SAINT-LARY-SOULAN, FRANCE – The Grand Raid Pyrenees, now in its 10th year, attracted over 4000 athletes, who, despite the weather, raced the Pyrenean summits in the south of France.
The 2017 edition of the Grand Raid Pyrenees included 5 races: the 5-stage/114km Pyrenees Tour Trail Challenge, the 220km Ultra Tour, the 120km Tour des Cirques, the 80km Tour des Lacs, and the 43km Tour du Néouvielle.
South Africa’s top Ultra-Trail athlete, Christiaan Greyling (Jeep Team/Salomon/Garmin), and his wife and champion trail runner, Landie Greyling, tackled the technical Tour du Néouvielle along with almost 1400 other runners.
The 43km/+2415m race started in the centre of Saint-Lary-Soulan, a ski village in south-western France, departing in the direction of Pla d’Adet, a steep climb frequently used as a stage finish in the Tour de France cycle race.
The runners climbed by roads and ski slopes up the Col du Portet mountain pass, and from there on past numerous lakes to reach the highest point in the race at Col de Bastanet at 2507m.
The race crossed the Hourquette de Caderolles, along the Col de Bastanet and Col de Portet, and cresting Cap de Pède before the descent to the finish in Vielle Aure.
Greyling finished the race in an outstanding second place in 04:26:28, eight minutes behind race winner, Jaouad Zeroual. Third place went to Frenchman, Adrien Tuffery, in a time of 04:34:18.
Greyling’s wife, Landie finished 1st in the women’s race and 12th overall in a time of 04:56:47.
Said a triumphant Greyling, “It was a successful day for the Greylings in France. Landie won the women’s race in 4h56m, and I finished 2nd in 4h26m. When I crossed the finish line, I had no idea that I’d worked myself into 2nd place; I was just happy to feel good on the day after being plagued by a stomach bug leading up to the race.
The scenery was mind-blowing, the views were heavenly, and we are loving the experience of running in new places; the 2400m ascent was indeed a good test for the races to come this year!”
Results – Tour du Néouvielle – FULL RESULTS HERE
- Jaouad Zeroual (MOR) 04:18:23
- Christiaan Greyling (RSA) 04:26:28
- Adrien Tuffery (FRA) 04:34:18
- Landie Greyling (RSA) 04:56:47
- Alexandra Cook (GB) 05:51:02
- Mélanie Gaudin (FRA) 05:51:49