News date27.01.2019

7.500 athletes in the 46th Marcialonga of Fiemme and Fassa of 70 km
Petter Eliassen from the start to the finish: Team Ragde behind the Norwegian
Britta Johansson Norgren won ahead of Lina Korsgren and Astrid Slind
Zorzi, Chechi, Bettini and Rossi in a relay to support the Milan-Cortina 2026 Olympic bid

Petter Eliassen is not just a character: he doesn't rejoice raising his arms and seems almost frightened by the spotlight. Petter Eliassen is much more: he's a silent workhorse who rolls up his sleeves, a bit like the people of Fiemme and Fassa who have been able to organise all the 70 km of Marcialonga after the violent hurricane that destroyed trees, bridges and connecting lines in Trentino few months ago. Besides the victory of the shy Norwegian (only in front of the journalists...), this is the real success of the 46th edition of Marcialonga. In the ladies’ race Britta Johansson Norgren crossed the finish line alone ahead of Lina Korsgren and Astrid Slind; the Swede is really a force of nature. At the start there were 7,500 cross-country skiers including 'champions' and 'bisonti' (as amateurs are called at Marcialonga). The temperature was around zero. Marcialonga Light 45 km was won by Sergey Spirin and Karolina Bicova.
Eliassen took 2 hours and 45 minutes to win ahead of the Team Ragde athletes Andreas Nygaard and Oskar Kardin. And where is Tord Asle Gjerdalen? He came fourth wearing the bib 4 and missing the poker of victories at the Marcialonga, which is usually 'his' race. Last season the long-distance challenge Visma Ski Classics lost one of its best athletes ever: Eliassen announced his retirement after a clear dominance: "I want to bet on myself - or on nothing," he said, in a sort of investment in himself for the future: "I've been training at high altitude in the last ten days. I've tried to save energy for Marcialonga, eating a lot and staying focused. In the last few kilometres I realized that the group behind me was beginning to close the gap. So I started to push harder. I’m studying physiotherapy: I had a one-year stop because I decided to focus on studies. I was also working in the hospital and it would have been too much if I had even taken part in races”. His young children keep him almost busier than the other Ski Classics cross-country competitors. After the start of the race from Moena, the "Fairy of the Dolomites", Eliassen seemed destined to be in the grip of Gjerdalen's Team Ragde, but he was leading all alone and accelerated on the decisive climb of Cascata. The Norwegian with the Ray-Bans was beaten also by his teammates of Team Ragde Andreas Nygaard: "My best Marcialonga ever", and Oskar Kardin: "I tried to keep the pace of Eliassen throughout the race but he was the strongest". Tord Asle Gjerdalen also gave his verdict: "I had no energies on the Cascata climb. Eliassen was unstoppable”.
Among the ladies, Britta Johansson Norgren was the hero of an epic race: "Today it was incredible, I felt very good. My tactics were to accelerate and to slow down again and again. At the beginning I tried to go as fast as possible. When the first group of men overtook me, I slowed down slightly while waiting for the next group". Nothing left for a very good Lina Korsgren: "It was incredible to take part in such an event", third Astrid Slind: "A lot of people cheered us along the track and the trail through the villages was very nice". The 'Lampogas Final Climb' was won by Eliassen ahead of Nygaard and Chernousov, the winner of last year's edition who this time came 18th. The 'Vuerich last kilometre' was once again won by Eliassen ahead of Nygaard. The Ladies' Final Climb was won by Smutna ahead of Norgren and Korsgren while the last kilometre was won by Korsgren ahead of Graefnings and Norgren. The cross-country skiers "of the past" would be surprised to see the exploits of today’s athletes, who push in double poling holding the rest of the body almost steady in "egg" position to balance the weight. Every "decade" in the sports history has its own evolution, as stated by the Olympic champion Cristian Zorzi. He crossed the finish line with the other Olympic Champions Jury Chechi, Paolo Bettini and Antonio Rossi, "all together" to support the Milan-Cortina 2026 Olympic bid. The cross-country skier ‘Zorro’ Zorzi started from Moena “taking” the 'Grillo' Bettini in Canazei, while Rossi waited for the two champions in Predazzo. The 'Lord of the Rings' Chechi - it was his first time on narrow skis - joined his friends in Molina di Fiemme. The foursome crossed the finish line smiling and showing a banner that promoted the Milan-Cortina bid for the 2026 Olympics. After the race they said: "We ‘pushed’ to finish this Marcialonga and to support the Olympic bid, so let’s hope for the best". The last competitor of Marcialonga is now awaited at the finish; as always he will be celebrated as if he were the first.

© Newspower

Download TV images:

70 km Men
1. ELIASSEN Petter Norway 02:45:54:9; 2. NYGAARD Andreas Norway 02:46:25:6; 3. KARDIN Oskar Sweden 02:46:40:3; 4. GJERDALEN Tord Asle Norway 02:47:10:0; 5. AUKLAND Anders Norway 02:47:14:6; 6. BERDAL Tore Bjoerseth Norway 02:47:20:4; 7. JEANNEROD Alexis France 02:47:34:4; 8. HOLMBERG Andreas Sweden 02:47:37:8; 9. LUUSUA Ari Finland 02:47:51:6; 10. PERSSON Emil Sweden 02:48:05:7

70 km Ladies
1. NORGREN Britta Johansson Sweden 03:11:17:9; 2. KORSGREN Lina Sweden 03:12:37:6; 3. SLIND Astrid Oeyre Norway 03:13:49:4; 4. SMUTNA Katerina Czech Republic 03:15:05:6; 5. KOWALCZYK Justyna Team Trentino Robinson Trainer 03:20:55:7; 6. GJEITNES Kari Vikhagen Norway 03:22:33:8; 7. MOHLIN Elin Sweden 03:23:31:1; 8. ELEBRO Sofie Sweden 03:24:03:8; 9. GRAEFNINGS Maria Sweden 03:25:35:7; 10. MELINA Viktoria Russia 03:25:49:5

45 km Men
1. SPIRIN Sergey Team Futura 01:59:28:3; 2. CERUTTI Lorenzo Team Trentino Robinson Trainer 02:03:19:9; 3. BARANNIKOV Aleksey Russia 02:03:31:6; 4. SANDOZ Daniel Svizzera 02:11:33:0; 5. PAVEK Martin Czech Republic 02:12:56:5; 6. ASKLOF Henrik Finland 02:17:17:0; 7. SORMANI Innocente S.C. Comunita' Montana Valsassina 02:20:28:4; 8. PIERAZZI Sandro S.S. Frassinoro 02:22:59:0; 9. MAENPAA Robin Finland 02:23:59:3; 10. PIERAZZI Gabriele S.S. Frassinoro 02:25:06:8

45 km Ladies
1. BICOVA Karolina Czech Republic 02:28:10:3; 2. DA ROS Alessandra Vasabroke Poiana 02:32:42:3; 3. ROSA Deborah Gsa Asiago 02:32:44:2; 4. TUZILOVA Tereza Czech Republic 02:40:05:1; 5. MAENPAA Ida Finland 02:40:40:0; 6. BOLZAN Lisa S.C. Orsago 02:41:02:1; 7. BOLZAN Anna S.C. Orsago 02:43:05:1; 8. BERI Paola Agonistica Valsassina 02:44:19:2; 9. PILLER Caterina Team Trentino Robinson Trainer 02:45:45:9; 10. GIACOMETTI Sofia S.C. Ledrense 02:58:03:3


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