China debut success for Ski Mountaineering World Cup 2018
The first stage of the Ski mountaineering World Cup was held last weekend in China. Nicolò Canclini from Italy and Laetitia Roux from France won the Sprint discipline, while Anton Palzer from Germany and Axelle Mollaret from France won the Vertical Race.
The 2018 ski mountaineering competition season kicked off in earnest on the freezing cold slopes of Wanlong in China last weekend as some of the world’s strongest skialpers congregated for the Sprint and Vertical Race.
The Vertical Race with its 500 meter height gain along the 2,250 meter race course was won by Germany’s Anton Palzer who crossed the finish line after 16:58, just 12 seconds ahead of Switzerland’s Werner Marti (17:10) and 23 seconds ahead of Italy’s Michele Boscacci (17:21). In the women's competition France’s Axelle Mollaret clocked up the fastest time of 21:02, ahead of Spain’s Claudia Galicia Cotrina (21:28) and Italy’s Alba De Silvestro who, with a time of 21:32, secured bronze and was just two seconds faster than her teammate Katia Tomatis.
After Friday’s Vertical, the Sprint was on the agenda on Saturday morning. The course offered 80 meters altitude gain for the men and 67 for the women and although this may at first seem like little, given the speed with which they raced it proved more than demanding. Italy’s young Nicolò Canclini celebrated his first senior competition in style by winning the race, and he shared the top podium position with the French ski mountaineering queen Laetitia Roux. Canclini beat Spain’s Oriol Cardona Coll and Switzerland’s Iwan Arnold, while Roux held off Spain’s Claudia Galicia Cotrina and Switzerland’s Marianne Fatton, second and third respectively.