Perfect conditions for the vertical and individual races.
The next weekend, in Andorra, during the “Font Blanca” the ISMF ski mountaineering World Cup is to officially open. Many athletes, including Kilian Jornet Burgada and most of the Spanish team, have been in Andorra for several days to familiarize with the racecourse. Over one hundred athletes representing ten nations will compete for the first points available for the 2012 World Cup.
According to the race programme the vertical race is to take place on Saturday, while on Sunday it will be the turn of the individual challenge.
In the Andorran mountains, more precisely the Arinsal skiing area, abundant snowfalls have allowed to duly prepare the racecourses as early as in December; regrettably, the wind spells that swept the area over the last few weeks forced the organizers to change some stretches because of ice hazard.
The vertical race is to start on Saturday at 9.30 am; the Senior category will start at the foot of the ski lift and the total difference in altitude will amount to 950 meters; the women’s race is to take place on a shorter 580 m altitude difference since the race will start at higher altitude. The recourse for the men’s challenge will be almost five kilometres, while for women it will be two and a half kilometres.
The vertical will take place also on the ski slopes and thus it will be very easy for mountaineering fans to reach the location, with or without their skis, and see the best athletes in this sport compete before them.
Sunday morning (at 9.10) it is the turn of the individual race, open to the Junior and Cadet categories. The racecourse is comprised of five uphill (and five downhill) stretches for a total positive difference in altitude of 1721 meters. The third uphill stretch includes two foot parts to be done with the skis in the backpack. The youth categories are to race their first World Cup challenge on a reduced racecourse.
«Let the World Cup finally begin» said Armando Mariotta. «After so much hard work – continued the President of the ISMF – we are ready for this first challenge. Managing this first competition season is not an easy task, the World Cup circuit is experiencing deep and radical changes that will be finalized with the 2013 tests. We are going through a transition phase that will turn out to be useful to fine-tune our new international format».
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