Welcome to World Cup Windup, where we check in with the top-10 teams from last year’s FIS Cross Country World Cup tour before the season starts with the Ruka Triple in Kuusamo, Finland, on Nov. 24.
Overall in Nations Cup Last Year: Ninth
Women’s Ranking 2016/2017: Ninth
Men’s Ranking 2016/2017: Eighth
Federico Pellegrino, World Champion in the sprint and runner-up in the Sprint Cup; Dietmar Nöckler, who joined him for team sprint silver at World Championships and with one individual World Cup top-10; Francesco de Fabiani, with two top-tens in Tour de Ski stages; Ilaria Debertolis, top-30 in both the distance and sprint rankings and with two individual top-10’s.
Debora Agreiter announced on Facebook that she is taking a break from World Cup racing to focus on medical school. “Dear friends, fans and fans, I have made a decision to leave high-level sport and to embark on a new road.” She wrote, according to a translation. “I am also going to be very active in the future, doing what I have always loved, but I am putting sport on the second floor and I am dedicated to medical studies. I sincerely thank my family, who has always supported me and also supports me in this new experience. Thank you!” Agreiter finished 16th in the 30 k mass start at the 2014 Olympics
In pre-season racing in Davos, Giacomo Gabrielli and Stefan Zelger were third in fourth in a classic sprint while Ilaria Debertolis was fifth in both the women’s sprint and distance competitions; Giandomenico Salvadori was fourth in the men’s distance race.
In a sprint time trial even before that, Federico Pellegrino finished second behind Lucas Chanavat of France in qualifying but ended up third in the B-Final in the Kings Court style sprint heats.
Federico Pellegrino is raring to go for the World Cup season. “Now I can’t wait to leave for the north and for the first sprint of the season,” he told Fondo Italia. “In Kuusamo, I want to try to win.” He told SkiTime.it that he also will compete in the Tour de Ski (or at least part of it), unlike some other top World Cup skiers who have already said they will bow out. He will also compete in a few distance races during World Cup Period I.
One of the target races for the Italians is the team sprint in the Olympics, and Dietmar Nöckler has been focusing on this. “The preparation has been similar to the past years, although we have an eye on the Games,” he told Fondo Italia, according to a translation. “I have worked hard on skating, because the goal is to qualify for the Olympic team sprint team. This race could be very important for my career.”
Virginia de Martin Topranin made some summer training videos for the Sportful apparel company. “A roller skiing session is definitely less romantic than cross-country skiing in the midst of glistening snow crystals, since you have to deal with asphalt and cars, but I have to admit that reaching the top of a pass on those four wheels offers great satisfaction, and the view is the reward for the effort!” she wrote in the accompanying text.
Best Social Media Presence:
Francesco de Fabiani posts a lot of training and drone videos on his Facebook page. A recent video showed training on the Schnalstal glacier, with great skiing shots but also some beautiful landscapes and scenery.
Dietmar Nöckler consistently posts great training and racing photos on Instagram.
Hands-down the most prolific Instagrammer on the team, and with more followers than all except Pellegrino, is Continental Cup skier Alice Canclini. If you want a tour of how to be an athlete in Italy, follow her and go along for the ride.