Robert Antonioli and Laetitia Roux win Vertical Race at Andorra Ski mountaineering European Championships
At the Ski mountaineering European Championships held at Andorra, this morning Robert Antonioli from Italy and Laetitia Roux from France won the Vertical Race. Second place went to Manfred Reichegger and Maude Mathys, third to Damiano Lenzi and Claudia Galicia Cotrina.
This morning on the Arinsal (Andorra) snow the European titles for the Vertical Race speciality were awarded. The most exciting and spectacular event was the Senior race, 730 metres of altitude gain in apnoea to win the gold medal. The Italian team was in great shape and half way through the race had three men in command, Manfred Reichegger, Damiano Lenzi and Robert Antonioli, with the German Anton Palzera a few metres behind. On the last "wall" before the straight run that led to the finishing line Manfred Reichegger tried to leave his fellow teammates behind, but his action was immediately neutralized by Antonioli and Lenzi who caught up of him. Then it was Robert Antonioli's turn to revive the action shooting ahead and sprinting toward the arrival banner, Reichegger failed to keep up the pace, while Lenzi tried unsuccessfully to grab the second position. Antonioli closed with a time of 27'14, while Reichegger was second by 1", Damiano Lenzi with a time of 27'24" climbed onto the third step of the podium. Anton Palzer was fourth while Peter Lanfranchi and Lorenzo Holzknecht were fifth and sixth respectively.
In the women's race history repeated itself once again with Laetitia Roux heading, without rivals, toward her umpteenth gold medal. In second place was the Swiss woman Mathys Maude while the Spanish Claudia Galicia Cotrina closed in third place. The home athlete Sophie Dusautoir Bertrand was a little behind with Victoria Kreuzer and Aexlle Mollaret at her side. Roux crossed the finishing line with her hands in the air, stopping the stopwatch at 32'00", Maude Mathys was second with a 1'25 delay, the Spanish Claudia Galicia Cotrina third with a time 34'40".
After the rest day on Saturday, the European Championships continue on Sunday with the Individual Race.