Maude Mathys and Stian Angermund Triumph at Marathon du Mont Blanc

Announcement from the Golden Trail World Series supported by Salomon. Salomon is an American Trail Running Association (ATRA) corporate member. Photo above: Jsaragossa.

July 4th, 2021, 6:00 am, – Chamonix, France – Marathon du Mont Blanc – 23 miles, 8,628 feet of climb, 5,905 feet of descent.

Maude Mathys and Stian Angermund triumph at the second stage of the Golden Trail World Series (GTWS)

After a year’s hiatus, we saw the great return to the trail-running Mecca, Chamonix, for the eagerly awaited second stage in the Golden Trail World Series, and a stage in the Golden Trail National Series – the legendary Marathon du Mont Blanc.

The high white clouds danced across the tops of the Chamonix valley’s glaciers on this Sunday morning in July, giving way to blue skies and a fresh morning air. This was godsend for the 1,600 runners who prepared to set off from Chamonix for a completely new Mont-Blanc Marathon course route, modified to comply with the restrictions imposed due to the health crisis. Just 2.5 miles shorter at 23.5 miles for a substantial vertical elevation of over 8530 feet, welcome to the French Alpine rollercoaster!

Golden Trail World Series | Marathon du Mont Blanc | Photo by Martina Valmassoi

Men’s Race

He had already proved his point at the first round of the 2021 Golden Trail World Series in Spain, Stian Angermund (Norway, Team Salomon) did it once again on the Alpine trails. Holding back in the first part of the race, the Norwegian knew how to bide his time to release his fireworks and pick off his pursuers, one by one. “At first I felt I was struggling… Maybe I had eaten too much at the beginning,” he explains. “I hung in there and I was running with Bart, Davide and Carlos. Then at the top, I went over the other side with Davide but then Bart powered down the descent to Vallorcine. Luckily, I managed to keep up with him even though he made a gap. Fortunately, in Vallorcine I caught up with him and he told me that his legs weren’t great! So, I put some pressure on the climb to create a gap. I was never really relaxed, I was really afraid that Bart, Davide, or even someone else would catch me up before the finish. But from La Flégère I really had fun, and I really enjoy this section, which is super pretty and fun to run!”

At the finish line, he won with more than 2 minutes ahead of runner-up Davide Magnini (Italy, Team Salomon). “I didn’t have good legs today, they were so sore in the second part of the race. I was like “OK, don’t think about it and try to keep running as hard as possible.” Then I started to have stomach problems and I couldn’t really drink anymore. It’s annoying these digestion concerns… I’m a little disappointed that I couldn’t fight with all my weapons but I’m pretty happy with my race anyway!”

Bartlomiej Przedwojewski (Poland, Team Salomon) completed the podium. The Pole used his power on the downhills to secure a sufficient lead to secure the third-place spot. “I know that my strong point is in the downhills,” he tells us. “But considering the level of the other guys, I had to push it even harder than usual and take risks to try to create enough lead on the downhill. But it was a great race for me, I felt really good during the race. In the last part Stian and Davide were really better than me… I tried to catch up with them, but it was impossible.”

Golden Trail World Series | Marathon du Mont Blanc | Photo by Jsaragossa

Women’s Race

In the women’s field too, Maude Mathys (Switzerland, Team Salomon) reproduced the same race pattern as the first stage. Very quickly, the Swiss widened the gap with her rivals to whom she left no chance. “I still had a hard time finding a good rhythm,” she said at the finish. “My quads were tight as hell, I couldn’t spring forward, and I was too rigid on the downhill. I knew Anaïs was strong. Then there’s the big climb and it was my chance to get ahead and create a gap. In the downhill I didn’t take any risks and then, in the last hour, I felt better and was able to roll out the pace. It was still not the same sensations I had in Spain, there I was flying. Here, I opened up my lead, but I wasn’t serene.”

Yet, at the finish line, Maude Mathys was over 9 minutes ahead of second place Anaïs Sabrié (France, Team Matryx). “I’m just so grateful to everyone, the public, the runners, the organizers and the marmots! I felt I had good legs today, so this is a great result. I still have a few points to improve on in the downhill, but it was a really great race, and the course route was amazing! For me, this is my ultimate dream race in the Alps!”

Blandine L’Hirondel (France, Team Hoka One One) completed the women’s podium, despite a badly twisted ankle. “At 15k, I sprained my ankle again… I have a serious problem with this ankle. I was on the verge of giving up. In Vallorcine I stopped and wondered if I was going to carry on or not. But I like the sport too much. So, I just hung in there and carried on. I really didn’t expect to be third. I don’t know what I’m going to do next, I’ll start by treating this ankle first and then we’ll see.”

See you in Canazei, Italy, in 2 weeks’ time on July 18th for the 3rd stage of the Golden Trail World Series for the Dolomyths Run – The Corridor to Hell!

Golden Trail World Series | Marathon du Mont Blanc | Photo by Jsaragossa

Men’s results

1 – STIAN ANGERMUND (NOR – SALOMON) 03:18:08 (+100 pts)
2 – DAVIDE MAGNINI (ITA – SALOMON) 03:20:10 (+88 pts)
4 – RÉMI BONNET (Switzerland – SALOMON) 03:27 :14 (+72 pts)
5 – FRANCESCO PUPPI (ITA – NIKE TRAIL) 03:28:18 (+68 pts)

Women’s results

1 – MAUDE MATHYS (Switzerland – SALOMON) 03:51:04 (+100 pts)
2 – ANAÏS SABRIÉ (FRA – MATRYX) 04:00:17 (+88 pts)
3 – BLANDINE L’HIRONDEL (FRA – HOKA ONE ONE) 04:07:41 (+78 pts)
4 – DANIELA OEMUS (GER) 04:13:34 (+72 pts)
5 – MARCELA VASINOVA (CZE – SALOMON) 04:14:46 (+68 pts)

Check the full race results
Check the overall ranking 2021 GTWS

Golden Trail World Series | Marathon du Mont Blanc | Photo by Martina Valmassoi

The Golden Trail World Series stands out in the modern sports world respecting unique values like parity, equity, transparency and honesty. The races have been chosen to highlight the most iconic events in this sport today. The Series aims to promote professional trail runners as the world-class athletes that they are, to showcase and protect the awe-inspiring nature and environments where we play and compete, and to acknowledge the amazing, passionate fans as an essential ingredient in the sport. Each of the six races in the Series has been specifically selected because of the scenery, challenges, history and atmosphere that they offer to both the runners and the public. These are the races that every runner wants to experience and some of the first written on any runner’s bucket list.

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