Friday, July 6, 2012

Thomas Lorblanchet claims a 2nd stage victory at the Salomon 4 Trails 2012

Thomas Lorblanchet (FRA) ran up to form on today's course winning a second, consecutive stage. The former trail running world champion (2009) also managed to move up to second place in the overall ranking but still trails Philipp Reiter (GER) before tomorrow's ultimate stage. Thomas Lorblanchet, Philipp Reiter and Francois d'Haine – all Team SALOMON runners – have distanced themselves appreciably from the rest of the field of 350 racers by now and will likely divvy up podium ranks amongst themselves en route to Samnaun, Switzerland.
Thomas Lorblanchet showed his true colors on this third stage, which measured no less than 31,8 km in distance and tallied a total vertical gain of 1,834 m. The Frenchman was able to reach Landeck in 3:08.03 hours, ahead of Philipp Reiter (GER), who stayed on the victor's heels all morning finishing in 3:08.19 hours. Francois d'Haine (FRA) was also back in business today arriving in third place with a time of 3:08.39 hours. This strong perfomance allowed him to advance to 4th place overall again after a most unfortunate bungled day on the trails yesterday.
With a cumulative lead of four minutes, Reiter continues to hang on to the leader jersey in the Men category. However, he will have to manage this time buffer wisely as his fellow team members will likely mount a number of attacks tomorrow.
Today's victor Thomas Lorblanchet shared his thoughts and hopes on tomorrow's ultimate stage. "I'm glad, it went so well for me today. Sure, it would be great to win this race but Philipp proves to be very strong. I'm uncertain, if I can make up his lead and catch up to him tomorrow".
Jose Francisco Gutierrez (ESP, 3:14:49 hours) didn't quite manage to hang on to today's leading Team SALOMON trio and, as a result, dropped to third place in the overall ranking. However, it would be foolhardy to count this potential podium contender out of giving chase en route to Samnaun tomorrow.
Today's surprise victor of the Master Men was well-known Christian Stork who surprisingly has been the underdog in this year's event. However, today's trail time of 3:18.14 hours put the 42 year-old back into the limelight and should provide for sufficient motivation for continued attacks tomorrow.
The Master Men continue to be dominated by lightning-fast Santiago Obaya Fernandez (ESP), however, even though the Spaniard had to cede today's podium altogether. The member of Team Avientu Tierra Tragame arrived in fourth place after 3:23.22 hours on the trail, a performance that was still good enough though to hang on to the leader jersey for tomorrow's ultimate stage.
Senior Master Thomas Miksch will sport a third change of the coveted leader jersey on tomorrow's stage, as he managed to stay out of touch with his age peers throughout the morning. The German member of Berglaufteam Haglöfs made it Landeck well before noontime after crossing the Venet Range in just 3:29.46 hours. Short of calamity, Miksch would appear to be unbeatable at this point given his cumulative lead of 70 minutes over his closest competition.
Regine Schlump likewise managed to pull off a hat trick by being the first of the Women to arrive in Landeck. By covering the distance in under four hours (3:59.55 hours), the thrity-two year-old extended her overall lead to 21 minutes, which - at least in theory - should be sufficient leeway for overall victory at this point.
As Gaby Steigmaier dropped out of the race yesterday, the lead of Master Women category now appears to be in firm hands with Sonja Irendorder (AUT, 4:25.38). Her overall victory would also seem a given considering a comfy 36- minute lead over her closest pursuers of Orthomol Sport Team.
Still, tomorrow's stage has to be considerd the toughest of the four trailrunning days of the SALOMON 4 Trails 2012. It sports not only the longest distance, the highest elevation but also the biggest cumulative vertical in this yea's race. Definitely a course that could provide for the unexpected!

The route: 5 places - 4 stages – 3 countries
Four unforgettable days in breathtaking settings await the participants of the SALOMON 4 TRAILS. The route takes them from Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER) over Ehrwald (AUT), Imst (AUT) and Landeck (AUT) to Samnaun (CH). Every day about thirty to forty kilometers and over 2000 altitude difference must be covered. In a high alpine terrain with altitude of up to 2800 meters above sea level the participants must be good prepared but also show some fighting spirit. The much sought-after finisher shirt awaits the runners after altogether 158 kilometers and 9800 altitude difference.

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