The duel takes place in this first third of the UTMB. Kilian Jornet (Spain) and Jim Walmsley (United States) had a hell of a time in the first part of the race, while Zach Miller, another American, accompanied them on leaving Les Chapieux. The three men are ahead of the predictions and are on the basis of a UTMB in less than 20 hours on the reference course.
Behind, at less than 3 minutes, the Spaniard Pau Capell also remains on time for his challenge to complete the tour of the Mont-Blanc massif in less than 20 hours. Finally, an almost compact group of five riders left in the direction of the Col de la Seigne around 11:02 p.m., 5 minutes from the leaders, a group inside which are two French outsiders, Mathieu Blanchard and Thibault Garrivier.
Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz withdraws due to injury
Surprise on the other hand for Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz, 2nd in the UTMB last year, who gave up after 10 km of effort only due to injury. “The preparation for my second UTMB went perfectly until three days before the race. A slight discomfort appeared but did not worry me more than that. Unfortunately, only 10 short kms will have been enough to transform this discomfort into a pain significant enough to make me limp. Impossible to imagine another 160 km like that”said the French runner, an athlete whose staff suspects a stress fracture in the hip.
Among the women, the American Katie Schide is well placed in the lead, ahead of Marianne Hogan and the French Audrey Tanguy.