (Team Scarpa, Eritrea) also let his speedwork do the talking on this explosive stage and took third place.
“Yesterday, I wasn’t feeling very good on the last part of the stage,” he explains, “but today I was feeling much stronger, so I tried giving it full throttle and it worked!”
As each day passes, each day has the same outcome in the OPEN category, as Thomas Roach (GB) for the men, and Malen Osa (Team Salomon, Spain) for the women forged to victory for a third time this week, increasing their gap in the OPEN overall ranking.
“I’m starting to feel the fatigue,” Malen Osa nevertheless confided at the finish line. “It was a bit too fast for me today. But it’s the accumulation of the days that are especially beginning to leave its mark. I’d never done a race longer than 25 kilometres before this week, and here we are doing them day after day. Tomorrow, I think I’ll have a tough time finding my pace in the beginning, I just hope it’ll return as the race goes along.”
GTNS: no changes!
In the Golden Trail National Series teams ranking the podium status hasn’t changed: the GTNS ALL/AUT/CHE is still leading the overall ranking in front of the GTNS ITALY and GTNS FRA.
ELITES – STAGE 3
1 – ELHOUSINE ELAZZAOUI (MAR – PINI MOUNTAIN RACING): 00:24:54 (+50 pts)
2 – RÉMI BONNET (CHE – SALOMON/RED BULL): 00:25:32 (+44 pts)
3 – PETRO MAMU (ERI – SCARPA): 00:26:02 (+39 pts)
4 – MANUEL INNERHOFER (AUT – SALOMON): 00:26:36 (+36 pts)
5 – THIBAUT BARONIAN (FRA – SALOMON): 00:26:38 (+34 pts)
1 – NIENKE BRINKMAN (NLD – NIKE TRAIL): 00:30:16 (+50 pts)
2 – ALLIE MCLAUGHLIN (USA): 00:31:15 (+ 44 pts)
3 – SOPHIA LAUKLI (USA – SALOMON): 00:31:36 (+ 39 pts)
4 – SARA ALONSO (ESP – SALOMON): 00:32:06 (+36 pts)
5 – PHILIARIES KISANG (KEN – DAUDIN / ON RUNNING): 00:32:27 (+34 pts)
1 – RÉMI BONNET (CHE – SALOMON/RED BULL): 768 pts
2 – THIBAUT BARONIAN (FRA – SALOMON): 574 pts
3 – ELHOUSINE ELAZZAOUI (MAR – PINI MOUNTAIN RACING): 544 pts
4 – RUY UEDA (JAP – RED BULL): 536 pts
5 – ELI HEMMING (USA): 528 pts
1 – NIENKE BRINKMAN (NLD – NIKE TRAIL): 838 pts
2 – SARA ALONSO (ESP – SALOMON): 658 pts
3 – SOPHIA LAUKLI (USA – SALOMON): 643 pts
4 – CAITLIN FIELDER (NZL – SALOMON): 568 pts
5 – ÉLISE PONCET (FRA – SIDAS X MATRYX): 568 pts
GTNS TEAMS OVERALL RANKING
1 – GTNS GER/AUT/CHE: 23:16:00
2 – GTNS ITALY: 23:40:00
3 – GTNS FRA: 24:22:00
4 – GTNS ESP/POR: 24:35:00
5 – GTNS JAPAN: 25:43:00
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.