18th Derby de la Meije Results
822 competitors took the starting line for the 18th Derby de la Meije in near perfect conditions. As usual the skiers took the laurels with Frenchman Raphael Ruffier-Lanche crossing the line first in 5m40.6 seconds. First woman was Giulia Monega from Italy also on skis in 07:23.8 placing 45th overall, the same as last year’s top woman Caroline Meynet who was not competing this year. Sebastien Mayer once again won the telemark category in a stunning 6m26.3 and first snowboarder Sebastien Noguere in 7m09.6
There were 26 monoskiers, all from France apart lone Swiss lady Patty Moll. Marc Bourdelle edge out last year’s winner Xavier Duret by 1.5 seconds with a time of 7m38.4. First non-French rider was German Tino Schiffer on skis with a time of 6m27.1 giving him 18th place.
In all 21 nations were represented in 6 different categories: Ski, Monoski, Telemark, Snowboard, Snowskate and Other. 837 riders left the starting gate in groups of 10 and 822 arrived at the finish some 2000 meters further down the mountain.
And they’re off!
23 riders from Australia, Canada, Britain, Ireland and the United States flew the flag for the Anglo/Celtic world. First American was skier Mike Preston in 44th place in a time of 7m23.6 and America’s first lady was Elizabeth Oakes in 10m01.5 for 228th place. First Brit was once again Richard Castle in 8m36.69 111st place overall (91st skier) with first Britgirl Lisa Cameron in 15m31 in 608th place. Relative newcomers to skiing Ireland were represented by Conor Murphy putting up a very respectable 17m33.7 on snowboard for 689th place. Shaun MacLeod came in 288th for Canada in 10m30.7 on telemark skis and Australia’s top Sheila was Karin Tiefengraber in 11m15.2 followed by Michael Harriman in 13m38.