This is a season-opening race where top runners like race favorite Jonathan Wyatt assess their fitness and French citizens prepare for their National Championships.
The New Zealander is back on the top of the Vosges after his first success here in 2004 when he set a course record (58:19) on the 13,5km route that offers more than 1241m of elevation gain.
Defending champion Emmanuel Meyssat is in good form having just won the second race of the French Mountain Cup in Seyssin-St-Nizier.
Meyssat will lead a solid French team with Julien Rancon, Said Jandari and Edouard Burrier. Two other runners to watch are Robert Krupicka (second last year at Sierre-Zinal) and Tarcis Ancay, the Swiss winner of Sierre-Zinal 2006.
In the women's race a duel is expected between Anna Frost of New Zealand and last year's winner and course record holder (46:42 over the 8,5km and +830m course) Martina Strahl of Switzerland.
Tomo Sarf – World Mountain Running Association (WMRA)