Petro Mamu and Valentina Belotti were clear winners of the first stage of the 2017 Mountain Running World Cup.
Since the race in Arco was one of the Italian National Championships races and also served as their nation's trial race for the European Championships, the Italian top runners were present.
They were among the more than 250 runners from 8 countries participating in the senior categories.
Eritrean Mamu was one of the strongest runners worldwide from the 2016 season having won the World Cup, and was considered the favourite in Arco.
He delivered an outstanding performance to win with a nearly one minute lead over the top Italians Xavier Chevrier and Cesare Maestri who finished in the remaining podium positions.
Scott Andrew Douglas, second in the World Cup 2016, finished fourth while Czech Jan Janu, third in the World Cup 2016, finished ninth.
With the silver medal at the World Championships, Valentina Belotti was also coming off a great 2016 season. Besides the Italian runners, only the Czech Pavla Shorna finished in the top 10.
Both Mamu and Belotti are world-class specialists for uphill races; in Arco they ran their own races and both finished with one minute margin over their nearest competitors.
The Bolognano – Velo race is a traditional uphill race, but is not held every year. It alternates with the Arco-Castle up-down hill race, that has been also a World Cup race and in 2016, also hosted the European Championships. The uphill course has also been changed several times during those years so the results can not be compared with the ones from previous editions.
This year the course for women was 9,1km long with 1140m elevation gain (including 50m of descents), while the men's course was 11,1 km long with 1240m elevation gain (including 150m of descents).
The Bolognano Velo was re-proposed this year 2017 by Garda Sport Events after four years of absence to leave the space in the calendar for the Castle Mountain Running, which will return in 2018 with the formula relay.
The conditions on race day were sunny providing a dry course with temperatures about 25°C.
In spite of personal medical problems, the key person in the organization, Mr. Franco Travaglia, and his staff did a great job: the general and technical organization was on a high level, suitable for a World Cup race and national Championships.
WMRA Council member, Tomo Sarf attended the event and provided this report.
Full results are available to the following link:
WCup race results are available on WMRA web site, in the section named "result".
The next stage of the World Cop will be next Sunday in Bludenz/AUT and only one week later there will be the World Cup third stage – the Grand Ballon race - in France..
Edited from Tomo Sarf (WMRA Council member)
Source of the pictures Tomo Sarf (WMRA Council member):
on front page:
- Petro Mamu at the finish;
on second page:
- Valentina Belotti in action on the track.