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Pibeste Intégral: victory went to Asier Larruzea Fernandez and Mylène Da Costa Reis.

Around 600 runners were on hand this weekend for the start of the 3rd Pibeste Intégral in Argelès-Gazost, the gateway to the Vallée des Gaves and the Hautes-Pyrénées. Each year, the competition is spiced up by a very strong field of male and female runners.

c ERIC POULIN © ERIC POULIN- Pibeste Intégral

The course is 24km long and has a vertical drop of 1,750m, with a hilly approach and finish, but a very solid core with the Pibeste (1,349m) to climb or descend in 3 different sections.

This year, victory went to Basque Asier Larruzea Fernandez and Mylène Da Costa Reis. Behind them, a number of really strong riders battled it out for places in the Top 5.

For the men, a group of 10 quickly broke away at the foot of the first climb, with Asier Larruzea (Team Merrell Spain), Matthieu Simon (Team Brooks, 3rd in the Templiers, 11th in the CCC), and among others Paul Mathou (On Running) selected for the 2022 French team. The Basque went ahead at the summit, before passing Simon again after the 2nd climb and then setting off again. But it didn't take much, as his main rival came back to within 6 seconds of him at the finish line! Asier LArruzea won in 2h21'36, just over a minute off the record set by Pierre Comet last year. Comet made a strong comeback to cross the line in 3rd place, ahead of Romain Bidau. Edgar Dumas finally took 5th place from Paul Mathou. Next up: Adrien Astié, Hugo Bucciarelli, Cyril Pasturel  and Josu Urrestarazu.

WhatsApp Image 2024 05 14 at 11.29.09Asier Larruzea takes victory at Pibeste Intégral 2024- ©MATTHIAS SEVILLA- Pibeste Intégral

In the women's race, Sagnes (Team Merrel) and Da Costa Reis know each other well - they were first and second in the first edition. Since then, Da Costa Reis has won almost all the Pyrenean classics: the Gabizos, the Luchon Aneto trail, the Montan'Aspe, the GRP, the Aubisque, the Rhune...

Very strong on the climbs, she took the lead at the top of the first Pibeste and gained time on each sector. Mathilde Sagnes, 14th in the French mountain running championships, couldn't catch her. That just goes to show the level Mylène has reached. She crossed the finish line in 2h47'45, saving the event record by 18 seconds! Mathilde finished 2nd, 5'20 behind, then the Basque Aïnara Urrutia finished ahead of Marlène Vannesson, and finally the regular Maud Combarieu.

c MATTHIAS SEVILLA PibesteMylène Da Costa Reis takes victory at Pibeste Intégral 2024- ©MATTHIAS SEVILLA- Pibeste Intégral

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