Sunday, 17th September the beautiful Val di Fiemme (Italy) hosted a wonderful and rainy long distance roller skiing competition between Ziano and Alpe Cermis, the same final climb that in winter closes the Tour de Ski. But this time the athletes were on roller skis, with the first edition of the Fiemme Rollerski Cup.
The rain did not stop the athletes, who competed in the final stage of the prestigious Guide World Classic Tour – with 6.000 EUR prize for the winners – and fought for the Long Distance Italian Championship.
The élite race saw Ilya Chernousov win. “It was a wonderful day for me, it was a bit cold and rainy but I have to offer my congratulations to the organizers of this event. I’m very happy for my result. No-one wanted to take the lead and everyone was waiting for the final climb to attack. Then I decided to go first because I was feeling good. I’d like to thank the organizers; the event was really perfect. There aren’t so many differences between this race and the Tour de Ski final climb; it is always tough competing here”. The Norwegians Morten Eide Pedersen and Sjur Roethe, who came second and third, weren’t really outdistanced. It is nevertheless a good result for Pedersen who wins the Guide World Classic Tour keeping the yellow leader-bib. The Russian Evgenji Dementiev came sixth, while the Italian Dietmar Noeckler came eighth less than one minute after the first.
Among the ladies, Justyna Kowalczyk – who is a world-class athlete and has won four times the Tour de Ski between 2010 and 2013 – won the race before the Norwegian Astrid Oyre Slind and the Swede Maria Graefnings. The Polish athlete was very satisfied. “I’m very happy, also because it is always good to win a race. But it is never easy and the race was very long and there were many strong competitors. Besides, it is also complicated to be constantly focused on the race, but I’m very happy for my result; arriving on Cermis makes you always feel something incredible. The level of toughness between cross-country and rollerski is very similar, but what I like is the classic style. The Fiemme Rollerski Cup has been well organized and Val di Fiemme is one of the most special places for me. Now we move to Bulgaria to continue the preparation step by step to arrive ready for the winter and for the Tour de Ski”.
The Norwegian Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes received 6.000 EUR, just like Pedersen, for the overall victory in the Guide World Classic Tour. Lucia Scardoni, from Verona, came sixth. The Italian Championship goes to Jacopo Giardina, with Simone Ripamonti and Alberto Dalla Via in second and third places.
Results - Men élite
1. Ilya Chernousov RUS 02:10:11
2. Morten Eide Pedersen NOR 02:10:17
3. Sjur Roethe NOR 02:10:22
4. Simen Ostensen NOR 02:10:43
5. Torleif Syrstad NOR 02:10:46
6. Eugeni Dementiev RUS 02:10:56
7. Petter Engdahl SWE 02:11:03
8. Dietmar Noeckler ITA 02:11:05
9. Oeyvind Moen Fjeld NOR 02:11:11
10. Runar Skaug Mathisen NOR 02:11:19
Results – Ladies élite
1. Justyna Kowalczyk POL 02:28:35
2. Astrid Oyre Slind NOR 02:28:39
3. Maria Graefnings SWE 02:30:16
4. Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes NOR 02:31:04
5. Yulia Tikhonova BLR 02:34:54
6. Lucia Scardoni ITA 02:36:39
7. Heli Heikanen FIN 02:41:03
8. Sara Lindborg SWE 02:41:46
9. Francisca Muller GER 02:50:13
10. Stefania Corradini ITA 03:00:01
Guide World Classic Tour final ranking
Men: 1. Morten Eide Pedersen;
Ladies: 1. Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes