Whereas a winter wonderland atmosphere serrounded the skiers last weekend in Obertilliach during the Dolomitenlauf, the prestigeous Marcialonga, a 70km long race in classic technique from Moena in Val di Fassa to Cavalese in Val di Fiemme, is still waiting for this kind of setting.
After cold temperatures in December, during which the Nordic competitions of the Universiade were held in Val di Fiemme and during which period most of the artificial snow used for the Marcialonga track was produced, warmer tempertures have melted most of the natural snow around. During the last weeks, rain as well as spring like temperatures did bother the organising committee. Only thanks to the stored snow from last season and the produced snow in December it is now possible to hold the 41st edition of Marcialonga on its normal 70km long track. However, the rain has done a lot of damage to the track, but with colder temperatures anounced for the coming days, the OC hopes to get the track back in a good shape. “We are doing all we can to ensure that also this edition of Marcialonga will be held in the best possible conditions for all the participants. It is not an easy task with this weather situation, but we are confident, that we will get the track prepared in a way which is satisfying for everyone.” says Gloria Trettel from Marcialonga.
The traditional track will start in Moena in direction Canazei (km 18) from where it turns back towards Moena. After having passed Moena, the track continues to Val di Fiemme, passing the sites of the 2014 FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships (starting only two days after Marcialonga), like Predazzo (ski jumping) and Lago di Tesero (cross country skiing). Whereas the track descends steadily from Canazei on, the last three kilometres show a complete different picture! These will be the most challenging ones as the track climbs steeply from the valley up to the main square of Cavalese where the well known finish is situated. On many occaisions, the winner was decided on these last 3km. In Cavalese, the winner is awaited in the finish by the “Soreghina”, the so called “Princess of the Dolomites”, and a huge collar!
In total, almost 8000 skiers will participate in the 41st edition of Marcialona. Last year's "Marcialonga Story" will be held again on Saturday with the finish in Predazzo as will Marcialonga Stars, the VIP race and the kids and youth races in Lago di Tesero!
The racers – who is on the start list?!
The crème de la crème of the classic specialists will be present for this 41st edition of Marcialonga, which is also the first FIS Marathon Cup in classic technique. As for the last years, the Aukland brothers Joergen and Anders are the main favourites for the victory. However, Joergen only recently had an accident with his right shoulder involved. It seems that his shoulder is doing better aready and that he can be on the start. However, even without him on the startlist, it wouldn't be an easy stroll to the highest podium spot for his brother Anders: Stanislav Rezac (CZE), who has been to the Marcialonga podium the last couple of years, Jerry Ahrlin (SWE) who won the Dolomiten Classic Race last weekend in Obertilliach, Oskar Svärd (SWE), Johan Kjoelstad (NOR), Simen Oestensen (NOR), Morten Eide Pedersen (NOR), Chris Jespersen (NOR), Jörgen Brink (SWE), Thomas Alsgaard (NOR), Jimmie Johnsson (SWE), the Tynell brothers Rikard and Daniel (SWE) and the current leader of the overall FIS Marathon Cup Petr Novak (CZE) are all on the startline to get into the finish before the Norwegian.
On the women's side, it's Seraina Boner (SUI) who wants to redo her victory from last season. However, also here, there are several big names on the start list who all want the top spot – last but not least of them all Wibeke Skofterud (NOR), who won the Vasaloppet two years ago. Leila Kveli (NOR), last year's second and winner of the Vasaloppet 2013 as well as last year's third, Tatiana Jambaeva (RUS) are also on the start line as are Larisa Shaidurova (RUS), the current second in the overall FIS Marathon Cup, and Stephanie Santer (ITA), who has concentrated more on classic technique this season. One thing is for sure: The fight for the top 3 places will be hard and the race won't get boring until the last metre!
The complete startlist can be found here: http://www.worldloppet.com/fmcstart.php
Important dates and practical information
January 26: Marcialonga (ITA) - 3rd FIS Marathon Cup 2013-14 / 70km classic technique
8:15am: start of the 70km long Marcialonga in Moena. The finish will be in Cavalese
Winners in 2013:
Men: 1st Joergen Aukland (NOR), 2nd Stanislav Rezac (CZE), 3rd Anders Aukland (NOR)
Women: 1st Seraina Boner (SUI), 2nd Leila Kveli (NOR), 3rd Tatiana Jambaeva (RUS)
More information on the race:
In general: http://www.marcialonga.it/marcialonga_ski
Track information: http://www.marcialonga.it/marcialonga_ski/EN_course.php
Next FIS Marathon Cup: February 9 – La Transjurassienne (FRA), 76km (m) / 57km (w) skating technique
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