This year’s Seiser Alm Moonlight Classic is remarkable for the fact competitors come from far and wide: Germany, Sweden, Austria, the USA, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Portugal and, of course, Italy. This is attributed to the intense promotional work undertaken by the race’s organisation committee over the years. So far 200 skiers are signed up, but experience tells us that this number could double in the days leading up to the race.
The races will be accompanied by several other events: there’s Just for fun for those who want to take part without the stress of appearing in the final rankings, and the debut of the Moonlight Classic Warm UP. This features the Olympic medalist Karin Moroder and makes sure everything is ready for the main competition.
Many of cross-country skiing’s big names will participate too: they include those of two athletes who appeared in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Giorgio di Centa and Cristian Zorzi. They will be joined by Russia’s Eugeniy Dementiev, who won last year’s edition. There will also be a few veterans who are still in great shape, such as the Norwegians, Anders Nygaard, Thomas Alsgaard and Stanislav Řezáč. Mauro Brigadoi and Francesco Ferrari will also be there.
The female skiers include Antonella Confortola, although all eyes will be on Justyna Kowalczyk, who dominated an era with five medals in the Olympics (including two golds) and eight in the World Championships.