CANFRANC VERTICAL: Daniel Osanz and Joyce Njeru win on the Valsir World Cup.
The inaugural edition of the Canfranc Canfranc Vertical Kilometer stood up to the enormous expectations generated: A spectacular course, a world elite field and a close fight to the finish line ended with Gold for Osanz and Njeru, silver for Naiara Irigoyen and Zak Hanna. bronze Philimon Kiriago and Laia García Montoya.
Written by Sergio Mayayo.
Canfranc-Canfranc kicked off its 2022 edition, the 16th, yesterday, Friday. It is an event whose reputation continues to grow year after year, built on the beauty of the ten peaks of the Aragonese Pyrenees that it summits, the passion of the entire population of Jacetania region and the proven solidness of its organization, with over 400 volunteers.
Yesterday, Friday at 6:00 p.m., the first Vertical Race (4k/D+927m) was launched, from Rioseta (1.400m) to Tuca Blanca (2.370m), it is a classic track for Aragonese mountain skiing that hosted a new sporting challenge now as a mountain race. The Vertical Canfranc made its grand debut as a venue for the Valsir World Cup.
Kenyans Joyce Njeru and Philemon Kiriago were seeded as top favorites,. Arrayed versus them, in the feminine Italian Camilla Magliano, France's Olivia Magnone and young Spaniard Naiara Irigoyen, just back from winning Matterhon Ultraks. The men's event was even more compelling, since against the Kenyan were three of the best Europeans: Frenchman Robert Loic, Irishman Zak Hanna (5th Europe 2022) and Spaniard Daniel Osanz (3rd European 2022)
Once the race was launched, the two Kenyans quickly took the lead in their usual style. In the first meters we already saw how Philemon took Zak Hanna after him, while Joyce was chased by Naiara.
Gold Daniel Osanz (ESP)
In the first meters we saw how Philemon took off, with Zak Hanna right after him. The initial surprise at seeing a quick gap opened with Dani Osanz in third place would soon dissipate as the young Aragonese runner soon came back to hook up with the leading two.
Even more, before the halfway point of the race Dani gave a strong push to go ahead alone in the lead, opening a gap that grew more and more and more until the finish line, where he was proclaimed champion with 34.29. Behind, the Irish Zak Hanna finished off a great race by attacking the Kenyan by surprise over the last meters and moved quickly ahead to the silver, with 35.07.
After them, a taste of bittersweet bronze for Philemon Kiriago who, despite setting a great time in 36.23, once again this 2022 failed to win gold. The top 5 was completed by the Frenchman Robert Loic with 38.22 and Spaniard Alex García Carrillo with 38.22
Gold for Joyce Njeru (KEN)
In the women´s race, if Joyce never gave up the lead, Naiara Irigoyen never allowed let her to relax either. We enjoyed a nice duel with just a few meters between the two. If the Kenyan is already a proven reality, number 1 in the World Ranking, the performance of the Navarrese was truly splendid and came up just 26 seconds behind the world cup champion at finish line, with a time of 44.04 for Joyce and 44.30 for Naiara.
Special mention also for Spaniard Laia García Montoya who managed a brilliant race. Her final time of 45.25 managed to beat two regular World Cup elites, such as Camilla Magliano and Olivia Magnone who with 46.26 and 48.06 respectively closed the top 5.
TELEVISION AND ONLINE FOLLOW-UP
The sports elite was also streamed live with comments by journalists Ana Samuelsson (editor Averno Trail) and Sergio Mayayo (editor Carrerasdemontana.com) together with the three-time World Athletics Ultra Trail champion Luis Hernando, based in this Jaca region for years.
Yesterday´s race can be reviewed fully at the official youtube channel, which will also come live again on Sunday from 7:30-1:00 p.m. for the Classic 16k, the 10th Gold Label Race of the Valsir World Cup.