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The kermesse of the famous competitions on the Mont Blanc began on Monday 23 August and hundreds of athletes are already on the trails …Who will be the winner of the UTMB 2021?

The queen race, dreamed by all trail running athletes, is undoubtedly the Ultra Trail of Mont Blanc, or UTMB, which will start on Friday 27 August. The athletes will have to cover a ring of 170K and 10,000mt d+ crossing: France, Italy, Switzerland, and then returning to the starting point in Chamonix.

The UTMB is undoubtedly one of the most competitive races in the world even if in this edition there are many athletes missing due to COVID and the difficulties of athletic preparation; for problems in reaching the destination; or due to injuries and operations such as the one that will prevent the participation of Pau Capell, one of the favorites runners.

Beyond the ITRA score, often used as the main performance evaluation index, in our opinion, other useful parameters must be considered to understand who will have the most chances of winning, for example:

1) the mix of experience in long distances and / or having already participated in the UTMB race;

2) the athlete’s basic health condition in the current year 2021;

3) the results obtained in the competitions of the last 12 months in ITRA and “non ITRA” competitions;

4) the support team and sponsors;

5) personal and professional family events.

From direct experience of managing Elite athletes, we know that even just one of these factors can determine the victory or a podium placement!

After careful monitoring of the statistics and the main sports blogs, here are our top 5 overall favorites for 2021:

  • Francois D’haene (France). He knows the track very well, he won in 2012, 2014 and 2017, and he is certainly an expert on long distances. This year he won the Hardrock 100 Endurance Run – 100mi Cc (162 km) and he finished 3rd in the Ultra Cabo Verde Trail (113 km)
  • Jim Walmsley (USA). He counts 3 victories at the Western States 100-Mile Endurance (161 km) 2018, 2017 and 2021. The best raking at the UTMB was achieved in 2017, 5° overall
  • Jordi Garmito (Spain). Winner of the Val d’Aran by UTMB this year, and with previous experience in long distances. 3rd at the UTMB 2018
  • Dmitry Mityaev (Russia). 3rd in 2018 and 2nd in 2019 at the TDS (145 Km) and increasing it’s performance year by year, but in its debut on a 100 miles
  • Tim Tollefs (USA). He is the American athlete who has collected the most successes in the races around the Mont Blanc. 2nd at the CCC in 2015, 3rd at the UTMB in 2016 where, however, he collected two DNF in 2018 and 2019. This year he finished 5° at the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run

And here are our favorites for the women’s victory:

  • Courtney Dauwalter (USA). Winner of the UTMB 2019 edition, she boasts numerous 1st places in several renowned races including Madeira Ultra Trail 2019, Tarawera 100 Mile Endurance Run 2019, Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run 2018 and the Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji 2018. Considering her experience in the long distance running and features we put her in first place
  • Ragna Debats (Netherlands). She has raced and won various kinds of competitions, including the MDS. In 2021 she won the Ultra Montseny 80Km and the MxAlps 70Km and finished 3rd at the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run. In 2019 she participated in the CCC climbing on the top step of the podium. We know she’s been on the road with her family since November to train and focus
  • Beth Pascall (UK) 4th in 2018, 5th in 2019 at the UTMB. This year she won the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run (161km) and The Canyons 100km. Among the four athletes listed she has the highest ITRA score
  • Camille Bruyas (France). She is increasing distances. She won this year’s edition of the Lavaredo Ultra Trail and the Le Porte di Pietra, completed with a race record. She counts a 3rd place at the CCC in 2019.

In your opinion, who will win the UTMB 2021?

Comment and tell us what you think!




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Cristina Tasselli

Digital Strategic Marketing Director - certified Innovation Manager - in multinational companies, she is still today the only Italian female athlete to have ran 900 km and 55,000m D+ in the mountains in a single stage race (Transpyrenea 2016, 3rd women overall). She counts numerous Podiums and international Victories on races over 100k. She holds a SNaQ CONI certification as a Trail Running Coach, Athletic Trainer and in Nutrition and Sports Supplementation. Since 2014 she is President and sports executive of innovative technology startups and companies, including Trail Running Movement and Digital Sport 360. She trains elite trail running athletes and she teaches in trail running coach certification courses. She is an author of sports articles on training, nutrition and supplementation in trail running and running, both in Italian and in English and Spanish. She manages relationships and collaborations with Federations and Race Organizers.