Pierra Menta 2006, Brosse & Blanc and Martinelli & Pedranzini victorious
The 21st Pierramenta, the great 4 stage ski mountaineering competition around the French Beaufortin massif, was won by the French duo Stephane Brosse and Patrick Blanc and Francesca Martinelli and Roberta Pedranzini
The 21st Pierramenta, the great 4 stage ski mountaineering competition around the French Beaufortin massif, was won by the French duo Stephane Brosse and Patrick Blanc and Francesca Martinelli and Roberta Pedranzini.
176 teams competed in the competition whose course had to be modified due to the abundant snowfall, resulting in a "mere" 7000m height gain instead of the exhausting 10,000m. The men's competition was dominated by the two Frenchmen, who won three of the four stages, but the battle for first place was a tight one, with the Italians Guido Giacomelli and Hausjoch Lunger winning the third stage and finishing just three minutes behind the victors. In the women's event Francesca Martinelli and Roberta Pedranzini won all four stages and sealed victory 12 minutes ahead of second placed Veronique Lathuras and Nathalie Bourillon.
Pierra Menta afterthoughts
Stephane Brosse: "This is my third Pierra Menta, my first together with Patrick, and each time it's an incredible, fantastic experience! The organisation was exceptional given these difficult conditions. My ankle hurts and I'm limping at the moment. but I've got this far and I hope to reach Patrouille des Glaciers".
Guido Giacomelli: "It was hard and a such a close second place is a shame. But the final stage was too short to enable an attempt at recuperating lost time. And after Saturday's slowdown Blanc and Brosse began to pedal once again...".
Francesca Martinelli and Roberta Pedranzini: "We're in seventh heaven, we're lost for words. This was our first Pierra, an extraordinary and extremely difficult competition. But we did it!":
Results 21st Pierra Menta
1 MARTINELLI FRANCESCA / PEDRANZINI ROBERTA 10:43:10 (ITA)
2 LATHURAZ VERONIQUE / BOURILLON NATHALIE 10:55:44 00:12:34 (FRA)
3 MABILLARD CATHERINE / PONT SEVERINE 11:10:18 00:27:08 (CH)
4 FAVRE CORINNE / TOIGO CAROLE 11:23:13 00:40:03 (FRA)
5 FABRE VALENTINE / VAUDEY MURIEL 12:00:21 01:17:11 (FRA)
1 BROSSE STEPHANE / BLANC PATRICK 08:16:36 (FRA)
2 GIACOMELLI GUIDO / LUNGER HANSJÖRG 08:19:29 00:02:53 (ITA)
3 ELMER RICO / TROILLET FLORENT 08:24:03 00:07:27 (CH)
4 SBALBI TONY / TRENTO DENIS 08:29:33 00:12:57 (FRA)
5 MEILLEUR VINCENT / BLANC BERTRAND 08:35:52 00:19:16 (FRA)
6 PELLICIER ALEXANDRE / CHAMPANGE CYRIL 08:40:48 00:24:12 (FRA)
7 BOSCACCI GRAZIANO / MURADA IVAN 08:44:42 00:28:06 (ITA)
Photos:the start of the first stage; Blanc and Brosse immediately take the lead Pierra Menta
(ph Lorenzo Scandroglio)