Tough but beautiful track, rain and wind in the first part and sunshine in the finale: the second edition of the Valgrosina Trail, which took place today in Grosio, did not disappoint expectations, thanks to the presence of big names in trail running who gave life to three exciting races. The winners spoke Italian, Spanish and French: Dani Jung and Georg Piazza in the men's and Guendalina Sibona in the women's 70 kilometre race, Andreas Reiterer and Martina dal Bosco in the 38 kilometre race, and Manuel Merillas and Noemi Vachon in the 12 kilometre race.
In the queen's race, the two South Tyrolean athletes crossed the finish line together. The first part had seen Jung, Pereyra, Piazza and Lindl proceeding together to the summit of the Storile mountain, at 2471 metres, the novelty of this edition of the 70 kilometre race. Left alone in the final kilometres, Jung and Piazza were ahead of the others, arriving together under the arch in the garden of Villa Visconti Venosta and finishing in 8h33'05", with Pereyra, who stopped the clock at 8h47'22", further behind. On arrival, the first words of Jung and Piazza were of appreciation for the course, tough but beautiful, made even more difficult by the rain and wind that annoyed the athletes, but did not cause any problems. "It was a good battle with Georg," said the winner, "we covered 68 of the 70 kilometres together: I tried several times to break away from him but he always caught up with me. It was an honour to run the Valgrosina Trail'. Piazza's statement is along the same lines: "We started with a regular pace and then Dani and I accelerated, pulling away from the others. In view of the descent we didn't want to take any risks. I discovered a tough but really beautiful route that I would recommend to everyone.
The women's race was also very close and was only resolved in the second half. First on the summit of Mount Storile, Francesca Crippa, the eve's favourite, was forced to retire, leaving the field clear for Patrizia Rusconi and Guendalina Sibona who were following her. In the second part of the race, illuminated by the sun, Sibona succeeded in the decisive sprint that allowed her a solo finish: 11h58'08" was her time. At the end of the race, the Milanese woman, also an appreciated photographer and writer, confessed with disarming sincerity that she had only registered for the Valgrosina Trail on the eve of the race: 'I had a free Saturday, I heard about the race and decided to participate. It was a nice race and I want to congratulate the volunteers who were very kind and above all very nice". Second place, with a time of 12h12'24", for a beaming Patrizia Rusconi, at her third long-distance race, third for Silvia Gilardi, in 12h40'24".
In the 38-kilometre race, the big names in the speciality did not disappoint expectations, taking the first places, but it was the four-time Italian long-distance trail champion and world bronze medallist Andreas Reiterer who beat the competition, finishing in 3h32'40", almost six minutes slower than the time of 2022 winner Diego Simon, leaving the second place finisher, Hélio Fumo, eight minutes behind, with a time of 3h40'44". Also on the podium was Simon, who completed the course in 3h41'41", compared to 3h38'08" last year. In the women's race, an all-Italian podium with the winner Martina Del Bosco who, with a time of 4h36'58", clearly imposed herself on the Grosine Beatrice Besseghini (4h54'23") and Chiara Franzini (4h54'59").
In the 12-kilometre race, the shortest race but with vertical inclines, which started at 8.30 a.m., Manuel Merillas managed to go under one hour, stopping the stopwatch at 57'52", beating André Rodrigues, second in 58'12", and Marco Zanga, third in 1h02'11". On the women's podium were the winner Noemie Vachon, who completed the race in 1h12'00", the runner-up Chiara Galli, 1h20'38" and the third Cristina Giacomelli, with a time of 1h21'16". Two different winners from the first edition: Merillas, a Spaniard from the province of Leòn, vice-world champion in 2015, from the Scarpa team, and Vachon, a Frenchwoman, also in the elite of trail running.