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The first stage of the ISMF Ski Mountaineering World Cup 2016 took place at Font Blanca in Andorra last weekend. While Saturday’s Individual race was won by Kilian Jornet Burgada and Emelie Forsberg, Sunday’s Vertical race was won by Burgada and Laura Orguè Vila.

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Ski Mountaineering World Cup 2016 Photo by © ISMF During the first stage of the Ski Mountaineering World Cup 2016 at Font Blanca, Andorra. Individual race.

A last-minute snowstorm In Andorra forced the organising committee of the ISMF Ski Mountaineering World Cup to change plans last weekend and prepare a new race track for Saturday’s Individual race, run three times by the women’s Junior class and four times by the other athletes. Despite strong winds and the storm, the new formula resulted in some really tough challenges with Michele Boscacci, the Italian champion, trying to clinch his second victory right until the very end. After three rounds in the lead, he was forced to give in to to the all-out attack of Spain’s Kilian Jornet, who won in 1h 23’48”. Second place went to Michele Boscacci – 1h23’59”. In the race for third place, it was Swiss Werner Marti (1h24’50”) who won the day, with just 8” over the French Mathéo Jacquemoud. They were followed by Xavier Gachet, Anton Palzer (first Espoir), William Bon Mardion, Rémi Bonnet (second Espoir), Robert Antonioli and Martin Anthamatten.

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Ski Mountaineering World Cup 2016 Photo by © ISMF During the first stage of the Ski Mountaineering World Cup 2016 at Font Blanca, Andorra. Individual race.

The women’s challenge (also run in four rounds) was won by Sweden, with Emelie Forsberg the first to hit the finishing line in 1h 43’15”. She shared the podium with Spain’s Claudia Galicia Cotrina, in 1h 43’25”. Third place went to Spain’s Laura Orgué Vila – 1h 44’12”-, fourth place for Jennifer Fiechter. Fifth place for the French Laetitia Roux. The French champion, who has returned to competitions after a long recovery from injury, led the race after the first round, then lost ground just before the end. Sixth place went to Garcia Ferres Marta, and seventh place (first Espoir) for Alba De Silvestro. Martina Valmassoi, Nahia Quinciones Altuna and Mireia Mirò Varela made it into the top ten as well.

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Ski Mountaineering World Cup 2016 Photo by © ISMF Kilian Jornet Burgada and Michele Boscacci during the first stage of the Ski Mountaineering World Cup 2016 at Font Blanca, Andorra. Individual race.

In the Junior class, first success of the season for France’s Samuel Equy in 1h30’38”, ahead of Davide Magnini in 1h31’22” and Inigo Martinez de Albornoz Marques – 1h34’00”. An Italian duo won the women’s Junior race with Giulia Compagnoni in first place with 1h22’45”, followed by Giulia Murada – 1h24’02”, while third place went to France’s Lena Bonnel – 1h24’44”.

ISMF Skimountaineering World Cup 2016 – Font Blanca – Individual Race

Sunday’s Vertical race in Arnisal was marked by Spaniard Kilian Jornet who, after his individual race win on Saturday doubled his takings with a gold medal in the first vertical race of the year. On the Andorran snow and under a beautiful cloudless sky the former Olympic cross-country skiing champion Laura Orguè Vila won the women race. The route featured a positive altitude difference of 730m, the same as the senior men, senior women and junior men events, while the junior women competed on a track with 500-m altitude difference.

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Ski Mountaineering World Cup 2016 Photo by © ISMF Individual race Men’s podium at Font Blanca, Andorra of the Ski Mountaineering World Cup 2016: Michele Boscacci (2), Kilian Jornet Burgada (1), Werner Marti (3)

Right at the start of the race Italy’s Michele Boscacci tried to steer clear of the pack and took the lead. In the final part of the competition though, the Catalan and the young Swiss talent Remi Bonnet caught up and overtook the Italian. The Catalan ace won in 26’50”, Bonnet finished second (first among the Espoir) in 27’14”, while the Italian athlete won bronze in 27’22”. The day’s top ten included Martin Anthamatten, Anton Palzer, Mathéo Jacquemoud, Werner Marti, Robert Antonioli, Lorenzo Holzknecht and Valentin Favre.

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Ski Mountaineering World Cup 2016 Photo by © ISMF Individual race Women’s podium at Font Blanca, Andorra of the Ski Mountaineering World Cup 2016: Claudia Galicia (2), Emelie Forsberg (1), Laura Orgué Vila (3)

In the women race, thanks to her skills as a trained cross-country skier, Laura Orguè Vila won the event in 32’10”, ahead of Emelie Forsberg (32’43”) and Victoria Kruezer (32’45”). The fourth to cross the finish line was Claudia Galicia Cotrina, followed by Marta Garcia Farres. They were followed by Laetitia Roux, Katia Tomatis, Jennifer Fiechter and Alba De Silvestro. Once again the young Italian was the first Espoir.

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Ski Mountaineering World Cup 2016 Photo by © ISMF During the first stage of the Ski Mountaineering World Cup 2016 at Font Blanca, Andorra. Individual race.

In the Juniors category, Davide Magnini and Giulia Compagnoni raised their national flag high as both struck gold. The young CS Esercito athlete completed the men’s race in 29’06, getting the better of Arnaud Gasser and Samuel Equy. For her part, Compagnoni raced to the finishing line in 22’50”, beating teammate Giulia Murada and Austria’s Verena Streitberger.

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Ski Mountaineering World Cup 2016 Photo by © ISMF During the first stage of the Ski Mountaineering World Cup 2016 at Font Blanca, Andorra. Individual race.

The ISMF World Cup continues on 30 and 31 January with the second stage in Italy’s Valtellina Orobie.

ISMF Skimountaineering World Cup 2016 – Font Blanca – Vertical Race