Victory for Mayr and Aymonod at Vertical Nasego
The sun shone and excitement was high for the first race in this weekend’s World Cup double header. Vertical Nasego, a short uphill race at 4.3k with 1000m of ascent, was stage 7 of this year’s competition, and what a way to kick off proceedings!
On the women’s start line we had 6-time World Champion and legend of mountain running, Andrea Mayr (AUT), who has very rarely been beaten at a short uphill race. But lining up beside her was Grayson Murphy (USA), current World Champion, National Champion and currently pretty unbeatable over any distance, racing in Europe for the very first time. Add into the mix Lucy Murigi (KEN), Joyce Njeru (KEN) and Susanna Saapunki (FIN), plus a strong Italian contingent including Alice Gaggi, Erica Ghelfi, and Alessia Scaini, and we knew we were in for a fantastic race.
The men’s race also promised to be an epic duel. Henri Aymonod (ITA) was the favourite, having won this race and Chiavenna Lagunc last year, plus Piz Tri Vertikal this year, but he was facing some serious competition. Timothy Kirui (KEN) and Petro Mamu (ERI) were well-established competition for him, but there was also plenty of up-and-coming talent to make it even more exciting. Zak Hanna (IRE), Tiziano Moia (ITA) and Andrea Rostan (ITA) would all be doing their best to make their mark here.
Grayson Murphy took a small lead over Andrea Mayr in the early stages, with Joyce Njeru a little way behind in 3rd. But as the race progressed Mayr eased past Murphy and stretched out her lead in the dominant way we’re so used to seeing. She reached the white finishing gantry first in a time of 38.51, which was the 10th fastest of the day overall. Murphy finished just over a minute behind in 2nd and then there was a gap of over 2 minutes to Joyce Njery in 3rd.
The men’s race was somewhat closer. Henri Aymonod couldn’t be beaten and he won in 35.38, but 22 year old compatriot Andrea Rostan was snapping at his heels, just 22 seconds behind him. Petro Mamu was just 12 seconds behind Rostan (36.12), so just 34 seconds separated the men’s podium! Zak Hanna was just 6 seconds behind Mamu.
Tomorrow we get to do it all again! If today was anything to go by, tomorrow’s Trofeo Nasego will be unmissable!
- Andrea Mayr (AUT) 38.51
- Grayson Murphy (USA) 40.08
- Joyce Njeru (KEN) 42.19
- Erica Ghelfi (ITA) 42.41
- Susanna Saapunki (FIN) 43.26
- Henri Aymonod (ITA) 35.38
- Andrea Rostan (ITA) 36.00
- Petro Mamu (ERI) 36.12
- Zak Hanna (IRE) 36.18
- Tiziano Moia (ITA) 37.15
Full results at: https://www.endu.net/it/events/trofeo-nasego-vertical/results/2021