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    FAVOURITES FOR THE 43RD DOLOMITENLAUF RACE


    This coming Sunday 22 January, the Dolomitenlauf race will be taking place for the 43rd time. Austria’s oldest cross-country skiing race will see amateurs from 25 nations taking to the starting line along with global elite marathon skiers who will be battling it out for FIS World Cup points at the Nordic Centre in Obertilliach. They include World Cup winners, Olympic medal winners and title-holders. The top six men from the last FIS Worldloppet will also be heading to Obertilliach!

     Dreamy winter weather with sunshine awaits skiers over the weekend of cross-country in East Tyrol which will cover some 400 km of cross-country trails. The trails around the Obertilliach cross-country and biathlon centre in the Lesachtal valley have now been prepared.

     The starting shots for the 43rd Dolomitenlauf will be fired this coming Sunday at 10:00 at approx. 1,450m above sea level in pleasant temperatures, with the Dolomites Classic Race (42/21km) taking place the day beforehand using the classic technique. The Dolomitenlauf is a founding member of the global Worldloppet and both the Dolomitenlauf and Classic Race count towards it. The Dolomitenlauf race involves use of the freestyle technique and also offers points for the FIS Worldloppet Cup – the World Cup for marathon skiers. As a result, top international skiers will be flocking to East Tyrol for the first of the seven global races.

     The route

    The routes for the Dolomitenlauf races are identical to last year at 42 and 21 km. For the long distance race, participants complete two long and two short circuits and twice pass by the finishing stadium at the Obertilliach Nordic centre where biathlon icon Ole Einar Bjoerndalen has trained for many years. A total of 270m of ascents over the 42 km await. The highest point is located at 1,415m above sea level and the lowest point on the route at 1,285m above sea level.

     Favourites for the Dolomitenlauf race

    According to La Foulee Blanche in France, the warm-up to the FIS Worldloppet Cup, the international competition season will begin at the weekend with the 43rd Dolomitenlauf in East Tyrol. “The favourites will be flocking to the starting line and we are excited to see who is the strongest this year,” says organiser Franz Theurl. The ‘Red Group’ brings together the crème de la crème of top international skiers. “Only the Vasalopp usually has a comparable starting field. We have last year’s top six FIS Worldloppet skiers here with us,” Theurl explains. Swiss skier Toni Livers is the favourite to win the Dolomitenlauf: last year, he topped the overall rankings for the FIS Worldloppet Cup and recently came 20th in the Tour de Ski. The World Cup winner has also already won the Dolomitenlauf in 2015.

     World marathon elite in Obertilliach

    Alongside Livers, the entire podium from the last marathon winter will be attending: last year’s overall runner up and last year’s winner Bastien Poirrier from France plus overall third place skier Candide Pralong from France. Frenchman Ivan Perrillat-Boiteux is also a top skier, having won an Olympic medal in Sochi and secured overall fourth place in the FIS rankings last season. The French skier Benoit Chauvet and of course the strong Italian skier Sergio Bonaldi also have a good chance of getting on the winner’s rostrum. The excellent marathon skier and sprinter ran the Dolomitenlauf in 2013 and came ninth in the FIS Wordloppet Cup 2015/16. The French skier and last year’s Dolomitenlauf third place Loic Guigonnet (8th overall FIS Worldloppet Cup 2016) also wants a place on the podium. And Austria’s hope is Thomas Zlöbel of the Atomic Racing Team. Austria’s best marathon skier came 76th in the FIS Worldloppet Cup last year.


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