6-7-8 January 2023




Everything is ready in Val di Fiemme for the last three stages of the 15th Tour de Ski
Yellow bibs for Bolshunov and Diggins who will try to maintain their overall lead until the Final Climb
The event will take place behind closed doors, with strict health and safety rules
Tomorrow men’s mass start at 1.35 pm and women’s mass start at 3.35 pm; on Saturday the sprint and on Sunday the Final Climb

Coaches and athletes have already reached Lago di Tesero (ITA) for the last weekend of the Tour de Ski. Today the athletes spent their day off testing their skis and inspecting the course. Course inspection has in fact become a must in modern cross-country skiing. They need to recharge their batteries after the difficult stages in Val Müstair and Toblach in order to be ready to face the demanding tracks in Val di Fiemme.
Alexander Bolshunov (RUS) needs no introduction. He has won four stages out of five so far, finishing second in the opening stage in Switzerland. He is definitely the favourite to win the 2021 Tour de Ski. Thanks to his last win in Toblach, Bolshunov extended his lead in the Tour de Ski standings to 2:06 over his compatriot Artem Maltsev, and to 2:09 over France’s Maurice Manificat. There will be a close fight for the podium, with other two Russians, Denis Spitsov and Ivan Yakimushkin, 2:15 and 2:30 behind the leader respectively.
On the women’s side, there isn’t a real favourite. After the pursuit in Toblach, Jessica Diggins (USA) is leading the Tour de Ski standings, but she wasn’t able to leave the others in the dust. Her compatriot Rosie Brennan trails her by 22 seconds in the overall standings. Behind them, there is Yulia Stupak (RUS), who appeared in tip-top shape in the pursuit in Toblach and who is 58 seconds behind Diggins. She will try to play a dirty trick on the tracks of Lago di Tesero and on the Final Climb on Alpe Cermis.
As always, Val di Fiemme is ready to host a great cross-country skiing show despite the current situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will take place behind closed doors and the thousands of fans who usually line the courses in Lago di Tesero and on Alpe Cermis will have to enjoy the thrill of the races at home. The event will be broadcast live on RAI Sport and Eurosport.
The three days of racing in Val di Fiemme kick off tomorrow with the men’s 15 km classic mass start at 1.15 pm and the women’s 10 km classic mass start at 3:35 pm. Stage 7 on Saturday features a classic sprint, and Italy’s Federico Pellegrino will try to achieve yet another victory after his gold medal in Val Müstair. On Sunday there will be the traditional and demanding 10 km freestyle mass start Final Climb, with start in Lago di Tesero and finish on Alpe Cermis, where the winners of the 15th Tour de Ski will be crowned.
Yesterday and today the organisers have been busy getting everything ready for tomorrow. The health and safety protocols with strict rules have been laid down, and the staff from Val di Fiemme have been able to excel even in this occasion.

© Newspower

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