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28.01.2024

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DANCING WITCHES ON THE WALL

MARCIALONGA STRIKES THE SCANDINAVIAN

DANCING WITCHES ON THE WALL

News date19.10.2022

Growing enthusiasm for the 50th Marcialonga on Sunday January 29
Cascata uphill shortens and touches 20% gradient
Team Ragde Charge tested “Mur de la Stria” (Wall of the Witch)
50 editions of Marcialonga and 50 years for the legendary Anders Aukland

The 50th Marcialonga, the worldwide known ski-marathon of Val di Fiemme and Val di Fassa (Trentino, Italy), rears up and the final part is even more exciting. Nobody knows what will happen on the new and fascinating last uphill on Sunday January 29, not even the spirits of the witches hovering on the “Mur de la Stria” (a dialect name meaning Wall of the Witch).
The traditional Cascata uphill represents a climax, the perfect spot to catch the last acts, where grandparents, uncles and aunts take children to live Marcialonga’s true atmosphere. Here, many battles had happened: epic and crucial sprints until the finish line in Viale Mendini, Cavalese. Yet, in 2023 Cascata uphill shortens: from 2260m of the past editions to 1678m. Difference in height increases (from 146m to 148m), together as average gradient (from 6.50% to 8.80%) and maximum gradient (from 14.2% to 20%). Athletes are ‘double poling’ the bends and by the last two, there is the turning point to the mysterious “Mur de la Stria” uphill. Until last year the race could probably end as a photo finish thanks to the last sweet downhill, as of now, last pushes are fundamental to achieve glory.
Marcialonga has been representing a true and everlasting theatre for skiers from all over the world. Last September, Team Ragde Charge, during its summer training camp in Passo Lavazè, tested the new uphill on roller skis. The team leader, the legendary Anders Aukland was twice winner of Marcialonga in 2004 and 2008, also getting a second place in 2012 and 2015 and a third one in 2013. He just turned 50 and he has never stopped training due to his passion for cross-country skiing and its will to compete again in Pro Tour: “Marcialonga and Vasaloppet are our main goals. The last part of Marcialonga’s track has always been spectacular and this year is even better, I think the final sprint gives more possibilities. This new version is harder, even though shorter”. In order to celebrate his long and successful career, Marcialonga awarded him with the bib number 72 for life, representing his birth year.
The Norwegian Andreas Nygaard and Johan Hoel defined the new uphill as more ‘fair’ to the athletes: “This uphill is really hard, I like it despite it’s tough and steep – said Vasaloppet’s winner, Nygaard -, I like it because it’s more fair to the athletes, the last 200 meters could have been a little tricky before. I prefer this new ending because the stronger athlete is certainly winning”, Hoel agrees: “The final part is really fair now because the strongest athlete could be third, fourth of fifth and still could win in the last meters. We like this”. Oskar Kardin underlined the overwhelming beauty of the land: “It’s so nice to pass through the villages of Val di Fiemme and Val di Fassa, the atmosphere is always wonderful. I think this new uphill is interesting, I like the last 200 meters before the finish line. Marcialonga is amazing, I was on the podium and now I am trying to win”. Great enthusiasm too for the Swedish Jenny Larsson: “We like this uphill, it is intriguing. It’s easier to pass other athletes in the final part, there are more possibilities to win. We are definitely double poling, we’ve been doing it for several years now and women are getting every day better, competing is harder every year so we will see what happens”.
Marcialonga has already risen the bar, now it’s time for athletes to start dancing along with the witches of the wall, number one audience of this special edition.

 

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