2018 MOONLIGHT CLASSIC ALPE DI SIUSI: ENTRY NUMBERS BOOM AS START DRAWS NEAR
Thanks to the Moonlight Classic scheduled for the end of the month and heavy snowfalls, all of Alpe di Siusi’s cross-country ski trails are now open, paving the way for another hugely successful edition of the night-time event on January 31. The 15 and 30-kilometre courses make a welcome return in this the 12th edition of the Moonlight Classic Alpe di Siusi. The classic technique cross-country event has already attracted 230 entries, amongst them well-known Nordic skiers Antonella Confortola from Trentino and German Monique Siegel.
Thanks to its 1,800-metre altitude, Alpe di Siusi makes an extraordinary training ground for sports of all kinds. The Canadian national Nordic skiing team are currently training there and several Norwegian cross-country skiers, including Marit Bjoergen, are also expected to arrive soon. Alpe di Siusi is also a favourite with the Swedish, Norwegian and Lithuanian national rowing teams which chose the area for their pre-season dryland training sessions.
Winter temperatures and heavy snowfalls: the perfect combination for Alpe di Siusi which, thanks to the impeccable work done by the operators in the area, have resulted in all the cross-country skiing pistes being opened. Good news travels fast so it is no coincidence that the Canadian national cross-country team is already training on Europe’s largest plateau. Norwegians Marit Bjoergen and Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg and Finn Krista Parmakoski will also be arriving soon.
The opening of the trails also brought confirmation of the two routes along which the 2018 Moonlight Classic Alpe di Siusi classic technique cross-country race will be held on its 12th outing.
The competition takes place on Wednesday, 31 January 2018, starting at 20.00 and playing out, as per tradition, under the light of the full moon and stars. The warm glow of 1,000 torches will also mark out the route for competitors from start to finish.
Also in line with the event tradition, skiers have a choice of two routes: the 15-kilometre trail is more accessible with a 220-metre gradient change while the 30-kilometre trail will see competitors tackle a 550-metre change in altitude on their narrow skis. The start-line for both routes is at Compaccio. After the initial 17 kilometres, the long route competitors will face into the 2,030-metre Goldknopf climb before skiing down towards Spitzbühl and on to the finish-line. The 15-kilometre route skiers will follow a trail first to Ritsch, then Wolfsbühl and, lastly, the finish-line. Both routes also depart significantly from previous years’ design as they near the finish zone. In fact, before the finish-line at a Compatsch, competitors will follow a route over the bridge and on towards the Nordic Ski Center restaurant, skiing down toward the ski station downstream of the Panorama before finally going under the bridge to the finish-line.
The competitor field has been capped at 400 by the organisers and currently 230 athletes have signed up. Entrant numbers have doubled over the last month with 14 different nations now represented. All in all, the Moonlight Classic is one of the most popular draws on the cross-country skiing calendar and this year’s participants include elite names of the likes of Antonella Confortola and Monique Siegel from Germany.
If you want to ensure you get race alongside these illustrious athletes and immerse yourself in a unique fairytale experience, you can enter through the www.moonlightclassic.info site.