A stage of 3 competitions requires 100 people and a budget of 100.000 euro

MILAN – A bunch of races to go, still a lot of work to do. The ISMF World Cup is approaching the end of the season next week in Mondolé, Italy, while the LDT Grande Course are staging big emotions over the Alps. But behind the athletes and above their records and performances, there are other hard working people, preparing the champions’ terrain.

They are the peaceful “army” of the organizing committees, involved in hosting races and events. Volunteers as for mission, professional by action. They care about the security of the people and the safety of the athletes. They have to deal with any sort of meteo, and they have to cope with any surprise.

«The work behind the scene of a race is silent and essential for the development of any event», says Armando Mariotta , ISMF president. This year has been peculiar with lack of snow at the beginning, and high temperature all over the season. After Font Blanca, Valtellina – Orobie, Alpinski with the European Champs and Transcavallo, now it is the time of Mondolé Ski Alp, North – Western Italy.
«Thanks to the special climate of this valley, we are usually lucky with stable snow also late in the season», says Giorgio Colombo president of the organizing committee. On the average, there are almost 100 people working for a Skimo World Cup weekend of three races. Considering also the cost of helicopters and snowmobiles, if those people were not volunteers, the budget of such races would easily get higher than 100.000 euro.

«Figures and numbers are different compared to Alpine skiing. Priorities and requirements are very similar, though», adds ISMF vice president Marco Mosso, who was in charge, earlier in February 2016, also of the organization of two Alpine skiing World Cup  races in La Thuile, Northern Italy. Among the priorities is the safety of both audience and racers

That is why the proximity of ski lifts is a main advantage. Fan and spectators can use them to reach good views alongside the race path.

«On the one hand, the Individual race is the more demanding competition to set up, because it involves high altitude track that must be secured and constantly monitored», adds Colombo, «The Vertical race is, on the other hand, among the most spectacular, especially when athletes “climb” faster than lifts!».
This is, usually, the audience’s most favourite competition that can gather up to 2.000 people, which means a great economical revenue for the location, not only during the World Cup, but also all over the year. The second priority is flexibility in order to adapt promptly to meteo, wind, fog and snow conditions. «We must be ready with a “Plan B”, and sometimes a “Plan C”, too – explains president Colombo -: if the situation requires, we have to switch our mind and adapt. Fast and precise».

Lucia Galli
ISMF International Ski mountaineering Federation
Federal press office

In the women race Laetitia Roux completed her comeback over Jennifer Fiechter. After several seasons the Valtellina Orobie is back among the great worldwide ski mountaineering events as second appointment of the 2016 ISMF World Cup. The 30th edition featured an unusual start and finish to be crossed on foot. The athletes of the individual event have had to prove their worth on a track with 1750 m of positive altitude difference, 5 uphill stretches, 5 slopes, 11 set-up changes, open ridges and spectacular downhill chase-downs. The little snow that fell so far this winter had made these parts all the more athletically challenging. On his home mountains Michele Boscacci has attempted since the very start to win the race; he lived the dream and gave hope to his fans for three quarters of the race, before Kilian Jornet caught up and got the better of him. After a spectacular head-to-head, the two came together at the finish line in Campelli, a few kilometres from Albosaggia. The winner was declared by photo finish and then using the chip. Jornet finished the race in 1h, 35’28”609, Boscacci in 1h 35’28”690. Anton Palzer, the first among the Espoir, came third in 1h 35’56”, followed by a steadily and progressively growing Robert Antonioli. The top ten also included Xavier Gachet (FRA), Valentin Favre (FRA), Mathéo Jacquemoud (FRA), Martin Anthamatten (SUI), Matteo Eydallin and Alexis Sevennec (FRA). The women – and junior men – race comprised 4 uphill and as many downhill stretches (1315 D+ 1315D-). As for the women the French Laetitia Roux got her first success. The queen of ski mountaineering was restored to her throne ending the race first in 1h 42’30” before her Swiss rival Jennifer Fiechter - 1h 44’59” – and the Swede Emelie Forsberg – 1h 46’51”. Worth reporting is that Forsberg lost the second place after a time penalty: incorrect position of her skis in the bag. The Spaniard Claudia Galicia finished fourth before the azzurra Katia Tomatis; then, Valentine (France), Martina Valmassoi (Italy), Mireia Mirò and Marta Garcia (Spain) and the young – and first among the Espoir – Alba De Silvestro (Italy). In the Junior race Italy conquered the first two spots with Davide Magnini e Giulia Compagnoni; after 3 uphill and 3 downhill stretches (990 D+ 990 D-), the podium was completed by Lena Bonnel (France) and the local favourite Giulia Murada. As regards the men podium, the French Samuel Equy finished second and Nicolò Canclini won the bronze medal. Tomorrow the World Cup circus will be back on track at the Centro Sportivo Caspoggio with the Sprint event. Photo Gallery HD https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0Bxbuxds-oXM6aENMQ0FIa3E3U2c&usp=sharing Online on ISMF website : http://ismf-ski.org/www/content/races-result?id=152 All the ISMF World Cup rankings are online on http://ismf-ski.org/ismf2011/rankings.php