FIS delegates visit Val di Fiemme and 'inspect' 2014 Tour de Ski finals
Lago di Tesero and Alpe Cermis to house the last races of the World Cup series
New format on Saturday: 5 and 10 k individual start CT instead of Mass Start
Val di Fiemme fully booked: Winter Universiade, Tour de Ski and Junior & U23 World Ski Championships
The idea came from Jürg Capol e Vegard Ulvang while having some relaxing time in a sauna: 'Why don't we put on a super-series and thrill a little the cross-country environment?'
The first ever FIS Tour de Ski made its appearance in 2007 and Val di Fiemme was immediately chosen as the eventual leg. Tremendously spectacular and unbelievably demanding: here is the unique Final Climb along the Alpe Cermis uphill.
Since then, Tour de Ski closes every year in Val di Fiemme, and so it will at least until 2017. The 2014 running will take place on January 4 and 5 (the series is to start in Oberhof on December 28, 2013). Val di Fiemme becomes the only place to have always hosted the World Cup multi-stage event since its birth.
FIS Race Director Pierre Mignerey and Event Coordinator Sandra Spitz visited Val di Fiemme yesterday and Fiemme OC General Secretary Angelo Corradini welcomed them for the FIS Inspection. 'As I can see, the OC hasn't changed from last season's – said Spitz on the spot – and this certainly reassures us'.
There was not actually much to inspect in Val di Fiemme yesterday. Same 5k long track used during the 2013 World Championships, same venues, and, as said, same OC. Notwithstanding all this, something is about to change in next year's Val di Fiemme TDS legs. Saturday's race won't be the 'boring-sort-of' Mass Start event any more, but a 5k (women) and 10k (men) Individual Start in classic technique. On Sunday, the Final Climb will kick off at 1.30pm and 3pm (women's and men's respectively), while the Rampa con i Campioni promotional race will take place at 10 in the morning.
The 2013/2014 season will be a tough one for Val di Fiemme as the alpine valley will be housing all the cross country, ski jumping, nordic combined and biathlon competitions of the next Winter Universiade (mid-December 2013), plus the FIS Nordic Junior & U23 World Ski Championships between January and February 2014. Other than the Tour de Ski finals, of course! And the Rollerski World Cup is just behind the corner in summer 2014, as pre World Championships in view of the 2015 World event in Val di Fiemme.