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Over the Long Course France Comes Out on Top

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By: Freetrail

All week long we'll be bringing you coverage of the 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships. Each day you'll find a recap right here with words from Corrine Malcolm and incredible photos from our very own Ryan Thrower.

The Long Trail race at the 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships got a little longer when snow on the higher sections of the original course forced the race organization to make a race week decision to reroute the middle portion of the route. Based on finishing times this 87-kilometer (54-mile) course with roughly 6,500 meters (21,000 feet) of climbing was as challenging as they come for European trail standards. We were treated to gritty performances from the entire field, truly we are blown away.

In the men’s race, it wasn’t incoming favorite Nicolas Martin who came out on top for France, but a newer name to us – 23-year-old and fellow Frenchman Benjamin Roubiol knocked our socks off. Benjamin overtook 2022’s third-place finisher Andreas Reiterer on the final climb to pull off the win in 9:52:59, Andreas finished eight minutes back in 10:00:46. Bettering his eighth-place finish at the 2022 event, and rounding out the podium was Slovakian athlete Peter Frano in a time of 10:02:10. Filling out the top five were two men fighting there way to buoy their countries into team medals with Thibaut Garrivier of France finishing fourth in 10:14:49 and American Drew Holmen in fifth in 10:15:40. In the team competition France claimed a narrow margin of victory over the US with Italy finishing in the bronze medal position. Other US finishers include Zach Miller (6th), Eric Lipuma (7th), and Caleb Olson (90th). You can find complete results here.

Zach Miller made his intentions known putting himself in the mix from the first climb of the day.
Zach Miller made his intentions known putting himself in the mix from the first climb of the day.
Race leader for much of the day, Andreas Reiterer would ultimately finish second.
Race leader for much of the day, Andreas Reiterer would ultimately finish second.
Eric LiPuma and Drew Holemen work together over the back half of the course to finish 7th and 5th respectively.
Eric LiPuma and Drew Holmen work together over the back half of the course to finish 7th and 5th respectively.
Benjamin Roubiol pulled off the surprise of the day running away for the win over the final ascent of the course.
Benjamin Roubiol pulled off the surprise of the day running away for the win over the final ascent of the course.
Thibaut Garrivier fought through a challenging day to finish 4th and help France secure the men's team win.
Thibaut Garrivier fought through a challenging day to finish 4th and help France secure the men’s team win.
Peter Frano gives a look over his shoulder after rocketing from 8th to 3rd around the halfway mark.
Peter Frano gives a look over his shoulder after rocketing from 8th to 3rd around the halfway mark.

In the women’s race, a brand new champion was crowned after reigning World Champion Blandine L’Hirondel dropped from the race after the start loop due to pain from a preexisting foot injury. Marcela Vašínová pushed the pace early in a small group of five women before opening up a gap over the biggest climb of the day, but by the halfway point the fast early pace was clearly taking a toll and she began to fall back in the field. Capitalizing on this the eventual women’s podium began to take shape and by the 65-kilometer mark, it was all but certain. The first woman to cross the line was last year’s sixth-place finisher Marion Delespierre (remember that beautifully dramatic tie between Marion and French teammate Audrey Tanguy) in a time of 11:22:31. Rounding out the women’s podium was German athlete Katharina Hartmuth in 11:29:14 and French athlete Manon Bohard Cailler in 11:34:22. Filling out the rest of the top five were Martina Valmassoi from Italy in a time of 11:44:50 for fourth and Rosanna Buchauer from Germany in a time of 11:45:58 for fifth. In the team competition, it was all about France once again with a combined time putting them 40 minutes out in front of the team for Germany. The Italian women found their way to a bronze medal position, with the team from the US finishing a not-too-distant fourth. Finishing for Team USA were Allison Baca (6th), Emily Schmitz (7th), Sarah Keyes (24th), Shea Aquilano (33rd), and Clare Gallagher (65th). You can find complete results here.

Earlier race leader Marcela Vašínová pushed the pace early before ultimately finishing 12th.
Early race leader Marcela Vašínová pushed the pace from the start before ultimately finishing 12th.
Marion Delespierre leans into the corner before going on to win after finishing 6th in 2022.
Marion Delespierre leans into the corner before going on to win after finishing 6th in 2022.
Martina Valmassoi battled it out in the top five for much of the day ultimately finishing 4th.
Martina Valmassoi battled it out in the top five for much of the day ultimately finishing 4th.
Katharina Hartmuth applied podium pressure for the entire race to finish in second position.
Katharina Hartmuth applied podium pressure for the entire race to finish in second position.
Allison Baca grinning and gritting her way to a 6th place finish.
Allison Baca grinning and gritting her way to a 6th place finish.
Manon Bohard Cailler moved up steadily to claim the bronze medal.
Manon Bohard Cailler moved up steadily to claim the bronze medal.
Emily Schmitz, a late addition to team USA her European race know how to finish 7th.
Emily Schmitz, a late addition to team USA flexes her European race know-how to finish 7th.
Marion Delespierre takes in her win at the finish line.
Marion Delespierre takes in her win at the finish line.

Up next, tomorrow Friday, June 10th will be the final race of these championships with the Classic Mountain (Uphill+Downhill) race. Have you placed your Freetrail Fantasy picks yet? Do so here! Want to follow along live? The race will be live-streamed on the race website, but if you want to jump in the live chat hop on over to the stream on Youtube.

Sarah Keyes feeling the team USA love out on course.
Sarah Keyes feeling the team USA love out on course.

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