The WMRA World Cup moves to France this weekend with what promises to be a thrilling mountain race with La Montee Du Nid d’Aigle.
The location of Saint-Gervais-Les-Bains has to be one of the best in the world for mountain sports. Located next to the Italian and Swiss borders, the Haute-Savoie region is an absolute magnet for mountain runners and skiers.
This is a classic mountain race at 19.5km, uphill-only with 2000m of ascent. The route begins at Parc Thermal, Le Fayet and initially follows the river towards St Gervais, and then to La Villette, climbing gradually. From here it heads away from the road and into the trees and begins to climb more steeply and it continues to climb relentlessly all the way up to the finish at Refuge du Nid d’Aigle at 2394m.
This year it looks like the race will be playing host to some of the top mountain runners in the world, some of whom have featured in the World Cup already this year. In the women’s race Lucy Murigi (KEN), former World Champion, is hot on the heels of her third place at last weekend’s Grossglockner Berglauf. Susanna Saapunki (FIN) will also be looking to build on her success at Grossglockner, where she finished fourth. Lucie Marsanova (CZE), fifth at the first World Cup race, Tatra Race Run, will also be toeing the line, alongside tenth placed Timea Merenyi (HUN).
Elise Poncet (FRA), who finished second in the 2019 World Championships will certainly be one to watch and she’s joined by many impressive fellow French athletes on home turf. Christel Dewalle is a ten- time French VK champion, so should do well in an uphill-only race. Fresh from a second place at the Mont Blanc Marathon a couple of weeks ago, Anais Sabrie could also challenge, as could Julia Combe, who was third in the Mont Blanc Cross.
In the men’s race Henri Aymonod (ITA) will be looking to capitalise on his World Cup results so far this year – a third place at Tatra and a tenth place at Grossglockner. Compatriot Francesco Puppi, our second placed runner in the World Long Distance Championships in 2019, recently finished fifth in a very competitive Mont Blanc Marathon. Petro Mamu (ERI) will always be a threat, having finished on the podium in most of the big races, including Sierre-Zinal and Smarna Gora. Sandor Szabo, sixth in the 2019 World Cup, is always a tough competitor, as he proved at Tatra, where he finished sixth and Grossglockner, where he was 13th. Xavier Chevrier (ITA) will also be one to watch.
But they will face serious competition from the French athletes. Alexandre Fine was fifth in the 2019 World Championships (Classic Distance) and Simon Paccard (FRA) is fresh from a third place at the Mont Blanc Cross. Julien Rancon, Julien Michelon and young athletes like Remi Lonchampt and Theo Dancer will be exciting to watch.
The women’s record has stood since 2006 when Isabelle Guillot set the current mark of 2.06.06. The
How to follow the race live
You can follow latest news and results during Sunday via WMRA social media channels – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
You can also check out the official race website for coverage on race day.