GTC- STAGE 4 / AMERICAN DREAM

FAIAL, AZORES ISLANDS, 1st November 9:15 am

STAGE 4 – The Highway to Hell – 34km, 1,488 m vertical elevation, 1,381m descent

Start line: Capelinhos Volcano

Finish line: Ribeirinho

It’s A Wrap!

The final start line of this Golden Trail Championship was a line-up of war-torn faces and excited smiles as “the Highway to Hell” rang out over the speakers. A last-minute surprise, as the course route was altered due to violent winds at the caldera summit and dense fog. A blessing in disguise for some, with more runnable sections it was the two Americans Jim Walmsley (Hoka One One) and Rachel Drake (Nike Trail) who finally took the stage win, although not by enough to dethrone the yellow bib holders Bart Przedwojewski (Team Salomon) and Maude Mathys (Team Salomon). 

Glory for Jim Walmsley! 

Capelinhos’ wind-swept volcanic moonscape bid farewell for the last time to these elite runners contending for the podium spots in the race of the year. With continuing extreme weather conditions, American Jim Walmsley (Hoka One One) finally managed to grab a stage win on the GTC. The American took advantage of the more runnable sections to break away from his hot pursuer Bart Przedwojewski (Team Salomon). “A goal was to try to win a stage, but Bart has been running so well,” says Walmsley. “I didn’t know Bart before, and any gap I made, he’d just close it up again once we’d go downhill! It was really foggy at the top, and so you can get away and start pushing without them knowing you’re doing it! I knew he would come back on the rooty, jungly, technical downhill at the end. I thought he was going to come back, but I held him off today! “. Frenchman Frédéric Tranchand completes this podium. 

Drake’s Downhill!

In the girls’ category, it was also an American who won, Rachel Drake (Team Nike Trail) stole the glory from Maude Mathys (Team Salomon) by more than 2 minutes. A victory she brought together in the downhill. “I don’t mind when it’s technical, but not all the time, like the first two days were,” she said on arrival. “Today was the perfect balance and I really had fun. I had a secret problem, a blister under my heel that I wanted to keep to myself so it wouldn’t be seen as a vulnerability, so I strapped it up and it held out. I didn’t want to exert myself too much the first 2 days and so the last 2 days I could let my wild child out!” Blandine L’Hirondel completes the podium for this stage robbing Tove Alexandersson (Team Icebug) from 3rd position who paid the price of these four consecutive strenuous days.

Some things don’t change!

The positions didn’t change in any of the segments in this final stage. The leaders confirmed their supremacy. On the uphill segment Rémi Bonnet (Team Salomon) and Iris Pessey (Team Scott) clocked up the best times of the day. “It was a really smooth track,” explains the Swiss athlete “I just gave it full throttle, I think I was running at something like 3min40km/h! I was cooked at the end and I was staggering for 200m afterwards!” 

No surprises in the downhill, the two specialists who forged their paths in this championship are Anders Kjærevik (Team Bergen Running) and Ana Cufer (Team Salomon). 

Sprinting it home!

The women’s sprint result was no surprise as most of the women focused on the top 10 overall, leaving Gisela Carrion (Team La Sportiva) to have the field free to defend her green bib. She once again wins the day’s segment, ahead of the British athlete Sara Willhoit by more than 30 seconds. 

The big battle of the day comes from the duel between the first two men in the sprint ranking: the Frenchman Théo Détienne (Team Salomon) and the Spaniard Andreu Blanes Reig (Team Carnicas Serrano). Since neither of them were playing for the overall standings, only Détienne, wearing the green jersey, was eligible to start in the first wave. He decided to take his time on the first part of the course to wait for his opponent at the start of the green segment to have a face-off. “I thought it would be more fun,” he explains, “then we could really go for it and afterwards I just had to manage the rest of my race to keep the 8-second lead for the green bib.” After a scorching 1.7 kilometre, it was the Spaniard who pipped the post, 2 seconds in front of the Frenchman. “He was too tough, he suddenly accelerated, and I just couldn’t keep up! But I’m really so happy to win the green bib! “

RANKING STAGE 4

Scratch

Men

1 – JIM WALMSLEY (USA) TEAM HOKA ONE ONE: 02:43:43.947

2 – BARTLOMIEJ PRZEDWOJEWSKI (PL) TEAM SALOMON 02:45:30.180

3 – FREDERIC TRANCHAND (FR) TEAM Nvii SPORT: 02:49:35.140

4 – STIAN ANGERMUND (NOR) TEAM SALOMON: 02:52:44.363

5 – ELHOUSINE ELAZZAOUI (MAR) TEAM SALOMON: 02:52:44.367

Women

1 – RACHEL DRAKE (USA) TEAM NIKE TRAIL: 03:15:44.517

2 – MAUDE MATHYS (CH) TEAM SALOMON: 03:17:15.483

3 – BLANDINE L’HIRONDEL (FR): 03:20:57.447

4 – JOHANNA ÅSTRÖM (SW) TEAM ARC’TERYX: 03:23:43.170

5 – MARCELA VASINOVA (CZ) TEAM DYNAFIT: 03:25:05.157

Climb Ranking

Men

1 – REMI BONNET (CH) TEAM SALOMON: 00:08:18.843

2 – ANTONIO MARTINEZ (ESP) BUFF PRO TEAM: 00:08:39.316

3 – JIM WALMSLEY (USA) TEAM HOKA ONE ONE: 00:09:16.247

4 – FRANCESCO PUPPI (IT) TEAM NIKE TRAIL: 00:09:28.957

5 – ORIOL CARDONA COLL (ESP) TEAM DYNAFIT: 00:09:48.867 

Women

1 – IRIS PESSEY (FR) TEAM SCOTT: 00:10:04.824

2 – SARA WILLHOIT (GB) TEAM MERCIA FELL RUNNERS: 00:10:22.220

3 – MAUDE MATHYS (CH) TEAM SALOMON: 00:10:40.150

4 – RACHEL DRAKE (USA) TEAM NIKE TRAIL: 00:11:16.524

5 – RUTH CROFT (NZ) TEAM SCOTT: 00:11:49.120

Downhill Ranking

Men

1 – ANDERS KJÆREVIK (NOR) TEAM BERGEN RUNNING: 00:03:08.660

2 – DARIO MOITOSO (POR) AZORES TRAIL RUN PRO TEAM: 00:03:20.104

3 – ANTONIO MARTINEZ (ESP) BUFF PRO TEAM: 00:03:24.964

4 – ORIOL CARDONA COLL (ESP) TEAM DYNAFIT: 00:03:27.983

5 – JOHN LUNA-LIMA (USA) TEAM ASCENT PROTEIN: 00:03:33.586

Women 

1 – ANA CUFER (SLO) TEAM SALOMON: 00:03:28.320

2 – TOVE ALEXANDERSSON (SW) TEAM ICEBUG: 00:03:39.970

3 – RUTH CROFT (NZ) TEAM SCOTT: 00:04:13.340

4 – FANNY BORGSTRÖM (SW) TEAM SALOMON: 00:04:16.020

5 – RACHEL DRAKE (USA) TEAM NIKE TRAIL: 0:04:28.107

Sprint Ranking

Men

1 – ANDREU BLANES REIG (ESP) TEAM CARNICAS SERRANO: 00:04:40.094

2 – THEO DETIENNE (FR) TEAM SALOMON: 00:04:42.140

3 – DAVID PELÍSK (CZ) TEAM AK OLOMOUC: 00:05:32.284

4 – ANTHONY BOUCARD (FR): 00:05:36.047

5 – OMI RYUNOSUKE (JP) TEAM ADIDAS TERREX: 00:05:41.706

Women

1 – GISELA CARRION (ESP) TEAM LA SPORTIVA: 00:05:53.684

2 – SARA WILLHOIT (GB) TEAM MERCIA FELL RUNNERS: 00:06:28.654

3 – RUTH CROFT (NZ) TEAM SCOTT: 00:06:30.697

4 – MAUDE MATHYS (CH) TEAM SALOMON: 00:06:41.430

5 – JOHANNA ÅSTRÖM (SW) TEAM ARC’TERYX: 00:06:45.830


OVERALL RANKING AFTER STAGE 4

Overall Ranking

Men

1 – BART PRZEDWOJEWSKI (PL) TEAM SALOMON: 09:10:10.653

2 – JIM WALMSLEY (USA) TEAM HOKA ONE ONE: 09:17:18.754 

3 – FREDERIC TRANCHAND (FR) TEAM Nvii SPORT: 09:26:32.603

4 – ELHOUSINE ELAZZAOUI (MAR) TEAM SALOMON: 09:28:46.571

5 – STIAN ANGERMUND (NOR) TEAM SALOMON: 09:29:05.443

Women

1 – MAUDE MATHYS (CH) TEAM SALOMON: 10:47:41.843

2 – RACHEL DRAKE (USA) TEAM NIKE TRAIL: 10:56:53.618

3 – BLANDINE L’HIRONDEL (FR): 11:02:42.441

4 – TOVE ALEXANDERSSON (SW) TEAM ICEBUG: 11:06:43.154

5 – JOHANNA ÅSTRÖM (SW) TEAM ARC’TERYX: 11:26:04.864

Climb Ranking

Men

1 – REMI BONNET (CH) TEAM SALOMON: 01:27:39.232 

2 – JIM WALMSLEY (USA) TEAM HOKA ONE ONE: 01:29:32.492

3 – BART PRZEDWOJEWSKI (PL) TEAM SALOMON: 01:30:59.793

4 – STIAN ANGERMUND (NOR) TEAM SALOMON: 01:33:41.844

5 – FRANCESCO PUPPI (IT) TEAM NIKE TRAIL: 01:33:48.001

Women

1 – MAUDE MATHYS (CH) TEAM SALOMON: 01:46:07.871

2 – IRIS PESSEY (FR) TEAM SCOTT: 01:48:50.569 

3 – RACHEL DRAKE (USA) TEAM NIKE TRAIL: 01:51:12.993

4 – BLANDINE L’HIRONDEL (FR): 01:54:01.820

5 – TOVE ALEXANDERSSON (SW) TEAM ICEBUG: 01:57:13.274

Downhill Ranking

Men

1 – ANDERS KJÆREVIK (NOR) TEAM BERGEN RUNNING:  00:21:56.66

2 – JOHN LUNA-LIMA (USA) TEAM ASCENT PROTEIN: 00:24:06.855

3 – BART PRZEDWOJEWSKI (PL) TEAM SALOMON: 00:24:11.373

4 – ANTONIO MARTINEZ (ESP) BUFF PRO TEAM: 00:24:35.789

5 – FREDERIC TRANCHAND (FR) TEAM Nvii SPORT: 00:24:49.242 

Women

1 – ANA CUFER (SLO) TEAM SALOMON:  00:25:35.506

2 – TOVE ALEXANDERSSON (SW) TEAM ICEBUG: 00:26:37.138

3 – BLANDINE L’HIRONDEL (FRA): 00:29:08.000

4 – RACHEL DRAKE (USA) TEAM NIKE TRAIL: 00:29:36.993

4 – JOHANNA ÅSTRÖM (SW) TEAM ARC’TERYX: 00:29:50.474

Sprint Ranking

Men

1 – THEO DETIENNE (FR) TEAM SALOMON: 00:26:32.106

2 – ANDREU BLANES REIG (SP) TEAM CARNICAS SERRANO: 00:26:38.274

3 – BART PRZEDWOJEWSKI (PL) TEAM SALOMON: 00:30:24.715

4 – ELHOUSINE ELAZZAOUI (MAR) TEAM SALOMON: 00:30:42.486

5 – FREDERIC TRANCHAND (FR) TEAM Nvii SPORT: 00:30:55.671

Women

1 – GISELA CARRION (SP) TEAM LA SPORTIVA: 00:34:13.371

2 – MAUDE MATHYS (CH) TEAM SALOMON: 00:35:17.166

3 – BLANDINE L’HIRONDEL (FR): 00:35:24.293

4 – TOVE ALEXANDERSSON (SW) TEAM ICEBUG: 00:36:26.842

5 – RACHEL DRAKE (USA) TEAM NIKE TRAIL: 00:36:32.423


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