FLETTA TRAIL: Francesco Puppi and Elisa Sortini Crowned Winners
After a hot and sunny PizTriVertikal it was a cloudy day in Malonno for Fletta Trail, one of our associate races. The kind conditions helped athletes to run fast times along the mountains of the Valcamonica.
A dramatic sprint finish in the men's race saw Francesco Puppi (Ita) able to catch Sylvain Cachard (Fra) in the last 200m after leading throughout the second part of race. It took a huge effort from Puppi to reverse a competition he almost lost.
Puppi and Cachard gave a big kick from the start with help of Maestri who soon lost contact with the leaders. On a tough uphill in the middle Puppi pushed hard but Cachard calmly kept control and changed pace on the downhill. The drama unfolded in the last kilometre, with the French athlete tiring and powerless to do anything when the strong Italian caught him. Puppi was the men's winner of Fletta Trail 2020 in 1h26.27 just in front of Cachard, second in 1h26.41 while third was last year's champ Cesare Maestri in 1h28.42. In fourth place was former European champ Martin DeMatteis with Irishman Zak Hanna completing the top 5.
Puppi was thrilled about his race saying, “This is the race of mountain running and winning here is very exciting. Against Cachard it was a hard battle and real fight. I'm happy to be back racing after a difficult period with Covid where my team had problems."
Starting some minutes earlier the women's race belonged to Elisa Sortini who, firstly with Lorenza Giudici (Ita) and Alice Gaggi (Ita), and then alone, took the lead and ran away for an outstanding solo victory after a superb race.
Elisa Sortini ran the third best time ever on the Fletta Trail course and said afterwards: “I am very satisfied with today. I was not sure about my shape after such a long break. Training every day without competitions is not the same. I wasn't thinking about such a result on such a fast course but anyway, I did it. Let me thank the organizers for a great day and giving us the chance to compete for the first time this season.”
Sortini's time was 1h41.38, with Lorenza Beccaria (Ita) in second place in 1h43.55 and Erica Ghelfi (Ita) third in 1h44.17 after also competing yesterday in PizTriVertical. Mojca Koligar (Slo) was fourth in 1h45.53 and Alice Gaggi fifth in 1h47.41.
The organizers did an excellent job keeping all the athletes safe with social distancing and with the use of face masks for spectators and athletes (in the first 500m of the race).