The Fourth and Final stage of Guide World Classic Tour will for the very first time take place out of the Scandinavian boundaries to join the magnificent alpin valley of Val Di Fiemme in Italy. The best long distance athletes will make history by starting on the first edition of Fiemme Rollerski Cup. This brand new event is the perfect blend between all the best that cross-country skiing can offer. Take some part of the Mythical Marcialonga, pass by the historic ski stadium in Lago di Tesero that host many cross-country World Cups and World Championships, finally end the race by the redoutable Alpe Cermis Climb that crowned the world best skiers winners of the FIS Tour de Ski, as a result, get 50 km of pure spectacle in the heart of the Italians Dolomites.
The tough 3 km of final climb will also give the opportunity to the athletes still in the race of a the distinctive bibs to settle their faith. For the Second edition of guide World Classic Tour, 30 000 euros of prize money will be distributed to the best contenders. Let’s have a look on the different pretenders:
In the women category, impressive during the whole Tour, Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes (Team Santander) has a confortable advance of 65 points on the Blink Classics winner’s Astrid Øyre Slind (Team United Bakeries). However nothing settle yet, Kari will have to do an excellent race to keep her advantage on the concurrence. Indeed, Maria Gräfnings (Team Trentino Robinson Trainer) and Laila Kvelli (Team Tynell) are respectively at only 85 and 95 points from the yellow bib. The battle for a place on the podium will even be more intense since Justyna Kowalczyk, winner of the first stage of the Tour, the Olaf Skoglund Minneløp, will also take part of the race. The Polish will certainly aims for another prestigious victory in Val di Fiemme through the arduous Alpe Cermis. A climb that she certainly knows better than anyone after 4 victories and many participations on the winter Tour de Ski.
Regarding the men category, the suspens is intact before the final stage. The recent victory of Andreas Nygaard (Team Santander)on Alliansloppet brought him at 15 points from Morten Eide Pedersen (Team BN Bank) who’s not be leaving the yellow bibs since his victory on Olaf Skoglund Minneløp at the beginning of the summer. A great battle in perspective between those two athletes that has shown great shape all through the summer season! However, nothing played neither for them, Anders Aukland – two time winner of Marcialonga, will evolve in a valley that he knows by heart. With 86 pts down, the skier of team Santander will very certainly be redoutable on the 50 km course. Another pretend to the final victory and surely for the podium is Simen Østensen, unfortunately absent on Alliansloppet, Simen has been loosing precious points. But nothing impossible for him, 99 points separate him from is BN Bank´s team mate Pedersen. Maybe will they aim for the double! Behind them, the fight for the podium will occupied Stian Hoelgaard (Team United Bakeries) and the Guide WCT Champion of the 2016 edition: Anders Mølmen Høst (Team Serneke).
In the women category Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes is almost ensured to fly back to Norway from Italy with green jersey on her shoulders. She has a very confortable advance on Astrid Øyre Slind that might be nearly impossible to fill in.
For the men category, Petter Northug is the actual leader of the sprint competition, his venue on the final stage is still not decided. Anyway, Stian Hølgaard from Team United Bakeries will work hard to catch up the 20 points that separate him from the Norwegian. Anders Mølmen Høst is also pretty well ranked and might also aim to collect a maximum of points on the two last Guide WCT sprints of the 2017 edition.
Youth bib and Junior
The Men Youth Bib competition is still leading by Runar Skaug Mathisen from Team Telemark but only 32 points separate him from Torleif Syrstad from team United Bakeries. In the women competition Maja Dahlqvist is the current leader.
The Junior competition is led by Adam Persson and Amelia Furunäs both from Sweden.
Since the beginning of the Tour, Team Santander has dominated the team competition by placing their best athletes at the top of the Champion ranking in both women and men categories. They possess a very important advance on the concurrence and are rolling quietly to a second victory. Behind Team BN Bank and Team United Bakeries are fighting closely for the second position with only three points more in favore of Team BN Bank.
Read more about Fiemme Rollerski Cup here
The full standing here