La Sgambeda is ready to go!

10 December 2013 11:41
La Sgambeda start
La Sgambeda start -
FIS

La sgambeda is ready for the first FIS Marathon Cup of the season. Who will take the red leader bib? Who is on the start list? Plus important dates and practical information.

Finally, also the long distance skiers start into their season with La Sgambeda, the 42km skating technique race in the valley of Livigno, Italy. The valley lies at relatively high altitude, which makes it normally “snow-sure”. However, two years ago, the season opener had to be cancelled due to lack of snow. But this year, all looks perfect for a great race!

In total, around 1000 racers have entered Sunday's free technique race, coming from 27 countries including such “exotic” ones such as Luxembourg, Togo and Israel.

The snow canons turn since a couple of weeks and some teams have already enjoyed Livigno as a perfect host for the last training camp before the season. 70% of the track is covered with artificial snow, the rest with natural one. It has been pretty cold during the last weeks and the weather forecast does also look very promising for the race day: between -9 and -4 at the start of the race with perfect sunshine to accompany the racers on the 42km track through the wonderful valley. As the course is not a single loop, but has to be skied twice, spectators can watch the racers pass through the stadium at half time. The race track develops along the river Spöl and winds through all the villages along it: Florin, Pont Lonc, Li Mina, Tresenda and runs as far as Campaciol. From around the Hotel Forcola (12,5 km point) the tracks turns back into the direction of the Cross Country Stadium where the 21km mark is reached and yet another loop awaits the skiers.

Who will wear the first red leaders bib of the season?

The first race of the season – that normally means that everybody is there to fight for the best start into the season. On the men's side, the winner of last year's overall FIS Marathon Cup, Sergio Bonaldi (ITA), is on the start list as is last year's runner up Benoit Chauvet from France. Bonaldi is accompanied by his team mates Fabio Santus, Cristian Zorzi, Allan Martinelli, Florian Kostner and Simone Paredi – all good for a podium spot has they have proved many times during the last years. However, they have hard contestants: The Russian team comes with big names, too. Vassili Rotchev heads a strong team including Egor Sorin, Ivan Arteev and Andrey Tyuterev. Erik Hänel and Thomas Freimuth hold high the German flag as do Morten Eide Pedersen, Johan Kjoelstad, John Kristan Dahl. Petr Novak from the Czech Republic is another strong contestant for the podium as is Aliaksei Ivanou (BLR), Martin Koukal (CZE) and Martin Bajcicak (SVK). At the moment, around 60 elite athletes have entered the race.

On the women's side, the field also looks strong: Last year's winner Riita-Liisa Roponen (FIN) will try to defend her title while Tatjana Mannima (EST), the overall winner of the FIS Marathon Cup last season, Seraina Boner (SUI), runner up to Mannima in the overall last year, Valentina Shevchenko (UKR), Stephanie Santer (ITA), the overall FIS Marathon Cup winner of the season 2011/12, Antonella Confortola (ITA) and Olga Rotcheva (RUS) will surely do everything they can to make this try not an easy morning walk! A hard race with a lot of tactics and position fights can be looked forward to!

The complete startlist can be found here:http://www.worldloppet.com/fmcstart.php

IMPORTANT DATES AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION

La Sgambeda:

In general: http://www.lasgambeda.it/en

Track information: http://www.lasgambeda.it/en/home.jsp?idrub=53847

Last year's winner:

Men: 1. Petter Northug Jr. (NOR), 2. Matti Heikkinen (FIN), 3. Toni Livers (SUI)

Women: 1. Riita-Liisa Roponen (FIN), 2. Ekaterina Rudakova (RUS), 3. Seraina Boner (SUI)

Dec. 15: La Sgambeda (ITA), 42km skating technique, 1stFIS Marathon Cup 2013/14, start at 11am at the Cross Country Ski Stadium.

Next FIS Marathon Cup: Dolomitenlauf, 19thJanuary 2014, 60km, free technique

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