Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! This summarizes the many comments from the almost 650 participants of the 1st Valtellina Wine Trail from Tirano to Sondrio, a race organized by living mountain running legend and anytime good-humoured SCOTT athlete Marco De Gasperi.
Simona Staicu’s (Team SCOTT) choice to run more marathons and at the same time reinvent herself as a trail runner, seems to be the good one: just a couple of weeks after winning the Budapest Marathon, the 42-year-old Budapest resident with a 2:29 marathon PR came to Italy having never raced on such a long trail before. Nevertheless, Simona took the lead from the start and didn’t wait to extend it on the first climbs and flat sections, with only a handful of men being able to keep pace with her. After only 5km she was so far in front, that she did not think of giving up for one second. Finally, Simona covered the more or less rolling 44km in 3:56’00, nearly 20 minutes ahead of local runner Cinzia Bertasa from Team Tecnica.
“Basically what I tried to do was to open it up on the flat and the early uphill sections, overtaking on double-track trails, in order to set a big gap,” Simona stated, just after crossing the finish line in front of the terrific SCOTT Truck. “On the technical stuff, I don’t have the reckless instinct yet. I guess I still have a lot of respect when it comes to trail running. Early on, some young guns were passing me on the steep, technical downhills. I just tried to keep pushing it on the flatter and wider sections.”
Beat Ritter, Duathlon-Specialist from Switzerland, won the men’s race in a fascinating sprint after 3:22’48, with only a 3 second margin over resident runner Cristian Pizzati. The shorter version, the Valtellina Half Wine Trail, saw another high-talented mountain runner grab first place with his T2 Kinabalu: Luca Cagnati (Team SCOTT Italia) won the 20k-race after 1:19’46. Maud Gobert from Team Adidas France won the women’s race in 1:41’14, in a similar dominant and outstanding way. Congrats to all finishers and “chapeau” to Marco and his crew for this awesome and unique event!
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