By Teemu Virtanen
Our Pro Teams and athletes have often requested a race to be held in December between the Prologues and the so-called “January Madness”; five races back-to-back starting from Kaiser Maximilian Lauf in Austria and ending in the Czech Republic with Jizerska Padesatka. Their call has been answered, and a new event was introduced to the Visma Ski Classics calendar for Season X. La Venosta in Italy takes place this Saturday; the men’s race at 8:30 am CET and the women’s one at 10:15 am CET, and the 34 km race is really a high altitude challenge with a demanding course.
The race location is in the charming Vallelunga valley in South Tyrol, and it is situated close to the borders of Switzerland and Austria. The valley has always offered cross-country skiing tracks, but this is the first year that the region hosts a long-distance ski event.
The course has several laps and starts at around 1,850 meters above sea level, and the highest point is close to 2,000 meters above sea level at Melago Alm. That peak also serves twice as the Climb competition point in the race. Additionally, the course is also used for a 30 km skating race on Sunday, which is part of the Visma Ski Classics Challengers series. You can read more about the course the day before the race on Friday.
As there is a long climb that the Pro Skiers need to face multiple times and the elevation is higher than normally in Visma Ski Classics races, some surprises can be expected in terms of podium and top 10 performances. Naturally, the Livigno Prologue podium skiers are again strong favorites since that race was also held in high altitude. On Thursday when the final start lists have been published, you will be able to read an analytical prediction article on potential race winners and podium skiers.
La Venosta is certainly a great addition to the Visma Ski Classics family as it is a hidden jewel that not many Nordic skiers know about. It offers breathtaking sceneries and the South Tyrolian nature at its best. As the event takes place before the holiday break, a visitor can check out the surrounding idyllic small towns and do some shopping at local seasonal markets. La Venosta is a perfect place to let the Christmas spirit soak in.
LOCATION: Val Venosta Valley, Italy
DATE: Saturday, December 14th 2019
START TIME: Men CET 08:30, Women CET 10:15, Recreational CET 12:00
DISTANCE: 34 km Classic Technique (30 km for Recreational Skiers)
ACTIVE YEARS: First edition 2019
RECORD NO. OF PARTICIPANTS: 1st edition 2019
VISMA SKI CLASSICS CLIMBS: Melago Alm – 15 km, Melago Alm – 25 km
SERVICE STATIONS: 6
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