Font Blanca will open the ISMF Ski Mountaineering World Cup season

Two events will take place next weekend in Andorra, one individual race and one vertical race 

A few days separate us from the the Ski Mountaineering World Cup opening weekend; on Saturday and Sunday the Andorran snow will see the best athletes in the world compete to win the first points assigned for the ISMF world circuit.
The Font Blanca Organising Committee is working tirelessly to deliver a world-class international event. Some of the ten national outfits in the competition have arrived in Andorra in the past few days, and the rest of the delegations should all reach their destinations by Thursday evening. The race programme will open officially on Friday evening, when the best athletes will be given their  shirt numbers in Ordino.
After the latest inspections Carlo Ferrari, alpine guide and Race Director of Font Blanca, officially unveiled the official itineraries. «A heavy snowfall came on the night of 6 January – told Ferrari – and even though the weather forecasts had announced 15 cm of snow, at the end of the precipitation the layer up at 2000 metres was in excess of half a meter. In the past few days the top layer of snow has been settling and I am confident that on race day the itinerary will be in perfect condition. Moreover, after a quick and light spell, good weather should be back starting on Thursday».
The Individual Race is scheduled for Saturday morning in Arcalis; the Senior athletes will compete on the original track, a total of 1750 meters in altitude difference spread over six uphill stretches. The itinerary is in spotless condition and breaks down into four technical sections that the athletes will cover on foot with the skis in their backpacks. As concerns Junior athletes, they will race on a shorter, though equally spectacular and entertaining, track. For Senior women and men alike the itinerary will feature 1490 meters in altitude difference. Finally, Junior girls will tackle 975 meters in altitude difference.

On Sunday morning the Vertical Race will start in Arinsal; the altitude difference will be 730 meters for Senior men and women and for Junior boys. Younger girls for the Junior class will compete on a shorter track with 465 meters in altitude difference.
All the top skiers will be in Andorra, including the Italian Overall World Cup winner Damiano Lenzi, who is not in tip-top shape because of some back pain, and the French ace Laetitia Roux, who dominated the 2015 national championship and is determined to give her all against a feisty Emelie Forsberg.

The line up will also include French athlete William Bon Mardion (winner of the Individual World Cup title) and latest French champion for this specific discipline, Robert Antonioli from Italy (winner of the Sprint World Cup title), the Spaniard Kilian Jornet Burgada (winner of the Vertical World Cup title) and German Anton Palzer, who since the start of the season has proven to be in spectacular form. Among the outsiders, Matteo Eydallin and Michele Boscacci from Italy will compete against French athlete Xavier Gachet. Last weekend Michele Boscacci dominated the Italian championship and has certainly come to Andorra to end in the top positions.
As regards the female side of the event Laetitia Roux will be in good company at the starting line, with the likes of Axelle Mollaret, the Swiss ace Jennifer Fiechter, Emelie Forsberg from Sweden, the Spaniard Marta Riba Carlos and Victoria Kreuzer, from Switzerland.


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