It should have been an arrival with arms down, in complete relaxation, because of the approximately 4 hours advantage that Franco Collé had set aside until the last life base, - Ollomont - on Galen Reynods, his closest pursuer. Instead it was an almost photofinish arrival, because the 37 minutes of separation between the two, over a distance of 330 kilometers, are really a trifle; a handful of more or less strides on an uphill stretch or a small downhill run.
The fact is that the forty year old engineer from Aosta Valley has scored his second victory at the Tor des Géants® 2018, after the one obtained in 2014, when he finished the race with a time of 71 hours and 49 minutes. Today he closed the race in 74 hours and 3 minutes.
"I was sure to make it to the last hill, that of Malatrà, then I started to have doubts when they told me that my advantage was only 15 minutes. So there was nothing left for me to do but give it all”, said Collé immediately after the finish line. In fact, his advantage to Malatrà was 35 minutes and to report lower times, just to arouse reactions in the runner, is an old trick that comes from the world of cycling.
Collé has struggled a lot in the last 40 kilometers, but the character has prevailed on the physical; the desire to recover from the disappointment of last year, when he was forced to retire after leading the race, was stronger than ever more enveloping fatigue.
The head has managed to find residues of energy in every part of the body.
Honor and applause to the thirty-four years old Canadian Galen Reynolds, who believed in the comeback until the last kilometer. An amazing second place, with a time of 74 hours and 40, which improved the position of last year.
Battle for the third place between italians Peter Kienzl and Oliviero Bosatelli and Kore Toriumi from Japan, who has climbed the ranking of numerous positions.
However it goes, for Bosatelli it will be an excellent test, given that the athlete has every reason to retire after the first kilometers, due to pain in one knee. Instead, as usual, he continued to the end, with undaunted optimism.
Tot Dret winner is waited today, the 130 km race started yesterday at 21 from Gressoney Saint Jean. Actually Marco Mangaretto is in first place. If nothing changes, they may be a double success of Aosta Valley’s runners, among the representatives of 70 countries.