7-8-9 January 2022




It’s just a matter of hours. In Val di Fiemme (ITA) the curtain came down on the Tour de Ski and will soon be raised on the Viessmann FIS Nordic Combined World Cup with three events that will be staged from Friday, 15 to Sunday, 17 January. The Provisional Competition Round is scheduled to be held on Thursday at 7 p.m. On Friday the Nordic Combined athletes will compete in an Individual Gundersen, with ski jump on the normal hill/HS 104 in Predazzo (10 a.m.) and 10km cross-country skiing in Lago di Tesero (1.45 p.m.). On Saturday there will be the Team Sprint (in Predazzo at 10 a.m. and in Lago di Tesero at 1.30 p.m.), while on Sunday the athletes will take part in the second Individual Gundersen held in Val di Fiemme (ski jump at 10 a.m. and cross-country skiing at 2.15 p.m.).
This year even the Nordic Combined World Cup is facing a very particular season, with only two World Cup stages held so far and some competitions cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Val di Fiemme will be the third stop on the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup tour after the races held in Ruka (FIN) and Ramsau (AUT) in late November and mid-December respectively.
Everyone is eagerly awaiting the races in Val di Fiemme, also because of the fight for the top spots in the World Cup standings. In fact, the young Austrian Johannes Lamparter currently sits in second place (265 points) between the usual protagonists, the Norwegian Jarl Magnus Riiber – who is leading with 360 points – and the German Vinzenz Geiger (third with 251 points). Riiber and Geiger delivered great performances last season in Val di Fiemme, and are definitely determined to repeat their feats this weekend. It will be interesting to see how Lamparter will do – last year he finished 14th and 16th.
For this weekend’s races, Federico Rigoni, technical director of the Italian team, called up the following athletes: Alessandro Pittin, Samuel Costa, Aaron Kostner, Raffale Buzzi, Giulio Bezzi, Domenico Mariotti and Stefano Radovan; the latter two will make their World Cup debut this weekend. Pittin finished 15th and 23rd in Ramsau, while Costa had some good results in Ruka (13th and 16th) and Kostner finished 19th and 30th, again in Ruka.
“I feel I’m in pretty good shape,” said Alessandro Pittin (Gruppi Sportivi Fiamme Gialle). “We haven’t been competing since the race in Ramsau, though. It’s hard, of course. It’s almost like going back to square one, like in the first World Cup races. We need to get back competing to understand how fit and competitive we are. We went to two short training camps, one in Seefeld between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and a more recent one in Oberstdorf. We jumped well in good weather conditions from the state-of-the-art ski jumping hills, we hope this bodes well for our races in Val di Fiemme”.
“There’s a good mutual understanding between the coaches and the athletes and I think that’s very important,” commented Federico Rigoni. “As for cross-country skiing, we don’t have anything to envy our competitors, as we showed in the past years. Regarding ski jumping, our coaches and athletes are working hard. We know there’s still a lot to do and it’s not easy. The bar has been set very high. Danny Winkelmann, the newly appointed World Cup team head coach, has been helping us and giving us excellent advice thanks to his expertise and know-how. There’s no magic wand, but everyone wants to grow up and improve and I hope this will be rewarded with success, if not in the short term, at least in the medium term”.
The FIS Nordic Combined World Cup is another major commitment for the Fiemme Ski World Cup organising committee: “After the Tour de Ski long weekend and another good test for our volunteers, we are now facing the three Nordic combined competitions with great enthusiasm,” stated the organising committee president Bruno Felicetti. “We comply with all the requirements set out by the International Ski Federation. The races in Predazzo and Lago di Tesero are going to be spectacular, even if behind closed doors, unfortunately. Ski and sports enthusiast will be able to watch them on TV thanks to Rai and Eurosport, which will devote significant airtime to the event. Again, without the support of volunteers, local administrations and the Province, as well as of course FISI and FIS, it would be impossible to organise major events in succession. For us, this is another step towards the 2026 Olympics”.

© Newspower.it

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