World Cup Preview: Canfranc-Canfranc
Canfranc-Canfranc celebrates its 15th edition this year, and it's a race whose reputation has been growing over the last few years. There are many elements which make it an incredibly special event and we are very happy to be including it in the World Cup for the first time this year.
It is also the very first time in the 22 years of World Cup history that a Spanish event will host the series, soon to be followed by Zumaia Flysch Trail on 0CT3.
Canfranc-Canfranc takes place in the famous belle epoque alpine village of Canfran-Estación. A small mountain town in the province of Huesca in the Aragonese Pyrenees. The town is at 1,200 metres but all around are peaks of over 2,500 metres.
The weather is usually comfortable for running in the summer, normally between 20 and 30 Celcius, and the winter enjoys heavy snowfall. The area is perfect for running, with over 500km of trails marked out as part of their impressive ESPACIO TRAIL CANFRANC Project. The weather, the trails and the prestige of the already successful mountain races here make it a perfect location for a World Cup event.
THE COURSES: WILD AND TECHNICAL IN THE CENTRAL PYRENEES
The 2021 program for Canfranc includes five races: 5k (juniors) 16k, 45k, 75k and 100k, Among them, Canfranc will host two World Cup races this weekend: The Long Distance to be held at the 45k long mountain race on Saturday. Plus the 16k classic mountain race on Sunday. These will form stage 9 and 10 (out of 16) of this year’s World Cup.
- ·CANFRANC CANFRANC MARATHON: The long-distance event, the 45k race, has an incredible 4,000m of ascent, which is packed into 4 climbs. The runners are faced with a climb of 1400m right from the gun, which should help to create some early gaps. They will then face 3 more climbs of 800m, 600, and finally 250m.
- ·CANFRANC CANFRANC CLASSIC 16K: In the 16k race the runners will also be faced with a huge climb of 1400m from the start right to the summit of “La Moleta”. It is a wild up and down. They ascend over 6k, then it’s a long, rugged 10k of descent back down to the finish, including the final home stretch over a section of the famous “Camino de Santiago”.
THE FAVOURITES: WORLD CHAMPIONS TAKE ON THE PYRENEES TRAILS AND TALENT
There are some really exciting local and international athletes taking part, which will surely shake up the World Cup rankings even further.
LONG DISTANCE: In the men's 45k race we have Peter Frano (SVK), winner of Tatra SkyMarathon this year, and Raul Criado (ESP), who was 3rd at Tatra SkyMarathon and was 12th here last year. Ugaitz Artola (ESP) will head the always talented field of basque runners at this race.
In the women’s race we’ll be seeing Charlotte Morgan (GBR). The 2018 WMRA Long Distance World Champion is currently lying 3rd in our World Cup standings, with her highlights being winning Tatra Race Run and coming 3rd in Tatra SkyMarathon. She will face the 2020 runner-up here, Eva Mesado (ESP) as her key rival, with Olivia Magnone (FRA) likely to feature too.
CLASSIC: In the 16k we’re really excited to see 2019 world champion Grayson Murphy (USA) back for more European action, after her win at Trofeo Nasego (and 2nd place at Vertical Nasego) last weekend. This year she was also crowned USA National Champion and can seemingly master any distance. However, Canfranc-Canfranc will be her first experience of racing in Spain, facing the wild vertical climbs and technical descents on which locals thrive. She will face the 2020 winner of the race and course record holder Servant Nadege (FRA), who has also had strong runs at La Montee du Nid d’Aigle and Grossglockner this year.
Other local challengers include Spain´s current gold and silver at National Championship 2021, Nuria Gil (ESP) and Yolanda Martín (ESP).
In the men’s race, 2020 winner Antonio Martinez (ESP) comes back to attempt the double. He will face international talents such as Sandor Szabo (HUN), 4th in the World Cup at the moment. But they will face very strong competition from local athletes who have already proved themselves in this region, including Iñigo Aranzamendi, Roger Comellas, and specially a motivated Ion Sola, who was 4th in the 2020 Canfranc Classic, besting the 2021 Skyrunning Vertical World Champ Daniel Osanz himself.
NATIONAL MOUNTAIN RUNNING CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR U18 AND MASTERS.
Canfranc Canfranc 2021 will also hold the National Championships organized by Real Federacion Española de Atletismo (RFEA). The 7th edition for Masters will be run on the 45km course. The 1st edition for the U18 will be held on a specific 5km course.
CANFRANC CANFRANC: A RACE WHICH LOVES AND PROTECTS THE MOUNTAINS
As ever in this part of the world, there is strong local support for this race. Fernando Sánchez, Mayor of Canfranc says, "In Canfranc we are happy to continue seeing our Canfranc-Canfranc mountain races grow, with enthusiasm and affection, year after year. 2021 brings us once again an occasion where the Aragonese Pyrenees will not only break records for popular participation yet again, but also host the national and world elite of mountain racing.
Our Jacetania region will thus host for the first time in its history the WMRA World Cup, where Collarada, Aspe or La Moleta will see the absolute world elite compete in Classic and Long Distance. In addition, we also host the RFEA 2021 Spanish Mountain Championships for Youth and Veterans. Because sport is for everyone, of all ages and that is how we have always wanted to promote it in Canfranc.
A double achievement, at the level of popular sports and sports elite that we have to thank for the work and affection of all the residents of Canfranc and Jacetania. Without their support as volunteers, collaborators and organization of the event year after year, it would never have been possible to make this corner of the Pyrenees the world reference event this weekend for mountain sports.”
Schedule SEP 10-12
SEP11 Saturday 8am: WORLD CUP WMRA LONG DISTANCE 45k race starts (+ National Champs Masters)
SEP12 Sunday 9am: WORLD CUP WMRA CLASSIC 16k race starts
SEP12. Sunday 9.30 5k National Championship U18 STARTS.
Follow live at CANFRANC CANFRANC SOCIAL NETWORKS.
Find out more at https://canfranccanfranc.com/