The 29th edition of the Sellaronda Skimarathon
A top level race had been announced and that is what was executed, William Boffelli and Alex Oberbacher put their heart into winning this 29th edition, but the World Champion Matteo Eydallin together with the other Italian athlete Davide Magnini reached the Arabba finish line before them.
At 6 pm 600 teams set off to tackle the four mountain passes: Pordoi, Sella, Gardena and Campolongo on their skis and skins, lit up by their head lamps. After the first three ascents the race began to take shape on the first part of the fourth ascent, the one leading to Passo Campolongo. On Bec de Roces a top level competitive show was performed, with an impressive change in rhythm and race tactics comparable to a Giro D’Italia ascent. It is along this first part that William Boffelli threw caution to the wind and started pushing the pace to climb into the lead ahead of the group consisting of the two Esercito athletes and just behind them by his race partner Alex Oberbacher while in third position the international team of Jakob Hermann and Martin Anthamatten followed. A handful of seconds away Michele Boscacci and Federico Nicolini trailed behind.
Boffelli forced the pace for ten minutes, then in view of the transition area (the last ascent had two transition points) Eydallin urged Magnini to push his pace too and they started to gain precious metres over the other athletes. Boffelli tried to keep up with the leaders but seeing his partner having some difficulties he chose to slow down and skin in front of Oberbacher helping him with his pace. To fight off the return of the Hermann/Anthamatten team, Boffelli then pulled out his rope to help his partner on the ascent clinging onto second position.
After the last transition area Eydallin/Magnini increased their advantage and began the final descent towards Arabba with just about one minute of advantage over their chasers.
The athletes of the Centro Sportivo Esercito crossed the finish line in Arabba with a time of 2:52’59’’, while the Boffelli/Oberbacher team came in one minute later finishing off with the time of 2:54’00’’. In the female race the two Austrians Sarah Dreier and Johanna Hiemer were considered favourites to win the race, but instead the two Italians Alba De Silvestro and Elena Nicolini messed up the Austrian ladies’ plans by beating them with the time of 3:29’36’’. The Austrians Sarah Dreier and Johanna Hiemer stopped the stop watch at 3:34’52’’. While the two French sisters Lena and Candice Bonnel stepped onto the third step of the podium.
While for the mixed team category Stefan Fuchs and Debora Agreiter won with a time of 3:40’15’’, and second place went to Alexander Polig and Birgit Stuffer. The podium was completed by Bianca Somavilla and Alexander Hutter.
Now even this 29th edition can be filed away, an epic edition both for the weather conditions the racers had to endure along the four mountain passes, as well as the competitive level that the first teams put into action on the snow. In this edition live coverage of the race came back allowing our “home” audience to enjoy such an impressive race together with the competitors, a race which will be remembered in the ski mountaineering racing annals for a very long time to come.