Val Martello (BZ) will be hosting the third stage of the Scarpa ISMF World Cup, on Saturday and Sunday: the Individual Race and the Sprint Race.
Everything is ready for the third World Cup challenge that will take place on Saturday and Sunday on the snow of Val Martello, just a few miles from Merano (BZ). Over the last few days, the last snowfall have given Val Martello a wintery look, the ideal setting for the white circus of the World Cup.
The calendar will open on Friday at 06.30 pm at the “Casa Culturale” of Martello, where the athletes who will be racing on Saturday and Sunday will show up for a parade.
About one hundred athletes are expected to reach Martello from 12 different countries, divided into Senior and Junior categories. All the winners of the Verbier World Cup, Robert Antonioli, Kilian Jornet Burgada, Damiano Lenzi, Seppi Rottmoser, Xavier Gachet, Laetitia Roux, Axelle Mollaret Jennifer Fiechter and Marta Garcia Farres, will be there. Sadly, the German Anton Palzer will not be at the starting line as he got a knee injury at the Sprint race in Verbier.
The challenges that qualify for the World Cup include the Individual Race, starting on Saturday morning, and the Sprint Race held at Centro Biathlon of Martello on Sunday.
According to international rules, the lanes for the Individual challenge that venture into the outstanding Stelvio park as far as the glacier under the Marmotta will be different, depending on each category. The Senior and Espoir categories will cover a 15-km track, with a total uphill gradient of 1677 metres. The athletes will have to cope with four uphill and three downhill lanes plus two stretches they will have to walk with their skis in the rucksack.
The Senior women and Junior categories will have to cover a shorter track, about ten km long, with a 1280 metres’ gradient. Once again, there will be three uphill stretches, two downhill stretches, and one trek.
As to the situation of the World Cup, let’s look at the Individual Race list, with the Italian Davide Magnini and Giulia Compagnoni in the Junior category with 180 points each, followed by the French Simon Bellabouvier, Valentino Bacca, Alba De Silvestro and Sophie Mollard. In the Espoir category, Anton Palzer and Axelle Mollaret are top of the list, both with 200 points.
The French Xavier Gachet and Laetitia Roux are temporarily at the top of the Senior list with 160 and 200 points, respectively. Anton Palzer and William Bon Mardion come second and third. In the women’s category, Axelle Mollaret is second, while the Swiss Jennifer Fiechter is third.
In the Sprint Race, Simon Bellabouvier and Giulia Compagnoni are at the top of the Junior list, with Nicolò Canclini and Pietro Canclini as the virtual winners. Alba De Silvestro and Adele Milloz are second and third in the women’s list. In the Espoir category, we find, as usual, Anton Palzer and Axelle Mollaret.
The French Laetitia Roux and Robert Antonioli lead the Senior category with 100 points each. For the time being, the top positions in the men’s category are held by Anton Palzer and Josef Rottmoser. Valentine Fabre and Claudia Galicia Cotrina are second and third in the women’s category.
Surrounded by the Stelvio Park, Val Martello is one of the finest side valleys in Val Venosta. It rises from 950 m to the Cevedale glacier at 3769 m. Here, man can find all he needs to recharge his batteries for everyday life, such as peace, pure mountain air, an uncontaminated nature and unique wildlife. This is trekkers’ heaven, with a multitude of tracks running through the valley, scenic routes up the mountains, and breath-taking views on the Ortles ridge. With its crops 900 to 1,800 above sea level, Val Martello is one of Europe’s most important producers of mountain strawberries as well as many other fruits and vegetables.