Atomic athlete Kilian Jornet took first and third place in the first World Cup races of the season. After victory in the vertical race, he had to admit defeat in the individual race.
This weekend, the start of the World Cup called the international ski mountaineering elite to Ahrntal in South Tyrol (ITA). Spanish skier Kilian Jornet was among the favorites for both races that took place: the Vertical Race on Saturday, 01.12.2013 and the Individual Race on Sunday, 01.13.2013.
In the Vertical Race, Jornet justified his position as joint favorite, but the other competitors made him work hard to earn his victory. He reached the finish line in first place, ahead of Matheo Jacquemoud and William Bon Mardion (both FRA), with only a narrow 7-second advantage and an overall time of 31:45:00.
In the Individual Race the next day, Jornet was able to take up a position in the field's leading group from the start. The technically challenging route suited him well. Over the approximately 1,800 m of total vertical distance that he had to overcome, there were very steep and icy ascents, several changes, sections where skis had to be carried, and finally, an energy-sapping continuous vertical descent of over 1,100 m into the valley. Just as on the previous day, the leading group was close together; only Matheo Jacquemoud of France was able to break away and did not allow anyone to take the lead from him until the finish. Jacquemoud, who had finished second in the Vertical Race the day before, won the first Individual Race of the season ahead of his compatriot William Bon Mardion and Spain's Kilian Jornet on a very selective route with a time of 1:42:29:50.
After victory in the Vertical Race, Kilian Jornet breezed into third place in the Individual Race: "Congratulations to Matheo on his success, he was almost flying on the uphills. And with a first place and a third place I can be more than happy with the start of this World Cup."
You can find the complete interview here: http://youtu.be/56LBcvv6zD0
In two weeks, the international ski mountaineering elite will meet in Martigny (SUI). It is the last World Cup weekend before this year's season highlight: the World Championships in Pelvoux (FRA), February 9-16, 2013. It is up to Jornet to defend his 2011 World Championships titles in the Individual and Vertical races there.