Three races in a weekend, in the name of great numbers. The snows of Pontedilegno-Tonale are ready to host the opening of the 2021/2022 Ski Mountaineering World Cup, which returns to the Lombard location after last year's success.
The dates to be marked on the calendar are those of 16, 17 and 19 December, with three tests scheduled. On Thursday 16 December it will be the turn of the sprint, which registered 131 registrations, while 148 are the athletes who have sent their registration for the Vertical Race on Friday 17, with the closing entrusted to the Individual Race on Sunday 19, strong of 158 skialper expected on the tapes. of departure.
In total, 19 nations are represented in the starting lists, confirming - together with the considerable numbers of subscribers - the great appreciation enjoyed by both the location and the organizational skills of the Adamello Ski Team, demonstrated several times in the various editions of the Adamello Ski Raid and the Italian Championships hosted in past seasons.
The media attention that the event will enjoy will be even greater than in the past, after the inclusion of the discipline in the Olympic program, with the debut set for the Milan-Cortina 2026 Games.
The sprint on Thursday 16 December will be held in Pontedilegno with qualifications starting from 16 and the men's final at 20, while on the afternoon of Friday 17 December (2.30 pm), again in Pontedilegno, the Vertical race will be held, preceding the rest day on Saturday, ideal for recharging the batteries in view of the grand finale, the individual race to be held at Passo Tonale and Presena glacier with start at 9.30.
This year, unlike twelve months ago, there will be three races scheduled, with the addition of the individual test. In 2020, the sprint crowned the Frenchman Thibaut Anselmet, first in front of the Swiss Arno Lietha and the Valtellina Robert Antonioli, who at the end of the season won the fourth absolute World Cup of his glittering career. It was a Swiss victory in the women's sprint, which crowned Marianne Fatton, accompanied on the podium on the occasion by the Spanish Marta Garcia Farres and the French Lena Bonnel, followed by the two blue ones Mara Martini and Giulia Murada.
In the Vertical Race, on the other hand, there was the sharp surprise of Federico Nicolini from Trentino, who achieved his first success in the World Cup, preceding the other three Italians Robert Antonioli, Davide Magnini and Michele Boscacci, with the French Anselmet. fifth, while the women's race was won by the transalpine Axelle Gachet Mollaret, followed in the standings by the Swedish Tove Alexandersson, the Swiss Victoria Kreuzer and Ilaria Veronese.
The holders of the crystal ball are Robert Antonioli and Axelle Gachet Mollaret, who in the opening stage of Pontedilegno-Tonale will want to start on the right foot, with the aim of trying to reconfirm. For the men, Italy has won the last eight editions of the World Cup, twice with Damiano Lenzi, as many with Michele Boscacci and four four with Antonioli.
For women, on the other hand, Mollaret achieved the second affirmation of her career last year, succeeding the Swiss Marianne Fatton in the roll of honor. An Italian success has been missing since 2010, when Roberta Pedranzini triumphed.