His name is now written in the history books of French skiing.
Delphine Claudel, 26, signed the first victory of the French women's bottom in the World Cup this Sunday by winning the 10 km mass-start of Val di Fiemme.
In the last of the seven stages of the Tour de Ski, a cross-country skiing World Cup event between Switzerland, Germany and Italy, the tricolor cross-country skier triumphed at the top of the climb of Alpe Cermis.
" This is exceptional.
This is my first victory, explained the Frenchwoman at the microphone of the International Ski Federation.
I know this climb very well where I have already performed!
MADAME DELPHINE CLAUDEL 👑
First female French victory on a world cup in cross-country skiing 🤩
– Team France (@EquipeFRA) January 8, 2023
With two third places in 2021 and 2022, the Vosgienne had already become in this same race the third Frenchwoman in history to clinch a podium in cross-country skiing after Karine Philippot and Aurore Jean.
This time, it was she who raised her arms in front of the Norwegian Heidi Weng (+ 20′'2) and the American Sophia Laukli (+ 35′'7) on this final race, the most difficult of the year since it is an ascent of an alpine ski slope where the slopes approach 30%.
Top 10 overall
“I'm not preparing specifically for this race.
I was fit and my body is responding well here.
I was also good in the head and that counts a lot.
It's just amazing!
“, added the one who entered the Top 10 of the Tour de Ski 2023 after her victory of the day.
Rather adept at athletics tracks in her childhood, her proximity to the cross-country tracks in La Besse, in the Vosges, attracted her to make her the first French woman to win in the World Cup.
Another good news for French cross-country skiing, the next generation is already ready.
Juliette Ducordeau, only 23, finished in twelfth place at Alpe Cermis on Sunday.
The Vercors skier even grabbed 21st place overall for her first participation in the Tour de Ski.
In the final ranking, it is the Swedish Frida Karlsson, 15th at 1′40, who wins in this 2023 edition.