In less than 15 days, on Sunday 26 January, Marcialonga di Fiemme e Fassa in Northern Italy will kick off for the 41st time in history. Flipping through the updated entry list, the top group reads also Norwegian Chris Jespersen, silver medallist at the 2014 FIS Tour de Ski and now ready to challenge ski-marathon specialists such as the Aukland brothers or Thomas Alsgaard among the others, but also Ahrlin, Brink, Tynell and Svärd of Sweden, Russian Evgenii Dementiev plus Czech Rezac and Novak. Anders Södergren of Sweden was supposed to take part in 2014 Marcialonga, but he received a call from the national team and he will be part of the Swedish XC team at the Olympic games in Sochi.
Back to Jespersen, he closed the TDS series behind compatriot Martin Sundby, and on top of the Final Climb race in Val di Fiemme, on 5 January managed to keep at bay Johannes Duerr of Austria, but most considerably Petter Northug who came in fourth.
At the 41st Marcialonga, the Italian squad will be racing in front of its crowd with 2013 FIS Marathon Cup winner Sergio Bonaldi flanked by compatriots Zorzi, Morandini, Santus, Kostner, Paredi, Martinelli and Bruno Debertolis, who was Italy’s best finisher in last year’s competition.
In addition to money prizes and products, next Marcialonga winner will receive a holiday week in Patagonia region (Argentina), thanks to a new partnership between Marcialonga OC and the Patagonia Tourism Board.
On women’s side, 2011 and 2013 Swiss winner Seraina Boner will attempt to climb the first step of the podium once again, even if opponents Nyström, Hansson and Grafnings of Sweden, Norway’s Kveli and Skari and Russian Jambaeva and Shaidurova will do their best to ruin her plan.
On the eve of 2014 Marcialonga, the Marcialonga Story promotional event is scheduled and 100 skiers already booked their starting bib to enjoy an 11k long track from the XC stadium in Lago di Tesero to Predazzo town centre. All participants will experience the true, ancient spirit of the discipline (strictly in classic technique), wearing original equipment only and celebrating over four decades of XC skiing history. Entries to the Marcialonga Story event are open, rules and information of any kind are available on www.marcialonga.it