Atomic athlete Kilian Jornet successfully concluded this year’s ski mountaineering season last weekend, taking home the Overall World Cup. Together with his successes in the Sprint and Individual Races in Tromsø/Norway, his performance this year earned the Spaniard the overall victory.
The final ski mountaineering World Cup event was held in an unusual location. The city of Tromsø located above Norway's fjords north of the Arctic Circle provided an outstanding backdrop for the athletes.
The course of the Sprint Race on Saturday led straight through the city, and snow for the roads was specially brought in. Jornet had speculated even before the weekend of the World Cup how he could turn his lead in the overall World Cup ranking into a victory. With a solid performance he came in seventh place in the spectacular race and was able to defend his advantage for the main race on Sunday.
The “Blåtind Arctic Race” was held on a difficult alpine terrain, with several stretches where the skis had to be carried. The large quantities of snow in Scandinavia posed a challenge to the athletes, and the snow was frozen at the top along almost the entire course extending over 1,800 meters of difference in altitude. Jornet did not take any unnecessary risks and delivered a seemingly solid performance with a 7th place. Then he made the audience gasp: Just like some of the other athletes, Jornet skipped a poorly marked direction post and received a 5-minute penalty and fell back 6 places. However, with the 13th place he still secured a solid victory in the overall World Cup ranking ahead of William Bon Mardion (FRA) and Manfred Reichegger.
Jornet was overjoyed about the perfect result despite the brief scare and after crossing the finish line he had the following to say: "I am very happy that I won the World Championship title for the second time in a row. This victory is my reward for working hard and preparing all year long!"
The Patrouille des Glaciers in Switzerland, which takes place from April 25th to 28th marks the season’s final and is Jornet’s last competition before his summer trail running season is set to begin.