Kilian Jornet made a good start in the Ski Mountaneeiring World Championship race held at Alpago-Piancavallo in the Italian Dolomites. The Cerdanya athlete took the silver medal in the individual category which kicked off this top world event that is held every two years.
Jornet came second behind the Italian Damiano Lenzi in an exciting race which was won over the last few metres. Killian crossed the line a mere one second behind the winner who took gold with a time of 1:52.10. The German Anton Palzer came third, 34 seconds behind the winner.
“I’m very happy because it was a fight to the finish. These are the kind of races we like. It was a very technical race in difficult conditions because there wasn’t much snow, which made the descents difficult,”Jornet said.
Today’s race, which included a 1,800m ascent, was held on a course on which little snow had fallen in this alpine area of the Veneto and Friuli in Italy. As a result it wasn’t easy for Jornet, especially in the first few kilometres.
“I had a lot of problems in the first uphill sections, with the skis and the fastenings, and as a result I lost sight of the leading group.” Jornet explained.
On a grey and foggy day the international skiers set off at 9.15 to take on a course with four ascents. Lenzi led from the start, closely followed by Palzer and Jornet. Half way through the race the Catalan hunted Lenzi down and it was exciting hand to hand combat over the last few kilometres. Lenzi only got the better of Jornet in a sprint over the last few metres.
“I was going a lot better in the second half of the race, I was able to chase Damiano and we raced the last few ascents and descents together. When we reached the line he had better skis and he beat me but I’m happy with the result, given all the problems I’ve had and how I felt physically”, Jornet said.
With the silver medal Jornet has made a good start in the Ski Mountaneeiring World Championship which lasts until March 2. This Sunday Jornet will compete in the team race, almost certainly accompanied by Oriol Cardona. The vertical race is on Wednesday while on Thursday he will mark the end of the competition when he takes part in the relay race.
Picture: ISMF Pres Office