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Tor Des Géants summary

September 19, 2011

Robert Riesinger from Austria just before leaving Rifugio Sogno di Berzé monday evening. Robert finished 55th. Photo: Fredrik Ölmqvist

Pressrelease Sept 19, An enormous success

The second edition concluded with an extremely festive closing ceremony, full of emotions and cheerfulness. Accompanied by the applause of the winners, all the finishers, one by one, climbed the steps of the Jardin de l’Ange at Courmayeur before a numerous and enthusiastic audience. Thus, the feat of the winners is as exceptional as that of all those other 300 runners who crossed the finish line of Tor des Géants® in less than 150 hours !

«There’s no need to go as far as the Himalayas or Tibet to find « real » mountains. This race, which winds through the whole Valle d’Aosta, under the 5 giants of the Alps, (Mont-Blanc – 4 810 m, the Rutor – 3 486 m, Grand-Paradis – 4 061 m,  Mont-Rose – 4 634 m,  the Matterhorn – 4 478 m) demonstrates all the beauty of its landscapes and above all the values which are conveyed by its inhabitants : genuineness, friendship, courage and solidarity. ». With these words, committee chairman Aurelio Marguerettaz opened the prize-giving ceremony which concluded the second edition of Tor des Géants® this morning, Sunday 18th  September at 11 a.m..

Gianni Savoia was the last runner to cross the finishing line at 4 p.m. yesterday afternoon, after having competed for150 hours, which means 6 nights and 7 days, to cover 330 km, 24 000 metres of vertical difference including 25 passes surpasssing 2000m in altitude !  Greeted by the two winners, Anne Marie Gross et Jules Henry Gabioud, the 51-year-old Gianni was very moved ! « For the whole week, I’ve dreamt of this moment, the finish …I didn’t think I’d make it and now

F-connecion. Laurent Salle from France and Janne Marin from Finland have teamed-up for ultratrails many times before, finishing 96th in the TDG 2011. Photo: Fredrik Ölmqvist

I’m ecstatic! An endurance trail is one of those rare sports where one can cross the finish line experiencing the same satisfaction and getting the same reception as the winners ! We amateurs are able to share the same exertion, doubts and emotions as the great professionals ! And we’re treated like champions ! »

Everything began on 11th September at 10 a.m. There were 473 competitors at the start.  After a trail full of surprises, the young Swiss runner Jules Henri Gabioud wins the race in 79 hours 58 mins. Among the women, Anne Marie Gross indorses a real feat. With a time of 91:28′:21”, she adds to her list of victories the second consecutive win in the Tor des Géants® and finishes 4th in the overall ranking. The first French runner is Christophe le Saux,  2nd in  84:09′:46” The French win the Trophy of Nations, causing the marseillaise to be played at the foot of Mont Blanc, on the Italian side !

Beer for breakfast. The Catalonian friends enjoy some italian tapas at Rifugio Dondena early tuesday morning. Photo: Fredrik Ölmqvist

The race director, Alessandra Nicoletti, draws an emotional conclusion: « This has been an exceptional edition, from the very first registrations last January until today. Similarly, the weather has been fantastic with the only rain occurring on the first night and yesterday, 4 hours before the last runners arrived! My sincere gratitude goes to all the runners, both finishers and non-finishers, to all the volunteers, to the organization and to the 120 000  Valdotains who applauded and helped those competitors in their villages, along their streets and in their refuges to compete in this extraordinary race. We have an appointment for the third edition! »

Tor des Géants® 2011 statistics:

473 runners start the race

300 runners complete the race – 63% (+ 9% compared to 2010)

Thomas Masterson from Montreal enjoys the views while descending to Chardonney early tuesday noon. Thomas finished 170th. Photo: Fredrik Ölmqvist

of whom 34 are women

24 years old, the youngest competitor to finish: Jules Henry Gabioud (Switzerland)

70 years old, the oldest competitor to finish: Yves Meurgey (Belgium)

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16 737 times the official Tor des Géants 2011 video was viewed

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