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ANTONELLA CONFORTOLA: EXPERIENCE AND ADVICE ON MARCIALONGA

The interview with a champion

ANTONELLA CONFORTOLA: EXPERIENCE AND ADVICE ON MARCIALONGA

News date20.12.2016

We met Antonella Confortola and we have asked her some advice about Marcialonga. You can be sure to receive good tips and thoughts by Antonella, a great cross-country skiing champion. She took part in 4 editions of Winter Olympic Games (bronze medal in the Relay Torino 2006) and in six editions of Nordic Ski World Championships (silver medal in Ramsau 1999 and bronze medal in Oberstdorf 2005). She participated also eight times in Marcialonga and in many other Wordloppet races.

Antonella Confortola 


Antonella, you raced eight time Marcialonga. To which edition do you have the most emotional connection?
The 2004 edition, when Marcialonga was a stage of the World Cup. I was racing really good and I thought I could behave pretty well. I really wanted to do it well because I was at home! But I was not prepared enough for this distance; I remember to have passed Moena, next to the start, thinking that the first part of the race was passed by fast and that I was feeling very good. Few minutes later, in Predazzo, I felt my arms empty, without any force. When I passed through Ziano di Fiemme, my village, I was in total crisis… I wanted to take off the skis and go straight home. But I held on and I crossed the finish line with a great satisfaction. The following week, few days later the big crisis, I raced really fast in the World Cup stage in La Clusaz: I stand on the second step of the podium and I finished in the top ten in the next race!

Training, material test, relax: what do you do the day before Marcialonga?
The day before Marcialonga passes so quickly: the materials test and the choice of the skis, a quiet skiing, the study of some particular sections of the course, the bib collection, the preparation of the skis and of the suppliers, some exchange of opinions with other participants… it is already evening. I go to bed early, ready to wake up at dawn (or even before!)

Is there any tactic to follow during the race?
You are supposed to face the first part in an “energy saving” mode, going slower and taking beverages and energetic suppliers. The sparingly resources and a correct nutrition allow you to face faster the second part, increasing the rhythm in the last part. But, actually, I never succeeded. The first part of the race, especially the uphill to Canazei, is right for me. I have always pushed hard to exploit my favorable terrain and I did not take the time to drink and eat enough to have more energy later…

What are your sensations before, during and after the race?
Before the race there is tension and a positive nervousness. During the race you feel fatigue but also happy and with a feeling of fraternity with the other skiers who are sharing your same emotions. After the race you feel a deep great satisfaction to have made it and to have crossed the finish line after so many kilometers. The last kilometer, across the houses with so many people supporting you, is really exciting.

Sport means passion and commitment. After so many years of activity is it still possible to get emotions from sport and to find the right motivation to do it?
I believe it is. I can say this on the bases of my own experience: after many years I still love sport and I continue to find the right motivation. Years go by and goals change, as well as the competitions and the targets that I set to myself, so that I can always find interests and committed in what I do… and the feeling is always the same!

What advice do you have for the skiers who will take part in Marcialonga for the first time?
I recommend to start easy, to find the time to live the special Marcialonga atmosphere, taking a look around and enjoying the cheering in the villages and along all the course. 

You have such good advice for facing Marcialonga at best.
The next Tuesday we will speak about sport % nutrition. See you soon  

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