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OPA FIS CONTINENTAL CUP. 16 17 18 MARCH 2018

NEWS

Italian Sara Pellegrini and Frenchman Jean Tiberghien win the Pursuit events in the cross-country skiing OPA Continental Cup Finals at Baqueira Beret

Italian Sara Pellegrini and Frenchman Jean Tiberghien win the Pursuit events in the cross-country skiing OPA Continental Cup Finals at Baqueira Beret

On Sunday, the last of the three days of the FIS OPA Continental Cup Finals at Beret, Sara Pellegrini, who won yesterday’s Distance event, and Frenchman Jean Tiberghien have taken the winners’ spots on the podium for the Pursuit.

The Spanish team achieved two top 20 places with Imanol Rojo finishing 18th in the 15 km freestyle pursuit and the young María Iglesias coming 20th in the Under-20 10 km event.

From 16 to 18 March the Baqueira Beret resort was the venue for the finals of the OPA Cup (also known as the Alpen Cup) in which 140 elite European cross-country skiers, 12 of them Spanish, took part.

The Under-20 women, women and Under-20 men did two laps of the 5-km route at Beret for a total of 10 km overall while the men in the top category skied it three times to cover a distance of 15 km. The circuit’s three steep upward slopes make it highly technical while the degree of difficulty was increased by el Pla de Beret’s altitude at 1,850 m above sea level.

 

In the Pursuit event the participants’ departures are staggered by their total times in the Sprint and Distance races on the previous two days. That means the skier with the best time sets off first, the second starts after the leader and so on. Victory goes to the competitor who gets the fastest overall time for the three days.

First place in the women’s event was once again taken by the Italian Sara Pellegrini, who on Saturday had won the classic Distance, as she prevailed in the Pursuit with a time (adding the three races together) of 1:05:03, followed by the German Antonia Fraebel at 1:05:32 and in third place on the podium the Italian Anna Comarella at 1:05:28. In the men’s event the Frenchmen who had taken the top spots in Friday’s Sprint once again finished first and second with Jean Tiberghien crossing the line in 1:24:21 and Jules Lapierre in 1:24:26. The Italian Simone Dapra came third in 1:24:32.

The three top places in the women’s Under-20 were all taken by Frenchwomen with gold for Flora Dolci in a time of 50:39:0, Laura Chamiot the runner-up in 51:09:9 and Melissa Gal coming third with a time of 52:04:3. There was a photo finish in the men’s Under-20 between winner Hugo Lapalus in 57:27:3 and the Italian Luca del Fabbro who completed the event in 57:27:4. Third place on the podium was taken by another Italian, Davide Graz, in 57:34:7.

As for the Spaniards, Imanol Rojo and María Iglesias grabbed two top 20 places on Sunday. In the men’s event Rojo, from Tolosa, finished 18th in a time of 1:26:47 while Iglesias, from Aran, crossed the line in 57:38:9. Speaking at the end of the three days of the OPA finals, Rojo said he was especially happy with Friday’s Sprint in which he finished 14th and also with Sunday’s Pursuit when he had moved up a number of places after Sunday’s Distance race which he thought was the weakest of his performances.

“Baqueira is committed to hosting this type of high-level competition so we got FIS approval for the circuits a season ago,” pointed out Francis Coll, Baqueira’s CEO. “It means we can promote the resort as a sports venue and support cross-country skiers in the clubs and the Royal Spanish Winter Sports Federation (RFEDI) while also enhancing the resort’s international reputation and reach.” The RFEDI’s Chair, May Peus España, backed this approach: “The Baqueira team’s organisation has been flawless and the human resources for these events have been bolstered by the team of technical delegates sent by the federation.” Peus thanked the resort for its involvement and also the Val d’Aran clubs and institutions that have supported event. “It’s been a spectacular three days,” said Xavier Ubeira, Baqueira’s marketing director. “As the athletes taking part have said, Beret has shown that it is a great venue for hosting cross-country competitions at the highest level.”

The classic Distance races in the cross-country skiing OPA Continental Cup Finals at Baqueira Beret have been won by Sara Pellegrini from Italy and Ueli Schnider from Switzerland

The classic Distance races in the cross-country skiing OPA Continental Cup Finals at Baqueira Beret have been won by Sara Pellegrini from Italy and Ueli Schnider from Switzerland

After Friday’s Sprint, on Saturday 17 March the Val d’Aran and Valls d’Àneu resort hosted the distance event featuring a spectacular mass start as the second of the three races in the OPA Continental Cup finals. Basque Imanol Rojo, a member of the Royal Spanish Winter Sports Federation (RFEDI) team, came 23rd in the men’s category.

From 16 to 18 March the Baqueira Beret resort is the venue for the finals of the OPA Cup (also known as the Alpen Cup) in which 140 elite European cross-country skiers, 12 of them Spanish, are taking part.

The Under-20 women did one lap of the 5-km route at Beret, the Under-20 men and senior women did two for a total of 10 km and the men in the top category skied it three times to cover a distance of 15 km. The circuit’s three steep upward slopes make it highly technical while the degree of difficulty was increased by el Pla de Beret’s altitude at 1,850 m above sea level.

In the women’s event the podium was entirely taken up by Italians with Sara Pellegrini the winner in a time of 28:54:7 followed by Ilenia Defrancesco in 28:55:2 and Anna Comarella in third spot with a time of 28:56:2. In the men’s event the French skiers who on Friday took the first places in the Sprint were outpaced by the Swiss Ueli Schnider who won in a time of 38:12:5 over the 15 km. Frenchmen Valentin Chauvin and Alexandre Pouye came second and third respectively with times of 38:13:5 and 38:15:0. That means Chauvin grabbed both the Sprint gold and the Distance silver.

Imanol Rojo, a Basque in the RFEDI team who on Friday achieved a very good 14th place in the Sprint, finished 23rd in the Distance event with a total time of 39:57.8. After the first lap he was in a promising 14th position before slipping back to 19th after the second, while on the third the initial effort to secure a berth in the top 15 caught up with him. Martí Vigo from Aragon who is also a RFEDI team member was unable to take part on Saturday due to tonsillitis.

In the women’s Under-20 the winner was Frenchwoman Laura Chamiot who did the 5 km in 14:21:0. In second place was Martina Bellini with a time of 14:22:8 and in third spot the German Anna-Maria Dietze who finished in 14:39:1. The quickest in the men’s Under-20 category over 10 km was the Italian Luca del Fabbro who crossed the line in 25:32:4 followed by his fellow countryman Davide Graz in 25:37:6, while third place was taken by Florian Graz from Germany who came in at 25:45:2. Del Fabbro has now picked up two gold medals as he won the Sprint on Friday.

Sunday’s pursuit

The last competition, the pursuit, is scheduled for the 18th. In this exciting race the competitors’ departures are staggered by their times, so the sprint winner sets off first, the second starts after the leader and so on. Victory goes to the skier who crosses the finishing line first. Points will be worth double, so the winner of the event will take away this year’s OPA Cup.

Victoria para la alemana Anne Winkler y el francés Valentin Chauvin en el Sprint de la OPA Cup

Victoria para la alemana Anne Winkler y el francés Valentin Chauvin en el Sprint de la OPA Cup

La estación de la Val d’Aran y Valls d’Àneu ha acogido el viernes 16 de marzo el Sprint, la primera de las 3 pruebas de las finales OPA Cup de esquí de fondo. Han participado 140 deportistas de 12 países y el español mejor clasificado ha sido el vasco del equipo de la RFEDI Imanol Rojo que ha conseguido la 14ª posición en categoría senior.

Del 16 al 18 de marzo, la estación de Baqueira Beret es el escenario de las finales de la OPA Cup (también conocidas como Alpen Cup), en la que participan 140 deportistas de la élite europea del esquí de fondo.

La disciplina que ha debutado el viernes 16 ha sido la más explosiva: el Sprint. La distancia a recorrer ha sido de entre 1,4 km y 1,6 km según categorías. El trazado se ha marcado en Beret con unas rampas de subida iniciales que lo hacían muy técnico y unas bajadas previas al llano de meta que lo convertían en un espectáculo.

El sprint es una disciplina en la que los fondistas realizan una manga clasificatoria y de esta se sacan los cuadros para las mangas eliminatorias, de seis competidores a la vez, en las que se han disputado ¼, semifinales y finales por lo que los deportistas que iban pasando rondas a la vez acumulaban cansancio.

En mujeres senior la vendedora ha sido la deportista alemana Anne Winkler, especialista en esta modalidad corta y explosiva, que se ha impuesto en el sprint final a su compatriota Antonia Fraebel. En hombres senior, los franceses han dominado la final en la que se ha impuesto Valentin Chauvin por muy poco al también galo Jean Tiberghien. El tolosano de la RFEDI y residente en la Val d’Aran, Imanol Rojo, ha quedado a 2 centésimas de pasar a semifinales y aun así ha conseguido una muy buena 14ª plaza que le supone su mejor clasificación en Sprint en una OPA. El fondista del Alpino Uzturre tiene sus esperanzas puestas en los 15 km clásico con salida en masa del sábado ya que este invierno se está encontrando bien en esta modalidad.

Clásico para el sábado y persecución el domingo

El día 17 seguirá el evento con un mass start (salida en masa) en la competición de Distancia, donde las categorías superiores competirán en 15 km los hombres y 10 km las mujeres y en junior serán 10 km para los hombres y 5 para las mujeres.

El día 18 se disputará la última competición en "pursuit" (persecución). En esta emocionante modalidad las salidas de los competidores se escalonan de acuerdo a su tiempo, el ganador del sprint sale primero, el segundo sigue al líder, y así sucesivamente. En esta carrera gana el esquiador que cruce antes la línea de meta. Los puntos valdrán el doble, por lo que el vencedor de esta prueba se llevará el trofeo OPA Cup de este año.

 

Baqueira Beret to host the FIS cross-country skiing OPA Continental Cup Finals

Baqueira Beret to host the FIS cross-country skiing OPA Continental Cup Finals

The resort will be the venue for the finals of the International Ski Federation (FIS) OPA Cup, a sports event it is hosting for the first time in its history on 16-18 March and where the winners of the European cross-country skiing cup will be decided.

From 16 to 18 March Baqueira Beret will be the venue for the finals of the OPA Cup (also known as the Alpen Cup), which this year is to feature more than 150 elite European cross-country skiers.

Over the three days there will be competitions in a number of disciplines: The first day will start with a 1-km Sprint at distances of between 1.4 and 1.6 km based on category. It will be followed on the 17th by a mass start Distance competition where the top categories will compete over 15 km for men and 10 km for women while in the junior category it will be 10 km for men and 5 km for women.

The last competition, the pursuit, is scheduled for the 18th. In this exciting race the competitors’ departures are staggered by their times, so the sprint winner sets off first, the second starts after the leader and so on. Victory goes to the skier who crosses the finishing line first. Points will be worth double, so the winner of the event will take away this year’s OPA Cup.

Forecast numbers for the tour are between 150 and 160 skiers. In addition there will also be technical teams, physiotherapists, ski mechanics and other services that can involve up to 400 people at the event.

Spain has a good chance of getting some good results in the race. Imanol Rojo, a member of the Royal Spanish Winter Sports Federation (RFEDI) cross-country team who is planning to take part, is one of the best prospects as he has achieved several top 15 finishes in the OPA Cup in other seasons. Lydia Iglesias and Martí Vigo, who are also in the RFEDI team, will compete as well. Finally, the participation of more Spaniards who are in the RFEDI Monitoring Group or from Winter Sports High-Performance Centres is being considered.

More info here

 


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