Jan Margarit and Nienke Brikman explode the Skyrhune records at the last stage of the Golden Trail World Series.
25th SEPTEMBER 2021, Start 2:00PM, 21KM, 1,700M V+ ASCAIN – FRANCE
With 28°C in the shade and the sun dancing with the ambient humidity, the Skyrhune’s "gates of hell" were loyal to their name this Saturday 25th September 2021. The last stage in the Golden Trail World Series promised to be a fantastic show, and it didn’t disappoint! The Basque race, the usual host of the Golden Trail National Series France/Belgium final, welcomed the last stage of the 2021 Golden Trail World Series before the Grand Final on El Hierro; which is probably one of the reasons why the records were obliterated at the finish line!
We discovered her at Sierre-Zinal – where she was second behind Maude Mathys (Team Salomon, Switzerland) –, she reconfirmed her status in Germany with another knockout race, the Flying Dutchwoman" Nienke Brinkman(Team Salomon, The Netherlands) has once again obliterated the competition at this Skyrhune! The young Dutch runner, who, if you remember, only started trail running at the beginning of the health crisis less than two years ago, was not only victorious but also smashed Blandine l’Hirondel’s record by more than 7 minutes. "I’m really thrilled with this result, she confides, smiling ear-to-ear at the finish line. I only had one goal to not fall… I kept telling myself over and over in the downhill not to fall, I scared myself 3 times, and then in the end, I fell… Really stupid! But it was OK and when I was back on the road at the end, I said to myself everything was fine and I could really really stretch out my stride and I’m so happy with this victory" By winning the Skyrhune, Nienke Brinkman (Team Salomon, The Netherlands) is in shooting range of Maude Mathys (Team Salomon, Switzerland), the current leader in the overall ranking. The battle between the two women at the Grand Final on El Hierro – where, remember, points are doubled – promises to be sumptuous! Behind the Dutchwoman was the mountain trail specialist Élise Poncet (Team Matryx, France), who took her revenge on a failed race in 2018. "I chose a different strategy from 3 years ago! I wanted to enjoy it, so I set off slowly and I just worked my way up throughout the race. My legs were feeling great and so I really enjoyed it! This second place means I am qualified for the Grand Final, so we will be able to go "on holiday" on an island! I can’t wait to be on El Hierro in three weeks!". It’s the "local girl" who completes this podium; she came with her whole family in tow, Sara Alonso (Team Salomon, Spain) lives just a stone’s throw across the Spanish border. "This is practically my back garden here and I wanted to be strong! When I heard all the Basques shouting my name, I knew I had to give it my all in the downhill. In the climb Dani was extremely strong, I hung on as much as I could but then I could give it my all in the last section to catch her, and then leave her behind! I’m also really happy to beat the under 23-year-olds’ record!"
We knew he was very powerful on this type of race format, Jan Margarit Solé (Team La Sportiva, Spain) reminded everyone by being victorious at this year’s Skyrhune. Discreet at the start of the race, the Spaniard pushed in the climb up to the Rhune to slip into the lead at the top and keep hold of it from there onwards. He finished almost 1’30” ahead of the record held by Thibaut Baronian (Team Salomon, France). "I lost sight of the leaders in the first downhill… a beginner’s mistake: I was stuck behind a runner, and I fell… Then, I pulled out the throttle in the climbs to come back and I took the lead at the top of the Rhune. I was full gaz in the downhill and it worked. I really managed the race well, and I’m really happy! I’m also so happy for Johann, he also did an amazing race, he gave me such a tough ride, and I think he needed this result to reassure himself". Johann Baujard (Team Matryx, France) finished in second place, also under Thibaut Baronian’s record time. "I really thought it was mine, he admits at the finish line. In the climb up to the Rhune I was feeling really good. But then I saw Jan catching me up, he’s so tough but he’s also a brilliant downhill runner. I couldn’t do anything in the last downhill, but I’m very happy with this second place." Pascal Egli (Team Dynafit, Switzerland) takes the third place. "It was a perfect course route for me, very steep, very technical, it’s exactly what I love. It’s the first time I’ve run this race and it’s crazy! The spectators, the route, everything! I was feeling in great shape today, this third place is a nice surprise for me, I’m extremely happy!"
Even if the race on El Hierro is open to all participants who want to go there under their own steam, we now know the names of the top 11 women and top 11 men who are invited to the Grand Final. You can find the updated GTWS ranking HERE. Remember that the points at the Grand Final are doubled. Who will be the winners of the Golden Trail World Series 2021? Will Nienke Brinkman manage to steal the crown from Maude Mathys? Who is capable of overthrowing Stian Angermund? See you on 16th October 2021!
1 – JAN MARGARIT (ESP – LA SPORTIVA): 01:52:00 (+100 pts)
2 – JOHANN BAUJARD (FRA – MATRYX): 01:52:48 (+88 pts)
3 – PASCAL EGLI (CHE – DYNAFIT): 01:54:23 (+78 pts)
4 – FRÉDÉRIC TRANCHAND (FRA – SCOTT): 01:55:36 (+72 pts)
5 – ELHOUSINE ELAZZAOUI (MAR – SALOMON): 01:56:12 (+68 pts)
1 – NIENKE BRINKMAN (NLD – SALOMON): 02:04:39 (+100 pts)
2 – ÉLISE PONCET (FRA – MATRYX): 02:12:53 (+ 88 pts)
3 – SARA ALONSO (ESP – SALOMON): 02:19:01 (+ 78 pts)
4 – DANI MORENO (USA – HOKA ONE ONE/RABBIT): 02:19:53 (+72 pts)
5 – EMILY HARROP (FRA – SKIMO SPORTS): 02:21:37 (+68 pts)
Check out the Skyrhune 2021’s full results HERE
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