3-4 January 2022* (*t.b.c.)




It would be too easy to say 'we give up', as many have been forced to do.
Val di Fiemme (ITA) is ready to host the last three stages of the Tour de Ski, unless there is a further tightening of the restrictions. On 8, 9 and 10 January, Val di Fiemme will in fact play host to three cross-country competitions: 10 and 15 km CT mass start, sprint CT and the Final Climb, a 10km mass start in free technique from Lago di Tesero to Alpe Cermis. As always, after the last stage of the Tour de Ski a Crystal Trophy will be awarded to the overall winners. In 2021, the Tour de Ski will celebrate its 15th anniversary, the "crystal anniversary", a marriage between the main event of the FIS Cross-Country World Cup and Val di Fiemme, Trentino.
This time, it won’t be as usual. In times of pandemic, in fact, even professional sports events have to be organised in compliance with strict measures. The sore point is that the event will take place behind closed doors – the spectators will not be allowed to watch the race trackside or enter the stadium in Lago di Tesero. Unfortunately, there will not be a long and colourful line of spectators along the Final Climb – in the best editions there were almost 20,000 spectators. For fans there will be live television coverage, both on RAI Sport and Eurosport. The races can be watched all over the world thanks to the myriad of international broadcasters that will broadcast the competitions live under the direction of the rights holder Infront. The races will be filmed live even from a helicopter flying over the steep final climb and from a spectacular fly-cam above the athletes' heads in Lago di Tesero.
This is the most important piece of news for the fans. The organisers will have to meet a series of standards to protect the health and safety of the stakeholders and athletes. The competitions in themselves do not change. Of course, everything will also depend on the snow. Snow will be produced as soon as the temperatures go down, so as to create a hard layer. But everyone will be waiting for natural snow, to give viewers all over the world the usual spectacular images of Val di Fiemme and Trentino.
On Friday the skiers will have to face a 2.5 km course (six laps for the men and four for the women); on Saturday the sprint course will be 1.5 and 1.2 km long, for men and women respectively; on Sunday there will be the Final Climb with start in Lago di Tesero, a section on the Marcialonga course and the tough climb of Alpe Cermis. Many people will be sad not to have the chance to cheer the athletes on while they are facing the tough climb of Alpe Cermis, but this time everyone can enjoy the race from the couch.
Bruno Felicetti, president of the organising committee, stated: “Tour de Ski 2021 will be unusual because of Covid-19. We have examined the situation with our staff and our managers are in constant contact with the public authorities as well as with CONI, FISI and FIS to examine every aspect. We wanted to remain in the World Cup circuit and, despite everything, give the world a positive image of Trentino and Val di Fiemme. The world does not end, it’s important to promote the local area and help revive the local economy. Trentino and Val di Fiemme are the symbol of sport and relaxation – we want to convey this message through the images that everyone will see all over the world. Tour de Ski 2020 was watched live on TV by 198 million people, with the final stage of Cermis being the most watched race of the whole cross-country World Cup season. This is very important for us. We will certainly make sure that the measures are respected, especially for our staff. We are extremely sad that there won’t be spectators, but this was a precondition of hosting the event. For Val di Fiemme, one of the venues of the 2026 Winter Olympics, it is paramount to convey a good image of professionalism and organisation even in this delicate situation. My sincere thanks go to our many volunteers who will once again offer their help to organise the event. This is a sign of great unity, even within our staff”.

© Newspower.it

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