This Sunday’s legendary Marcialonga in Italy is the seventh stage in the Visma Ski Classics Season XII. The fast-paced race is expected to have a lot of tactical play, and the field in the women’s and men’s races is quite open.
The 70-kilometer Pro Tour race starts in Moena and finishes on the main street of Cavalese. Men start at 8:00 CET, followed by the women at 8:05 CET. The course has Sprint competition points in Canazei at 18km and Lago di Tesero at 55km. Climb points in L’Infinita at 32km and Cascata Hill at 70km. For the final climb, the points are calculated according to the fastest time up the hill instead of the first skier reaching the top as in regular climb checkpoints.
Last weekend’s winners Ida Dahl, Team Ramudden, and Kasper Stadaas, Team Ragde Charge, are firm favorites to win the race on Sunday due to their impressive performances at Engadin La Diagonela.
For Ida Dahl, the expectations are high.
“My expectations are high, I have been in excellent shape, and I’m aiming for the first place, of course, but there are also other strong girls, and I have a lot of respect for all of them. I’m just looking forward to it and think it’s going to be a tough fight,” says Dahl in the Visma Ski Classics Press Conference.
Ida Dahl is one of the favorites in the women’s race, but there are at least four more potential podium skiers. Britta Johansson Norgren, Lager 157 Ski Team, second at Engadin La Diagonela, and Lina Korsgren, Team Ramudden, last Marcialonga winner, are solid names for the top place.
Astrid Øyre Slind, Team Koteng Eidissen, is back to the circuit after being in quarantine with Covid-19, and Emilie Fleten, Team XPND Fuel, was in the same situation but not 100% sure to be on the starting line on Sunday. Both can be considered candidates for the podium, but the question remains; are the days of recovery over, and are they ready to fight for the victory?
In Dahl’s opinion, Johansson Norgren is one of her strongest rivals and expects a tactical race.
“Britta and Lina are strong rivals. But it feels like this is one of Britta’s highest goals, and I think she will be in really good shape.”
“I think it will be more tactical than the other races. There are more girls now, stronger ones that can help each other in their teams, so I think it’s going to be more tactical than before.”
It seems that we also have an open game in the men’s race. Last year’s winner, Lager 157 Ski Team’s Emil Persson, is still one of the strongest favorites. With rising form and good memories from Marcialonga, Persson is now looking forward to Sunday’s battle.
Tord Asle Gjerdalen, runner-up last year at Marcialonga, can be considered one of the top favorites for Sunday’s race. Gjerdalen is on a rising form, preparing for Marcialonga, and is ready to be number one.
In addition, we can anticipate some great performances and a good fight for top places from Stian Hoelgaard, Team Curira, Max Novak, Team Ramudden, ready to defend his Yellow Bib, and Johannes Eklöff, Team Ramudden, if he can replicate his explosive winner attack from Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge.
Of course, we need to mention Kasper Stadaas, Team Ragde Charge, who won Engadin La Diagonela in a superb style last weekend and shows excellent form.
In the Visma Ski Classics press conference, Kasper Stadaas, Team Ragde Charge, told ProXCskiing about his expectations for Marcialonga:
“The shape is good, and I’m looking on fighting for the podium on Sunday for sure. All Team Ragde Charge is very focused on success in Marcialonga, so I hope I can be up there. There are so many things that need to go your way to even fight for the win up Cascata. I will try to be there, but for sure, I want to be on the top.”
Expect many battles on the final climb Cascata, just before the finish line, as the skiers fight to win Season XII’s first Grand Classics event.
MARCIALONGA - FACTS
- Location: Trentino, Italy
- Date: Sunday, January 30
- Start Time: Men 8:00 CET / Women 8:05 CET
- Distance: 70km Classic Technique
- Visma Ski Classics Sprints: Canazei – 18km, Lago di Tesero – 55km
- Visma Ski Classics Climbs: L’Infinita – 32km, Cavalese – 70km
MAP & PROFILE