TOR DES GEANTS 2019: 10th Anniversary reaches halfway. Bosatelli and Trigueros lead TDG, while Luca Papi leads Tor des Glaciers 440k

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 Tor des Géants is a 357k/D+27.000m ultra trail which takes place all over the Aosta Valley, Italy, in September, with its start and the finish at Courmayeur. The  course must be completed in less than 150 hours, counting on over 43 refreshment points and among them 7 life bases, which allow full services to the runners, included a much needed place to sleep for the popular runner, while the elite get by on along three days hardly stoping for a nap at all.. The completion rate is about 60%.

 

For trail running enthusiasts the time has come to concentrate on the other two races which, together with the Tor des Glaciers, will compose the TOR’s 10th anniversary edition. On Friday 1st March at 12 o’clock, the registrations for the TOR 130 – Tot Dret and for the new TOR 30 – Passage au Malatrà will open.

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TOR’S 10th ANNIVERSARY EDITION: TOR 130 – Tot Dret and TOR 30 – Passage au Malatrà.

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History of Tor des Géants: TDG was born as a different experince, from its start in 2010. Around 2000 volunteers are used to organize the race. Due to the alpine condition of the course with a race summit at Col Loson ovr 3.300m weather is an additional obstacle to be very much counted upon, with temperatures dropping at some points below -10ºC.  As they travel,  competitors can encounter sun, rain, wind, and even snow. Over the years, mountain conditions have greatly influenced the race.

The inaugural edition was in 2010. The 2012 edition was interrupted on the fourth night and stopped on the fifth day at En Bosses (303 km). About 70 runners completed the whole course. The 2013 edition was marked by the death of the Chinese runner, Yang Yuan. He fell and he hit his head on rocks during the first rainy night of the race. There is a monument at the site of the accident. The cairn has inscribed a poem written by Yang Yuan. The 2015 edition was interrupted on the third night due to severe weather and stopped on the fourth night, because Col Malatra got covered by ice. Only six runners completed the whole distance. In 2016 local authorities organized a competing race 4K VK alleging concerns for runner’s safety and the costs. That race started and ended in Cogne and went clockwise (unlike Tor) but had no continuity ever since. From Tor 2017 onwards, where the current record of 67h52m was set by spaniard Javier Dominguez Ledo, the organizers have introduced a geolocation service via GPS system which displays full data in real time for each athlete.

 

The TOR 130 – Tot Dret, in its third edition, is set to become an ultra trail classic: 130 kilometers that trace the last part of the path of the Tor des Géants, with views of Monte Rosa, the Matterhorn and the Mont Blanc, and the impervious but magnificent passes that characterize the northern side of Aosta Valley. A challenging race, with 12 thousand meters of elevation gain, to be completed in the maximum time of 44 hours. The departure is scheduled for Tuesday 10th September from Gressoney-Saint-Jean at 9 p.m., with arrival in Courmayeur by 5 p.m. on Thursday 12th September. The record of the race belongs to Marco Mangaretto, who last year triumphed in 24h01’07 “.

Registrations will remain open until 31st May 2019 at 6 p.m.: the entry fee is set at 200€. There will be no draw: only the first 500 in chronological order of registration can participate. The finishers of the TOR130 – Tot Dret 2019 will earn the right to register for the Tor des Géants® 2020 without having to go through the draw for a maximum of 200 bibs. Moreover, from 20th March to 30th June 2019, there will be twenty solidarity bibs, with charitable purposes, at the cost of 1000 euros each.

 

 

The absolute novelty of this edition is the TOR 30 – Passage au Malatrà, 30 kilometers with 2,300 meters of elevation gain to be completed within 8 hours. A unique opportunity to live in first person and in full force one of the most fascinating segments of the TOR, the one that from the “door of Paradise” at 2925 meters with a view over the entire chain of Mont Blanc brings the “Giants” to the arrival in Courmayeur. The departure in on Saturday 14th September at 10 a.m. from Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses, there will be only the first 500 subscribers. Registrations, at a cost of 40€, will close at 6 p.m. on 31st August 2019.

 

For both races, as well as for the Tor des Géant and the Tor des Glaciers, the awards ceremony will be held on Sunday 16th September at the Courmayeur Mountain Sport Center.

 

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TOR DES GEANTS 2019: RACE REPORT UPDATE (9SEP-20H)

Bosatelli leading halfway through the race. Out Collé, Kienzl, Zimmermann

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Tor des Géants does not stop to surprise. The much sought-for “triple” for Franco Collé has vanished, as the Italian quit in Rifugio Dondena, won by a problem at the eyes which already hindered him in Cogne, where he stopped for three hours: after a security clearance by the doctors he was again on the route, losing his first position, but decided to wave goodbye to his dream.
On the lead is now Oliviero Bosatelli, who in Donnas overcame Romain Olivier, stopped one hour to get a massage but very aware of the difficulties to come. “Bosa” was in Sassa at 3.03 p.m., but just 4 minutes behind was Olivier, nibbling away almost 15 minutes at the Italian. Third, 30’ behind Bosatelli, Galen Reynolds, who will try to do better than his second position in 2018.
The women ranking is proceeding quietly – if ever such an adverb can be used at TOR. Leading firmly is last year’s winner, Silvia Trigueros Garrote, in Donnas at 4.23 p.m.. The Spanish had, in Champorcher, almost 1h30 of advantage on Jocelyne Pauly and 2h30 on Sonia Furtado.
In the afternoon the race lost two more protagonists: Denise Zimmermann, winner in 2015, and Simon Gfeller, both out in Cogne. Also the oldest participant withdrew from the race: 73-year-old Joaquim Sampaio. More than 140 is now the number of retired runners.

 

The first, rough night Rough night, this first night at Tor des Géants. cold, snow at the passes, illustrious withdrawals and changes in the rankings have marked the first 24 hours of the race.
In the morning, on the lead in Cogne was French Olivier Romain, inside the life base at 4.40 a.m. and out at 5.15. Behind him, two of the main candidates for the final victory: Galen Reynolds, from Canada, and Oliviero Bosatelli, king in 2016, who left Cogne, respectively, at 5.35 and 5.42. A radically changed ranking if we look at last night’s positions, when Franco Collé was leading ahead Peter Kienzl. As said before, the Aosta Valley athlete had stopped in Cogne for almost three hours, leaving as ninth. Worse situation for Kienzl, who stopped his TOR in Eaux Rousses due to an ankle problem after a training last week.
Silvia Trigueros Garrote, exploiting last year’s experience – which led her to the victory –, is speeding up, running in twelfth position overall. Almost one hour behind was Jocelyne Pauly and, detached, Sonia Furtado.
Illustrious withdrawals, as we said. Besides Peter Kienzl, also Stefano Ruzza and Lisa Borzani left the race.

 

Tor des Glaciers: Luca Papi on the run
It is not easy to follow the Argonauts, as Tor des Glaciers heroes have been named. Because the 84 participants (out of 98 starters) still on the race are now quite separated along the 450 km, and because the valleys and passes that they cross are accessible only to those who really are prepared for high mountain. Also because, last night, temperatures touched the – 15° at Col Loson, 3300 metres, as a young French runners told.
GPS are then necessary, spreading all over the Aosta Valley and moving forward at every satellite connection, that is to say every ten minutes. From these signals, at 4 p.m. the first positions were the same: Luca Papi, Masahiro Ono and Luca Guerini are leading this adventurous patrol, followed by Spanish Javier Puit, who has been first for a good part of the race. Luca Papi has now a quite consistent advantage and is about to get to 260 km, leaving ahead of him 190 km: not a small amount, but the return to Courmayeur is now set, and this is an important psychological help.
Also the women ranking has not changed: Marina Plavan precedes Anouk Baars and Ligia Madrigal. Behind them, Ita Emanuela Marzotto.
If the average speed remains the same, the first arrivals of this fascinating and tough race can be in the first hours of Wednesday. Maybe at the same time as TOR’s. But many factors must be taken into account, i.e. the degree of the fatigue of the runner and the “behavior” of the weather. A new night at high altitude is on the way.

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TOR DES GEANTS PHOTOGALLERY BY THE ORG. 

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MORE ON SKIMO, TRAIL RUNNING AND MOUNTAIN GEAR

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Info by Abel de Frutos for Trailrunningspain