After the first four hours, among cold and snow (at 2571 in Col Arp), a group of seven people left the “peloton” behind and got, before 4 p.m., to Rifugio Deffeyes, second chrono after 27 km. On the lead are Peter Kienzl, willing to battle till the end, and Aosta Valley Franco Collé, respectively third and first last year, running back to back: they arrived at Deffeyes at 15.43:28 and at 15.43:46. Less than a minute behind Collé is Oliviero Bosatelli, winner in 2016.
Behind them, grouped in less than one minute, Italian Francesco Cucco, Canadian Galen Reynolds (second in 2018), Romanian Ionel Cristian Manole and French Olivier Romain.
The women ranking is more defined, with French Sonia Furtado with a quick start, 15th in the overall ranking, leading; nine minutes behind her is 2018 winner, Silvia Ainhoa Trigueros Garrote and, third, Jocelyne Pauly. Out Lisa Borzani, winner in 2016 and 2017, for a pain in the knee after 20 km.
Weather is not very friendly to the more than 900 runners: in the first part of the race they found snow, icy wind and freezing temperatures. After Valgrisenche life base, the night will offer different passes, among which Col Loson (3.299 m, the highest peak of the route).
Tor des Glaciers almost half-way through
The first three runners of Tor des Glaciers will spend the night in Rifugio Coda, 2.224 m. Provided that they will want to rest instead of taking more space between them and the other 84 athletes. 98 at the start and 12 withdrawals: an acceptable number, considered that the first two days (and nights) were conditioned by bad weather, with snow on the ground and strong wind in altitude that “advised” for more caution.
After 180 km, at 4.15 p.m. the lead of the race was the same as this morning: Luca Papi ahead, followed relatively closely by Spanish Javier Puit and small Japanese Masahiro Ono, proceeding with a regular pace, without fast-forward or rash accelerations.
The four superwomen are led by Marina Plavan, followed by Licia Madrigal and Anouk Baars. In fourth place Ita Marzotto, already used to important progressions in long-distance runs. As for Masahiro Ono, constancy is her virtue.