Marcialonga di Fiemme e Fassa on track at the end of January
Nicola Morandini and Team Coop take aim at the podium
Aukland bros, Ahrlin and Oestensen ready to grab the 2013 title
150 bibs already booked for the Marcialonga Story vintage event
In less than 40 days the Marcialonga classical ski-marathon in Trentino region (Italy) will get on track for the 40th time since the very first spark in 1971. Long distance cross country specialists and thousands of ski lovers will gather up amongst magnificent Dolomites and ‘number one favourites are once again Jørgen and Anders Aukland, although people like Simen Østensen or Oskar Svärd might well fight for the gold, and so will I’, Italian skier Nicola Morandini said in a recent interview, straight after the FIS Ski Marathon Cup opener in Livigno in mid-December.
Morandini was born and grew up in Val di Fiemme, with Marcialonga skiers who have been literally competing outside his house ever since. Last January he was the best Italian skier at the finish (7th) and at the end of the summer he signed for Swedish Team Coop, captained by Svärd. ‘We’ve been working hard for over two months in Valadalen, this little village counting 23 resident people, including Oskar, myself, Jenny Hansson and Jerry Ahrlin’, added Morandini. ‘In Valadalen there is no rush, no stress, nothing but skiing and focusing on training. At the beginning of November we skied for 85k every day for two entire weeks. On the third week, I could barely move. [laughs]’
Morandini and the rest of Team Coop took part in the Sgambeda Classic event in Livigno and now planned to keep on training in Val di Fiemme till the end of the year and then go back to Sweden for about three weeks. ‘We’re coming down to Val di Fiemme only a few days before the race’, said Morandini, ‘so as we can better concentrate and prepare ourselves to the event. I’m quite sure the closing Cascata climb will be once again crucial for the podium. Together with Svärd and Johnsson we tried it out last summer with roller skis, but in winter is certainly a different story.’
Thanks to recent snowfalls, combining with intense snow making, Marcialonga organisers will be opening to public two long parts of the course, from Predazzo to Molina di Fiemme and from Canazei to Soraga, before Christmas.
During the last weekend of January, Marcialonga Stars, Minimarcialonga and Marcialonga Young are scheduled, plus the Marcialonga Story vintage event that already collected 150 entries.
The opening ceremony will take place in the village of Tesero on Saturday 26 and a massive brass band concert is scheduled on Friday 25 at Tesero theatre.