3-4 January 2022

VAL DI FIEMME: CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING ON TOUR

A GIG FOR GREAT PERFORMERS ONLY

VAL DI FIEMME: CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING ON TOUR

Last arrangements, 15 km Mass Start tomorrow in Lago di Tesero (ITA)
Klæbo leading but watch out for Russians
Russia-USA, last-second duel Nepryaeva-Diggins
Audience along the track and on the stands


Waiting is over, the time for Val di Fiemme Tour de Ski is now. The spectacular CT 15 km (men) and 10 km (women) mass start takes place tomorrow in Lago di Tesero cross-country stadium. On Tuesday, the fascinating Final Climb is happening, a FT mass start of 10 km for all.
Athletes and staff have arrived at night from Oberstdorf with giant road trains full of skis that ski-men tested and prepared for the determining race of tomorrow.
The ongoing situation of Tour de Ski – this year is the 16th edition of the circuit always ending in Val di Fiemme – among women is very fragile. Nepryaeva (RUS) leads after her sprint victory in Germany, Niskanen (FIN), Diggins (USA), Sorina (RUS) and Lampic (SLO) occupy the first five places within one minute. Whether mass start will not give big advantages, anything can happen at the Final Climb. Last year, for example, Nepryaeva finished 11th but 1 minute after Diggins, second at the last stage, finally winning the Tour de Ski. Thus, never say never.
Advantages among men are stronger. Klæbo has been literally flying during the first part of the Tour, now leading with 1’3’’ on his compatriot Golberg and 1’19’’ on Bolshunov, his greatest rival. The Russian, winner of the last two editions, said he is not finding his best shape, Klæbo says he is sorry because he would like to fight on equal terms. Last year, Bolshunov won the 15 mass start against Francesco De Fabiani (ITA), second in 2019 too. It is ok to “never say never”, yet recover 2’ to this Klæbo seems a miracle.
Audience is allowed, but with Super Green Pass and FFP2 mask according to the ongoing rules. Great job for the organising committee that, beyond the usual efforts for World Cup competitions, had to follow the firm Covid protocol. Pietro De Godenz (president of the Ski Promotion Committee) said: “Every year the beginning of January is demanding with Tour de Ski on 3rd and 4th and Nordic Combined World Cup from 7th to 9th. It is much work for our volunteers, who I personally want to thank. People talk about us as precise and meticulous organisers, creating a great and unique show. Our events are leading TV ratings of winter competitions. Cross-country skiing even puts in second place alpine skiing competitions in Germany, Switzerland and Austrian. Trentino and Val di Fiemme take great promotional advantage.”
Bruno Felicetti, president of the committee, said: “Every detail and anti-Covid rule to follow forced us to heavy duties, but we have been confronting anything along the years. We are expecting such an intense week, but our experience allows us to deal with everything easily.”
Weather seems not to interfere with Tour de Ski, next weekend cold is back and tracks will be perfect.
Tomorrow 10 km CT women mass start begins at 12.40 am, 15 km men at 2.50 pm.

Tour de Ski situation:

Women
1 Nepryaeva Natalia RUS 53:40; 2 Niskanen Kerttu FIN +0:34; 3 Diggins Jessie USA +0:38; 4 Sorina Tatiana RUS +0:46; 5 Lampic Anamarija SLO +0.57
Men
1 Klaebo Johannes NOR 1:11:23; 2 Golberg Paal NOR +1:03; 3 Bolshunov Alexander RUS +1:19 ; 4 Valnes Erik NOR +2:03; 5 De Fabiani Francesco ITA +2:21

 

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