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It is a double record
17 march 2018
  • It is a double record for the 23rd edition of the Sellaronda Skimarathon with the victories of the Swiss athletes Martin
  • Anthamatten/Werner Marti and Alba De Silvestro/Jennifer Fichter in the women’s race.

Canazei welcomes the ski-mountaineers with an audience worthy of great occasions. The German athlete Anton Palzer, who before the race was considered one of the favourites, was absent due to the flu.
At 6pm sharp, on Friday 16th March the 23rd edition of the Sellaronda Skimarathon sets off. The most famous night time race, even this year, saw 586 couples divided between same sex and mixed racing partners. The president of the Organizing Committee, Oswald Santin, just like he has done for the past 8 years, personally started the race, finally giving the athletes their moment, after the Committee itself had worked hard for weeks to guarantee perfect conditions for all the participants.
Due to the natural rotation of the towns hosting the start and finish of the race, this year it was Canazei’s turn, in Val di Fassa. The first pass to tackle was therefore passo Sella, which straight away offered the athletes 730 metres of vertical height gain. On this first ascent, the leading athletes were all in a group, with Anthamatten-Marti (SUI) leading together with Reichegger-Magnini (ITA), Götsch-Hoffmann (ITA-AUT) and Bonnet-Boffelli (SUI-ITA). At Passo Sella, near Rifugio Salei, they climbed over the pass in this order, throwing themselves down towards Selva di Val Gardena which is 634 m further down. Among the ladies, the Italian Alba de Silvestro together with Jennifer Fichter (SUI), take the lead, with the Austrian athletes Erhart-Mayerhofer behind, and then the Swiss team Viktoria Kreuzer-Severine Pont-Combe.
The long descent towards the first change over point down in the valley does not bring any revolutionary switch in positions and the four teams ahead are the first ones to put their skins on in Selva Val Gardena, they then all start the ascent towards Passo Gardena. With this ascent another 758 vertical metres are added to the overall total which by the end will add up to 2700 m+ . Along the ascent towards Dantercepies/Passo Gardena it is still Anthamatten-Marti in the lead, followed closely by Reichegger-Magnini and Götsch-Hoffmann. They ski over the Passo Gardena in a little group, and they get closer to the half way line in Corvara.
In the female race the girls De Silvestro-Fichter continue to lead even along the descent towards Val Gardena, throughout the change over and even uphill towards Passo Gardena, nothing changes. And the girls prove to be extremely fit with the stop watch auguring well for a final time.
The descent towards Corvara in Alta Badia is among the speediest and most difficult in technical terms. And in Corvara this year there is a half way timing point: after 19km out of the 42km, in this 23rd edition, the couple Anthamatten/Marti stand out with the fastest time. The female race instead totally belongs to the partnership Alba De Silvestro-Jennifer Fichter, which registers the fastest half way time in Corvara.

  At Passo Campolongo, the third of the mountain passes to be climbed in 2018, on paper is the easiest with only 545m of vertical height gain up to Bec de Roces, but it is always the third and comes after Sella and Gardena, which are the most difficult of the race. In the male race the game starts to get more difficult, and the racing partners try to put themselves in an attacking position, which by now is an ascertained tactic, that of attacking along the last ascent, and in this case up Passo Pordoi. Campolongo is conquered by the Swiss Martin Anthamatten and Werner Marti, managing to slightly move away from the champion of the world Manfred Reichegger and the youngster Davide Magnini, both part of the CS Esercito team, third instead the athlete from Merano Philipp Götsch and the Austrian  Christian Hoffmann.
At Arabba, with its 1605 m the highest town of the circuit, the last change over in the valley is tackled. Passo Pordoi is the last effort, with 634m of vertical height gain to climb, before the long and exhausting descent to the finish line in the heart of Canazei. And it is along this ascent that the history of the 23rd edition of the Sellaronda Skimarathon is written. The Swiss Anthamatten and Marti manage to keep up their winning pace, while the young Magnini puts the  worldchampion Reichegger on the rope, pulling him up, and they both have to settle for second place. For third place, on the Passo Pordoi ascent, the couple William Boffelli-Remi Bonnet catch up with the duo Götsch-Hoffmann, third till that moment, but experiencing difficulties due to a crisis had by the Austrian Hoffmann. Just before the pass, even the leaders have to put Anthamatten on the rope, he has a slight crisis, and Magnini-Reichegger who are following at 150 metres see their chance. When Anthamatten and Marti climb over Pordoi after 2h58’, the victory is within reach, even if a night time descent is always full of surprises. The advantage over Reichegger-Magnini is of exactly two minutes, enough to guarantee a safety margin on the Swiss couple, who respect the timetable and cross the finish line at Canazei with a record time of 3h04'30'', beating the previous 2015 record (Palzer-Lanfranchi + Boscacci-Holzknecht) by only 10 seconds. Second place for the team made up of the South Tyrolean Manfred Reichegger and the Trentino athlete Davide Magnini (+1:24), third the Swiss Remi Bonnet and the Italian William Boffelli with a distance of 2:58 from the winners.
In the female race, the couple Alba de Silvestro-Fichter reaches Passo Pordoi on their own at 9.30pm, confident of winning, possibly even with the female record, which up to that moment seemed feasible. And in fact the crowning of an extraordinary race comes with the Italian-Swiss team winning the 23rd edition of the Sellaronda Skimarathon with a final time of 3h37'58'', shattering by 15 minutes the old record set in 2015 by Corinna Ghirardi and Francesca Martinelli. In second place the Austrians Johanna Erhart and Veronika Mayerhofer, and third the winners of last year’s edition Viktoria Kreuzer and Severine Pont-Combe from Switzerland.
While the victory in the mixed category was undisputed for the Italian Martina Valmassoi with Anton Krupicka (USA). 

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