US Mountain Running champion and SCOTT-Athlete Joe Gray finished 2nd at one of the most competitive mountain races in the World, the 41st edition of Sierre-Zinal. Joe becomes the fastest American ever on this course with a time of 2:32.58h, less than 1 minute behind the race winner Kilian Jornet.
Joe commanded the race from the start up to Nava which is the highest point of the course at 2.425m. With victory on his mind, Kilian and the local Cesar Costa (finishing 3rd) were closely following with times of one and two minutes behind respectively. Joe began the downhill passage from Nava with caution but then unfortunately an accident occurred, as he fell down while trying to pass around a “tourist” on the single track. Fortunately nothing serious happened to him, just some scrapes to the knee, but the greater damage was to his lead with Kilian starting to attack in 2nd position, and finally pushing on to win in Zinal.
In general, it was a gorgeous day to watch this edition of Sierre-Zinal, as with Tadei Pivk (Italy) and Stefan Paternoster (Austria), two other SCOTT Athletes respectfully finished in the Top20. In the women’s race, Elisa Desco dropped out at the half way point due to respiratory problems. Stevie Kremer (USA) finally won this prestigious race in 3:03.12h, after finishing 2nd twice in the previous two meetings. 2nd place this year went to local runner Maude Mathys, ahead of Christel Dewalle from France. Celine Lafaye (France), team member of SCOTT Odlo Les Saisies, took 8th place in 3:16.44h after an extremely solid run.
The next big race in Europe for Joe in his SCOTT Trail Rockets will be the World Mountain Running Championships in Casette di Massa, Italy, on September 13.
Next stop for some Scotties and some hundreds Skyrunners will be the Matterhorn Ultraks in Zermatt, August 23.
1. Jornet Burgada Kilian (ESP) 2:31.54
2. Gray Joe (USA) 2:32.58
3. Costa Cesar (SUI) 2:34.07
1. Kremer Stevie (USA) 3:03.12
2. Mathys Maude (SUI) 3:03.59
3. Camboulives Aline (FRA) 3:06.42
Photos: Akos Neuberger