Atomic athlete Kilian Jornet and his team colleague Frenchman Matheo Jacquemoud won the Italian Tour Du Rutor Ski Mountaineering competition. In three stages, the team clinched the victory after a challenging race from March 30 - April 1, 2012.
The high-alpine team race in the Aosta Valley is part of the Grande Course and is one of the most difficult stage competitions in Italy. Jornet voiced his competitive spirit even prior to the beginning of the race: “After the Italians won the Pierra Menta, I want to win with my French team mate here in Italy!”
On the first of three racing days across the highest point of Tete du Rutor with 3,486 m, Jornet and Jacquemoud were able to stay hard on the heels of the leading team Bon Mardion/Lanfranchi and came in second place with less than one minute behind the winning team.
On day 2, across 1,850 meters of difference in altitude, they competed with several teams for the victory. In an exciting race with very small time differences, it looked like the two would be able to win the second stage of the race, but they lost precious time during the final downhill lag due to a broken ski. As a result, they came only in second place. However, in a remarkable finish, they were only 2 seconds behind the winners of the stage Holzknecht/Reichegger and only 4 seconds ahead of Bon Mardion/Lanfranchi in third place.
The third stage extending over 2,300 meters of difference in altitude and the final downhill lag to Planaval across 2,000 meters of difference in altitude were to determine the winners. Jornet and Jacquemoud risked everything. With a massive last push, they pulled ahead of the competition, winning the race. A margin of almost 4 minutes ahead of the competition was enough to win the Tour du Rutor with a finishing time of 7:15:34 hours Jornet had the following to say about his victory: "I need to thank my team mate Matheo who made it possible to win this race. Winning here means a lot to me!"
The next stage is the World Cup Final of the ISMF in Tromsö /Norway from April 13-15, 2012, followed by the final Grande Course event, the "Patroulille des Glaciers“ from April 25-28, 2012 in Switzerland.