Event date16.01.2020Time00:00

47th edition of Marcialonga of Fiemme and Fassa on 26th January
Two world-class champions will take part in the competition
Cologna from the FIS Cross-Country World Cup to the long-distance races, Northug to get back in the game
The Visma Ski Classics race with other champions at the start

The 70km competition with the two champions will take place on 26th January in Val di Fiemme and Fassa. The Swiss Italian skier Dario Cologna, born on 11th March 1986, 179cm and 74kg, also called “SuperDario”, will compete against the Norwegian Petter Northug, born on 6th January 1986, 185cm and 82km (so it seems…), also called “Jantelov” or “Thug”. These two great champions, two cross-country skiing legends, have chosen Marcialonga of Fiemme and Fassa to compete once again against each other, the first wearing the colours of Team COOP Norway, the second as “Marcialonga Ambassador” together with the Visma Ski Classics champions that usually take part in long-distance races. Cologna will leave the FIS Cross-Country World Cup on that weekend, while Northug is sweating (not a euphemism…) to get in good shape after he retired. Both have had a great career, but the two champions are very different: the Swiss (father from Trentino and mother from South Tyrol), who speaks Ladin, is quiet and reserved, while the Norwegian is exuberant, grumpy, the Zlatan Ibrahimovic of cross-country skiing. Northug witnesses the 'Law of Jante' (Norwegian: Janteloven). After retiring from the World Cup races (84 World Cup podiums, 13 world gold medals, 2 Olympic gold medals), the most talked-about champion of the cross-country skiing world will be back in the spotlight, taking part in the next Marcialonga of Fiemme and Fassa. He said that he had two goals this year, Marcialonga and Vasaloppet. He will be a Marcialonga Ambassador thanks to the good relations with COOP Norway, Marcialonga's main commercial partner.
The 34-year-old Norwegian had participated in the Marcialonga in 2012 finishing tenth, and his presence will be a "blessing" for the journalists and the media which are overwhelmed by his "pearls" almost every day. There are rumours that in Norway they no longer have much to give readers since Petter retired. Klaebo is not so ‘talkative’... Since he retired, "Thug" has created a clothing line with his name, written a book "Min Historie", always offering many "tall tales" as when he said he dreamed of a holiday in Bali with Dorothea Wierer. But Petter Northug Jr.’s most incredible quirk is perhaps that among the models of his clothing line there is... Calle Halfvarsson! He was often Northug’s ‘victim’: "If Halfvarsson were to win I would retire" or "Why is he a cross-country skier?", just to quote some statements made by the Norwegian against the Sweden’s cross-country skier; Northug now ironically says he really loves that land. But thanks to his many victories and despite his "own style”, Petter Northug is one of the strongest cross-country skiers in history. And it's no coincidence that he is the idol of the strong Johannes Høsflot Klæbo, even though the two have two opposite personalities. Petter plans to launch his new line of glasses at Marcialonga.
Also Dario Cologna has had an incredible career (four Olympic gold medals, one world gold medal, four World Cup globes and even four Tour de Ski, a feat that Northug has never achieved). Rather than finding out who will triumph between the two, it will be interesting to have two world-class athletes at the start of Marcialonga of Fiemme and Fassa, confirming this race among the most coveted races by the best athletes in the world, even by those who have made and are still making history in cross-country skiing.
This time, the young Emil Persson – current Visma Ski Classics leader – will not only have to defend himself against Nygaard, Gjerdalen, chasing his fourth win, and Eliassen, winner in 2019. There will also be Cologna, who confirmed to take part in the race through the Team Coop, "I will race to win", and will also be the captain of the Team Coop with over 70 athletes at the start of the 47th Marcialonga. We can expect everything from Northug, for now he would like to be the mentor for the 1,493 Norwegians taking part in the race. He will certainly be the media star.
In the meantime, the organisers are completing the last kilometres of the course thanks to the snow-making systems, but they’re waiting for some snow to have a snowy landscape.

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