Tor des Géants® 2017, will be very intense.
At least according to the quality and the palmares of the foremost competitors who have already formally confirmed their presence in Courmayeur on September 10th.
There will be, in fact, three winners of past editions: Jules-Henri Gabioud (Switzerland's first in 2011), Franco Collé from Valle d'Aosta (2014) and the lombard Oliviero Bosatelli (2016). Then other competitors who was on the podium, though not on the highest pitch: the Emilian Gianluca Galeati and the Japanese Masahiro Ono. Also present those that were close to the podium but that - for the moment - didn’t climbed it up: the Swiss Marco Gazzola, first in the finish line in 2011 but without realizing he was on the wrong road just two steps from the arrival.
There will be also other "old knowledges” of the International Ultra Trail, such as Michele Graglia, the Ligurian runner who runs for the colors of the US because he lives overseas, and a French quartet, a guarantee: Jean Claude Mathieu, in 2015 he finished fourth, Marco Gerald, with a series of super trails won on every continent, Lionel Trivel and Cyril Cointre.
Eyes are also fixed on a promising new entry, the thirty-one-year-old Chilean Oscar "Rocky" Alguin. An ambulance driver from Santiago, father of three daughters, has a "young" but really intense curriculum. He had declared last year to Run Chile magazine : "My dream? Participating in the Tor des Géants ". And here it is.
And also: the Basque Javier Dominguez Ledo, 43, with 10 years of success in “off-road” races, to which he adds 4 years of road marathon. In short, experience to sell.
Other candidates for the podium are Alex Rabensteiner and Christian Insam from South Tyrol, and Ivan Geronazzo from Valdobbiadene. These last two athletes have also represented Italy at the Annency World Championships in 2015.
Another “blue athlete” well known for his sporting performances is: Nico Valsesia. The forty-sixth years old athlete of Borgomanero (Novara) has, in its rich bag of extreme experience, several editions of “Race Accross America”, a 4800-kilometer bike ride from one coast to the other of the United States (on the podium in 2014), and climbs to the peaks of Mont Blanc, Aconcagua and Elbrus. Valsesia wrote for Mondadori the book "Fatigue does not exist". So the character is strong in practice and ... on paper. We'll see.
A few days after the final closing of 2017 edition registrations, the women's parterre is also very rich with the first two of 2016, Lisa Borzani and Stephanie Case. The Spanish Silvia Trigueros Garrote and the Americane Amy Costa, a true ambassador of Tor, considering that she always talks about it during her lessons in american universities. Another trio under the spotlights: Katia Figini, Marina Plavan, Scilla Tonetti. The last two have already attended in the past the podium of this great Aosta Valley race.
Also very important Ita Marzotto, forced to give up last year for a sickness. Second ranked in the recent Ultra Asia Race 2017, twice-winner of the Continental Challenge and engaged in these weeks in the long trails of Wales, Norway and Mozambique. A good start for Tor’s training.
The list of men's and women's lineups is going to be enriched with good names already in the upcoming days. "But," said the VdA Trailers organizers, "we must never forget that true champions are all the other 750 champions of this edition number eight, in which we can maybe find an outsider, and the 2000 volunteers along the way" .
The high altitude trails, almost entirely without snow will soon see the first athletes under training. Because the endurance trail in Valle d'Aosta lasts all year long.