o The racers – who is on the start list
o Also this year: The SkiTrax Fantasy FIS Marathon Cup contest
o Important dates & information
La Sgambeda (ITA) is ready to host the 1st FIS Marathon Cup of the season this Sunday (16th)
After a year of absence due to lack of snow, La Sgambeda is back! Perfect conditions await all racers around the Italian town of Livigno. Just over the Swiss boarder and not far from Austria, the “little Tibet” valley features a 21km loop which will be raced two times for this 42km race in free technique. The race track develops along the river Spöl and through all the villages along it: Florin, Pont Lonc, Li Mina, Tresenda and runs as far as Campaciol. From around the Hotel Forcola (12,5 km point) the track turns back into the direction of the cross country stadium where the 21km mark is reached – half time! To finish after 42km, the racers have to turn once again towards the river Spöl in order to do another loop on the wonderful track running through the valley. The spectators cheering loud alongside the track will help the athletes to do this second round before they turn to the finish in the cross country stadium.
A lot of snow and pretty cold temperatures made it possible to perfectly prepare the track and to have it ready for all the cross country enthusiasts who are looking forward to this season opener of long distance racing! The forecast for this weekend announces slightly warmer temperatures (around -4°C) and the possibility of light snowfall.
The racers – who is on the start list
As La Sgambeda functions as season opener, the best long distance racers will be on the start line! Just some of the classic specialists have decided to open their season with the Jizerská Padesatka 50km classic race, which will be held close to Liberec (CZE) on January 13.
Fabio Santus (ITA), winner of the 2011 edition, will try to race as fast as possible in order to gain the victory again. However, his team mates Florian Kostner, Cristian Zorzi and Sergio Bonaldi will try to prevent this. The same goes for Stanislav Rezac and Martin Koukal (both CZE) of the Skinfit Racing Team as well as for Espen Harald Bjerke and Morten Eide Pedersen (both NOR). Some World Cup skiers have decided to skip the races in Canada and to prepare their Tour de Ski, waiting for them at the end of the year, by taking part in La Sgambeda. So, names like Jean Marc Gaillard (FRA), Thomas Moriggl (ITA), Toni Livers (SUI) or Martin Bajcicak (SVK) will also be present to join in the battle for victory!
On the women"s side, one can find equally the names of the best of the discipline: Stephanie Santer (ITA), the overall FIS Marathon Cup winner of last season, will race as will do last years runner up Seraina Boner (SUI) and third placed Jenny Hansson (SWE). To be even more precise, six of the best seven of last year"s overall FIS Marathon Cup will be present, including names like Antonella Confortola (ITA), Tatjana Mannimaa (EST) and Valentina Shevchenko (URK). The last trying to win again after her victory in Livigno in 2011. Also World Cup skier Riitta-Liisa Roponen (FIN) will be on the start line, preparing for the Tour de Ski and the Nordic World Ski Championships later in 2013.
The actual start list for the elite skiers can be found here (always subject to change).
Also this year: The SkiTrax Fantasy FIS Marathon Cup contest
FIS Fantasy Marathon Cup 2012/13 Contest - Register Your Team Today
The second annual FIS Fantasy Marathon Cup 2012/13 Contest is now open for team registration for fans around the world as the series kicks off in Italy with the season opener La Sgambeda, on Dec. 16. You can win great prizes and have fun while following the Marathon Cup all season. Register your team of four (4) men and four (4) women plus one "Outlaw" male skier not in the top 15 and one "Outlaw" female skier not in the top 10 of the FIS Marathon Cup overall rankings. Points are awarded following each Marathon Cup World Loppet based on each skier"s performance and published regularly at skitrax.com - plus you can earn bonus points as well.
All information and contest rules are available when you register your team here. The deadline to register or revise your team is Saturday, Dec. 15, at 10pm EST.
FIS Fantasy Marathon Cup Prizes
And of course you can also win something!!! Have a look at the great prizes that wait for you at the end of the season:
* 1st Prize - Nipika Lodge-4-nights for 2 in a luxurious cabin, incl. Trail Fees (value up to $1,160)
* 2nd Prize - Marwe 610c Roller Skis (value $349)
* 3rd Prize - Yoko 9100 Poles (value $299)
* 4th Prize - Halti XC Race Suit Hemmo Set (value $269)
* 5th Prize - Skiwax.ca Racer Kickwax kit (value $235)
* 6th Prize - 2XU Long Sleeve Thermal Compression Top and Elite Socks (value $195)
* 7th Prize - One Way Snowbird Glasses (value $120)
* 8th Prize - Fresh Air Experience or High Peaks Cyclery Gift Certificate (value $100)
* 9th Prize - Auclair Micro Mountain Olympic Gloves + Earbags (value $65)
* 10th Prize - Buff Headware (value $23)
SkiTrax is North America"s leading Nordic skiing publication and the official magazine of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and Cross Country Canada (CCC).
Important dates & Information:
16 December 2012 – La Sgambeda (ITA), 42km FT, First FIS Marathon Cup of the season 2012-13
11am: start of the 42km La Sgambeda at the Cross Country stadium
Winners in 2011:
Men: 1st Fabio Santus (ITA), 2nd Simen Oestensen (NOR), 3rd Cristian Zorzi (ITA)
Women: 1st Valentina Shevchenko (UKR), 2nd Sabina Valbusa (ITA), 3rd Natalia Zernova (RUS)
More information on the race:
In general: http://www.lasgambeda.it/en
Track information: http://www.lasgambeda.it/en/home.jsp?idrub=53847
Next FIS Marathon Cup: January 13 – Jizerská Padesatka (CZE), 50km, classic technique
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!
Worldloppet & FIS Marathon Cup Press & Media Manager
+49-179-2156756 / +33-78-7003687