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François d’Haene won the Ultra-trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), Saturday in Chamonix, after 20 hours 46 of racing around the top of the Alps, becoming the first to win the legendary mountain race four times.
Francois d’Haene won the Ultra-trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), Saturday August 28 in Chamonix, after 20:46 of racing around the top of the Alps, becoming the first to win this legendary mountain race four times.
The 35-year-old trailer has mastered his race perfectly by taking the lead on Friday evening to never let go, on this extreme event of 171 km for 10,000 vertical meters.
The French Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz and Mathieu Blanchard should complete the podium after their expected arrival in the afternoon in the crowded streets of Chamonix.
An accomplished trailer and winemaker in Beaujolais, François d’Haene has already won the queen of mountain races in 2012, 2014 and 2017 when he dethroned the Spanish star Kilian Jornet.
This fourth victory in the legendary mountain running race allows him to make his mark in the history of this discipline.
More than 1,800 trailers
American Courtney Dauwalter was also on track to achieve the feat on Saturday, after a 6e place in the temporary general classification, ahead of dozens of elite male runners and more than an hour ahead of the second woman.
The three-time French champion Xavier Thévenard, back from illness, left the race early, as did the American Jim Walmsley, leading in the first refueling with François d’Haene but dropped after Courmayeur, on the Italian side.
The last winner, Spaniard Pau Capell, had won in 2019 in 20:19 and was unable to make it to the starting line this year.
The 2020 edition had been canceled due to Covid-19.
More than 1,800 trailers, mostly amateurs, were still running early Saturday afternoon on the steep paths of France, Italy and Switzerland, around the immense Mont-Blanc massif, with the Objective to arrive before 4.30 p.m. local time, Sunday in Chamonix.