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35th edition of the Skiri Trophy XCountry today in Val di Fiemme (ITA)
Nives Baricevac and Matija Stimac: Croatian supremacy in the “baby” race
Spain’s Peio Anarbe first in the “cuccioli” race,
a good race also for Aurora Giraudo from Cuneo
Kinder+Sport “Joy of Moving” world project in Lago di Tesero with its own stand

It was forecast to be stormy today in Val di Fiemme (ITA), but the children of Skiri Trophy XCountry brought sun and joy to the XC Stadium in Lago di Tesero, in the first of two spectacular days of races with the competitors of the 35th edition.

The “Gruppo Sportivo Castello” organized a real “little world championship” reserved to young skiers, a real parade of nations and colours that reminds parents and fans of how important it is to bring their children to practise sport, whatever it may be. Kinder + Sport’s initiative “Joy of Moving” – a worldwide project involving 28 countries – is also based on these precepts. It was present in the “cradle of Nordic skiing” with a special play area where children could take part in a full range of activities, from football to tennis, and also in small athletic gestures. The tracks are the same that a few days ago hosted the cross-country skiers of Tour de Ski and Nordic Combined World Cup, therefore practically in perfect condition; the sunny day and the good temperatures for cross-country skiing have completed this special day, with many athletes coming from the near Croatia and Slovenia, but also from the town of Vitoria in the “Paìs Vasco”, certainly not round the corner.

The importance of individual victories is not the main piece of news in these cases. Enjoying training in the open air and dreaming, who knows, to enter one day in their respective national teams is probably the real piece of news.

The first race has seen the female “baby” skiers compete on the snows of Lago di Tesero, and two Croatian athletes were able to arrive in first and second place, with Nives Baricevac faster than her teammate Paola Zivanovic (both of the Ski Association PGZ), while in third place arrived Giada Ravera from Cuneo (S.C. Alpi Marittime). Another Croatian won the male “baby” event with another Croatian-Cuneo duel: Matija Stimac (Ski Association PGZ) who came ahead of Giacomo Barale (S. C. Valle Stura) by just a nose, third place for Boris Stefancic, also from the Balkan peninsula.

Cuneo won it back some time later in the female “cuccioli” race, with Aurora Giraudo faster than Carlotta Gautero, while in third place came Slovenia’s Mina Repe (SD Gorje). Spain’s Peio Anarbe of Vitoria in Paìs Vasco continued the parade of colours and nations being able to win ahead of Riccardo Giuliano from Cuneo (Ski Avis Borgo – Libertas) and Federico Pozzi from Valtellina. They are very young but already aware skiers: “I’m very happy with my result, the snow here is wonderful”, said the little Basque, “We have come a long way but it was worth it”, said the very young Croatia’s Zivanovic and Baricevac.

Then there are the competitors of the Revival event in the early afternoon, athletes who participated to the event in the past. Tiziano Conti, the athlete from Tesero, won: “Two years ago I took part in the first Revival event, today I’ve won so I’m proud, these races are made to have fun. Every day I come here to practice so I know the track well”, ahead of the Croatian Fran Vukonic: “I’m happy with my performance, it was my first time in the Revival category, the track was perfect and the organization exemplary, as always”. The cross-country skier Matteo Betta from Cavalese came in third place: “This is the second time in a row at the Revival event, the tracks of Lago are always very tough”. Alan Martinelli, the 4th, was thought to arrive among the first three and is an excellent cross-country skier with a remarkable past: “I’ve broken a stick and this has penalized me, Val di Fiemme is always Val di Fiemme and it’s a pleasure to come back”.

Among the ladies of the Revival event, the first was so surprised to have conquered her position, Lea Demetz: “I couldn’t be happier”. The second was Judith Moroder and the third was Roberta Tarter, also known for being the first Italian woman in the ranking list of Marcialonga in the last years.

To conclude, here is a comment by the coordinator of the organizing committee, Nicoletta Nones, who won the Allievi category in 1985: “This first day went very well”, states the niece of Franco Nones, the first Italian Olympic gold medallist in the history of cross-country skiing, “it was a sunny day and the children were all happy, there wasn’t any problem at all. Tomorrow it will be another beautiful day. About ten nations and over 1,000 competitors, with many entries at the last minute, even 40,000 competitors in 35 years of Skiri Trophy, a great achievement for the G.S. Castello. We are happy also because of the big crowd and the Kinder village”.

Tomorrow there will be the “Ragazzi” and “Allievi” races and you will have the possibility to follow the event organized by Gruppo Sportivo Castello on their Facebook and Instagram profiles, where you can also watch live the event and find updated information of the races. Start at 9.30 a.m.

The final results are available on line here.

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