40th edition of Dolomitenlauf this weekend on Obertilliach track
THE 40TH EDITION OF THE DOLOMITENLAUF WILL BE HELD ON THE 42KM TRACK IN OBERTILLIACH
Even though Eastern Tyrol got a lot of snow around Christmas and New Year, some rain made certain parts in the valley, where the original 60km long Dolomitenlauf track would normally be, pretty icy and the OC decided to put the race to Obertilliach to have the best possible conditions. Therefore, once again, the course won't measure 60km but 42km. Perfectly prepared the tracks up on the plateau await the racers for the two days of classic and skating competitions. The course starts in the cross country stadium in Obertilliach and continues into the direction to Untertilliach, doing some serpentine rounds going there. Returning from Untertilliach, the track nestles on the foot of the mountain range to its left side, passing the stadium just to continue until the village of Karitsch where the track turns once again in order to go back to the stadium. Once close to the stadium, it's still not time for the finish as this time a short 2km loop added close to the stadium area has to be done before it's time to activate the last energy resources for the finish sprint!
On Saturday, it's time for the 42km and 20km classic races, whereas on Sunday the best long distance skiers in the skating technique will fight for the precious points for the overall FIS Marathon Cup. They will start over 42km however, there is also a 20km skating race for all those skiers, who prefer a shorter distance. Already on Friday evening, in the heart of Lienz, the first highlight of the weekend happens: The Dolomitensprint! Several Sprint specialists will compete alongside well known long distance skiers who will try their luck on the fast Sprint course. Thousands of fans will cheer for them as they speed around the short city course which includes a little jump which has already seen some spectacular moments.
In total, more than 2000 starters from all around 30 nations will participate in the different races over the weekend.
WHO IS ON THE START LIST
After La Sgambeda in December, the skating specialists had some time to do their last preparation before the season really kicks off. The second and third placed of La Sgambeda, Petr Novak (CZE) and Aliaksei Ivanou (BLR), will be on the start line as will the entire Italian long distance squad with Sergio Bonaldi, last year's overall FIS Marathon Cup winner, Florian Kostner, Fabio Santus, Simone Paredi, Allan Martinelli and Cristian Zorzi. Also last year's close second in the overall FIS Marathon Cup, Benoit Chauvet from France, who didn't have the perfect start into the season with his 12th place in La Sgambeda, will try to get on the podium. Martin Koukal (CZE), Martin Bajcicak (SVK), Vassili Rotchev (RUS) and Tom Reichelt, who raced in several World Cups for Germany, will certainly do their best to also get one of the first spots.
On the women's side, last year's overall FIS Marathon Cup winner Tatjana Mannima (EST) will try to move to the highest podium place this year after she finished second last year. However, Antonella Confortola, third last year, Stephanie Santer (both ITA), Larisa Shaydurova (RUS), the third from La Sgambeda as well as the current leader of the FIS Marathon Cup overall ranking, Riita-Liisa Roponen (FIN) are hard contestants and it all looks as if there will be a hard fight for the first places.
The complete startlist can be found here: http://www.worldloppet.com/fmcstart.php
IMPORTANT DATES AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION
January 19: Dolomitenlauf (AUT) - 2nd FIS Marathon Cup 2013-14 / 42km skating
10am: start of the 42km Dolomitenlauf at the cross country stadium in Obertilliach
Winners in 2013:
Men: 1st Sergio Bonaldi (ITA), 2nd Martin Bajcicak (SVK), 3rd Petter Northug (NOR)
Women: 1st Olga Mikhailova, 2nd Tatjana Mannima (EST), 3rd Antonella Confortola (ITA)
More information on the race:
In general: http://www.dolomitensport.at
Track information: http://www.dolomitensport.at/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Streckenplan.pdf
Next FIS Marathon Cup: January 26 – Marcialonga (ITA), 70km classic technique