CLAUT 2011 - Two days to go for the first race and the opening ceremony of the Claut Ski Mountaineering World Championship (IT)

Two days to go for the first race and the opening ceremony of the Claut Ski Mountaineering World Championship; twenty-one nations and over 250 participating athletes.

The activities are hectic; the trail supervisors are up in the mountains and on the tracks of the Piancavallo district to select the official trails that will assign the Olympic medals. The operational desk is taking care of managing and crediting the Nations represented in Claut.

The first teams will arrive in Valcellina on Thursday morning, while the rest of the World Championship participants are expected to arrive on Friday. The enrolled National Teams so far are twenty-one, though it is likely that other nations, such as Argentina, may sign up at the last minute.

Friuli Venezia Giulia, and more specifically the municipalities of Andreis, Barcis, Cimolais, Claut and Erto e Casso will host the national teams from France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Austria, Check Republic, Poland, Great Britain, Slovakia, China, United States, Norway, Bulgaria, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Portugal, Slovenia, Andorra, Greece and Germany. The nations that will, at least theoretically, compete for the gold medals are Spain, Switzerland, and France.

A crucial role is played by Italy and their managers Oscar Angeloni and Nicola Invernizzi who will have to try and bring home as many medals as possible. Managing to break the record number (twenty-three medals) of the last edition in Andorra will be a difficult task, though the Azzurri are improving their stamina and will be further motivated since they compete on home snow. As we look at the results in the latest World Cup results, Italy stands good chances to win medals in the Cadet and Espoir categories. In both categories the Italian team may boast two defending world champions in their respective classes, Gianluca Vanzetta and Michele Boscacci.

We should not forget, though, that for these two classes, also the runner-ups are Italian, namely, Federico Nicolini and Robert Antonioli. As regards the Junior class, the odds are all for Germany and the phenomenal Anton Palzer, while among the girls Alessandra Cazzanelli, the runner-up at the World Cup, is guaranteed to leave the mark.

Among senior athletes, the latest World Cup tests did not see an absolute champion, quite the opposite: the competition is as open as can be, in that the first leg was won by the Spaniard Kilian Jornet Burgada, the second by our own Matteo Eydallin and the last, held on the Veneto snows of the Alpago was dominated by the Swiss Martin Anthamatten, with the Spaniard coming second and the Italian athlete Eydallin came third. In the female category it seems as though Mireia Miro Varela after her win in Tambre, is in better shape than her French opponent Laetitia Roux, though the very technical tracks on Ressetum may give the advantage to the French athlete. The Swiss girls so far have completed the reserve positions and may be ready to make the most of the situation.

The Italian athletes Francesca Martinelli and Roberta Pedranzini, who will give their all in the team race, also stand a good chance for a medal. The last scheduled competition is the relay race, the teams will give their last to win the last available medals.

The teams’ line-up will be decided at the very last moment depending on the results from the week’s races. The odds are thus impossible to predict, and from Saturday we will be able to understand who are the likely outsiders for these Championship.

ATTACHMENT – LIST OF THE ATHLETES

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