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Xavier Thevenard wins UTMB

Favourites Kilian Jornet and Jim Walmsley were not to be found in the top two

French runner Xavier Thevenard won one of the most prestigious trail races in the world on Saturday.

Thevenard finished the 171 kilometres in 20:44:16. The runner adds this finish to his two previous wins  at UTMB in 2013 and 2015. Earlier this year, Thévenard was on course to win this year’s Hardrock 100 when he was disqualified at mile 91 for accepting aid outside an aid station.

Second place went to, unexpectedly, Romanian Robert Hajnal in 21:26:20. This is the runner’s first time in the top three at UTMB and a major international victory. Hajnal said post-race that he was aiming for the top 10. He had no idea he would end up in the top two.

Third place went to Jordi Gamito of Spain in 21:57:01.

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Surprisingly, the two favourites Kilian Jornet and Jim Walmsley, were not to be found in the top two.

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iRunFar posted a message from Jornet on Twitter explaining why he did not finish. “Three hours before the start of the race a bee bit me on my foot. I have a bee allergy and started to react.”

Jornet suffered stomach issues and a worsening allergic reaction. He and his team decided it was unsafe to continue.

Jornet graciously reached out to winner, Thevenard, via Twitter to congratulate him on his progress.

It remains unclear what has happened to Walmsley, who finished fifth last year. He doesn’t show any results past 124 kilometres at Champex-Lac.

Catch all the action live at utmbmontblanc.com.