With the combined absences of Kilian Jornet and François d'Haene, the 2019 edition of the UTMB was announced the most open. However, it was necessary to be able to seize the slightest opportunity and face Xavier Thevenard, triple winner of the event and favorite. Pau Capell was the only one to take things by hand and he did it with the way.
The Spaniard took the stride of the first rider who came out of the pack, the Chinese Min Qi. It was at km 2. A few kilometers away, Qi stopped for an urgent need and Capell was on his way. It was then 166 km to go. At Contamines (Km 31), he showed a lead of more than 15 'on a group of pursuers including among others Xavier Thevenard. All announced to Capell an eventful night. She was rich for the Spaniard who came out with a comfortable 22 'lead over Thevenard. The Jurassian is a moment back less than 15 'but it was a fire of chaff, Capell taking over the French after Champex and at the same time offering victory.
Xavier Thevenard has tried everything to put pressure on the Spaniard. He paid his efforts on the end of the race. He finished second in 21.07.
To read also: Thevenard, "this second place is worth gold"
This is the second success of the Spanish Pau Capell on a test of the UTMB. In 2016, he won the TDS. In the process, The North Face had integrated him into his team. In 2017, for his first participation at the UTMB, he took 5th place. Last year, he returned to Chamonix for the CCC (3rd). This victory is the greatest success of a career, started in 2011.
Relive the victory of Pau Capell HERE
Capell: "Superheroes do not exist!"
Pau Capell, winner of the UTMB: "I can not find the words. I was alone before most of the time. The audience helped me a lot. I did not do anything for him and he gave me everything. The UTMB has always been a dream for me but you know superheroes do not exist. Well if, maybe my parents (laughs). I may have won everything this year but next year it may be different. "
Xavier Thevenard, second: "I'm happy, I was going for 21:10, I was 21:07, Pau was strong, the gap between us was constant from the neck of the Seigne.A victory here is incredible, it goes in enjoy."