Tor des Géants® 2016 is characterized by the withdraws of three top trailers after about 32 hours of extreme racing. It is Denise Zimmermann, who won last year, Michele Graglia and Gianluca Galeati, the two main candidates to the podium, according to their last international performances. But Tor is a very specific race where odds have little value. Too many variables given by the distance and the physical and environmental difficulties.
"I discovered that the Tor is really one of the toughest extreme races in the world," said Michele Graglia, who lives in the US and has already run through ice and deserts across the world. Graglia decided to withdraw after a slip during the night. The fall caused by the sticks breakage against its chest and took is breath away. Anyway Michele didn't lost his enamel and joy: "With the bump that I've got now I have a cheekbone worthy of an Hollywood star. I think to come back the next year. I was ok and I felt good ; the ambience, the people and the places are marvelous … And finally I discovered since the first day of the Tor that it’s really one of the most difficult races in the world. It's really a big challenge to carry on”.
Gianluca Galeati (33 years old like Michele), had to withdraw in Donnas after 150 kilometers as race leader. He had to say said goodbye to Tor 2016 for a stomach virus contracted about three weeks ago. "I thought I was ok but I was not". Moreover he also scraped his knee after a fall, but with no main consequences.
Meanwhile Olivero Bosatelli, the caterpillar from Bergamo, continues his race, kilometers after kilometers. During an interview at half way looked like he just left home after the afternoon break: "I do not have strategies, I follow my feeling. And what I feel is a good feeling".
The two Spanish pursuers, Julio Cernuda Aldecoa and Oscar Perez (2012 Tor winner), are not to be underestimated. Especially Perez, who in the past has been able to demonstrate amazing comebacks.
Race commissioners decided to disqualify a competitor because part of the mandatory equipment was missing from the backpack. The equipment was required because very important for the trailer's security.
The first competitors have already approached the halfway point. Wednesday morning the first arrivals are expected in Courmayeur, in the renovated and spectacular Jardin de L'Ange located in the city center. It will be a big party, while the "others" 600 athletes will still be on hills and valleys. They will have until Saturday to crown dreams and adventures.