Article by newspower.it
The Tour de Ski is one of the most spectacular sports events at world level and this weekend it will come to the end on the Olimpia III slope at Alpe Cermis, in Val di Fiemme (Trentino region, Italy).
One of the most exciting contest conclusions will go on stage next Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th of January, when fatigue and human skills will be taken to the extreme, in the apotheosis of cross-country skiing.
Since its very beginning, when the Tour de Ski was first conceived by Vegard Ulvang and Jürg Capol, who thought of a race modeled on the Tour de France of cycling, Val di Fiemme was chosen for the final stages, which are spectacular for the public and extremely demanding for competitors. Only three skiers have taken part in all 11 Tour de Ski, i.e. Stefanie Böhler (GER), Devon Kershaw (CAN) and Jean Marc Gaillard (FRA). Tracks at the Cross country arena are covered with snow and ready to welcome World Cup competitors, and the Nordic Ski Fiemme organising committee is currently working on a whole series of side events, starting on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. with entertainment, music and local dishes and specialties before the Mass Start races in classic technique (10 km for women at 2:30 p.m. and 15 km for men at 3:30 pm.), followed by celebrations from 4:30 p.m. with Après-Ski Race Dj Set and Fiemme Rock. On Sunday, fans will have the opportunity of enjoying the “Tour del Gusto” all day long, with six gastronomic stalls along the alpine skiing hill offering local dishes with the support of local associations (Taverna Aragosta, Molina per Aria, Ziano Insieme, Fiemme & Fassa Volley, US Cembra e US Dolomitica).
On Sunday, competitions will begin with the “Rampa con i Campioni” at 9:30 a.m. when amateurs and former champions, including Antonella Confortola, Tobias Angerer, Katerina Neumannova and the Tour de Ski co-founder Vegard Ulvang, will compete on the same World Cup track.
The Final Climb, one of the most formidable and demanding races of the cross-country skiing season, will start at 11:30 a.m. for women and at 3:30 a.m. for men.
The Tour de Ski started on the 30th of December in Val Mustair (Switzerland) with the victories of Swedish Stina Nilsson and Russian Ustiugov, and of Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg and Ustiugov again on the second day. Skiers then “moved” to Germany, in Oberstdorf for two races, both won by Stina Nilsson and Ustiugov again.
The athletes with the highest number of victories at the Tour de Ski are Petter Northug (not competing this year and the only skier capable of concluding the Tour de Ski for ten consecutive years) and Justyna Kowalczyk, with 13 and 14 victories respectively.
The Tour de Ski now goes to Toblach before coming to Val Di Fiemme, the reign of champions.