Arslan victorious at the Grand Prix “Montee du Grand Ballon”. Two Scotties with Race Rocker in the Top10.
On race day, last Thursday, the skies were a brilliant blue with nice temperatures in Willer Sur Thur, France. A much different weather pattern than the previous day when temperatures were just above freezing at the summit (1.424m) and a fresh dusting of snow blanketed the trail. Last year's WMRA Grand Prix Champion Ahmet Arslan, Turkey, bested second-place finisher Gabriele Abate, Italy, by just two seconds for the championship at the Grand Ballon. Arslan finished the 13.5-kilometer course in 59:28 to Abate's 59:30. Italian Alex Baldaccini finished in third with a time of 1:01:12.
The great news from a SCOTT perspective though was that Adam Kovacs, Scott-Athlete from Hungary and Stephan Wenk (9th), both showed very well, with Adam finishing a superb 5th place, only 2 little seconds behind the best frenchie and mountain running specialist Georges Burrier. The first part of the race was very fast, and at kilometer six both “Scotties” were around one hundred meters behind the leading duo Arslan and Abate. In the last part of the race Adam and Stephan were even able to accelerate and showed a strong finish, grabbing the 5th and 9th position in a world-class line up.
“It’s really fabulous to meet, run and work together with such young and motivated athletes with great talent. If you consider for example that Adam ran a 2.18h-marathon in Prague just 4 days before this race, it seems almost incredible that he was chasing today the European elite in mountain running.” says David Borrmann, PM Running at Scott. “Both athletes are focussed on this year’s Jungfrau-Marathon, the World Champs in Long Distance Mountain Running. And both young guns should be in the mix and pushing the front of the pack.”
The next race in the five-race WMRA Grand Prix series is the 14th Gorski tek na Grintovec in Kamnik, Slovenia, on July 29.