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Tadei Pivk and Lorenzo Holzknecht!
18 march 2016
  • Tadei Pivk and Lorenzo Holzknecht win the 21 st edition of the Sellaronda Ski Marathon.
  • While Raffaella Rossi and Bianca Balzarini dominate the female race.

The conditions found at the starting line of the 21st Sellaronda Skimarathon couldn’t have been any better: -3 degrees centigrade, a clear sky, while the sun just setting behind the Sella Group accompanied the 1.200 athletes divided into 600 couples towards the first ascent to Passo Campolongo. In the men’s race during the lead up to the start, the Italians Tadei Pivk from Friuli, winner of the 19th edition and his team mate Lorenzo Holzknecht from Valtellina, joint first place in last year’s 20th edition with Michele Boscacci, imposed their rhythm straight from the beginning. Main objective, apart from winning, was to break the three hour record. To motivate the athletes to break the record, the Corvara Tourist Association put an extra 1000 € up for grabs for whoever managed this achievement. An arduous task, which had not been achieved last year by the “dream team” Tadei Pivk/Kilian Jornet Burgada, beaten by the couple Boscacci/Holzknecht and by Anton Palzer (GER)/ Damiano Lenzi. On that occasion the time achieved was: 3h04:40''.
From Arabba the climb up towards Passo Pordoi sees the team Pivk-Holzknecht in front, ahead of Götsch-Hofmann. In third and fourth place the teams Cappelletti-Bazzana with Filippo Beccari-Martin Stofner. In this order the teams in front reach Canazei after a long descent, greeted and applauded by an audience typical of great occasions: Pivk-Holzknecht, followed Philipp Götsch-Christian Hofmann, third Martin Stofner-Filippo Beccari and Bazzana-Cappelletti.
Along the ascent through the woods which from Canazei leads up high towards Lupo Bianco, Götsch-Hofmann change gear and inch their way back, gaining 50 seconds from the leaders who manage to react and increase once again their advantage on their pursuers. It is above all thanks to an amazing Tadei Pivk, who by pulling Holzknecht up, proves to have the pace of a great champion. At the change over point on top of Passo Sella, Pivk-Holzknecht have an advantage of over 2 minutes on Götsch-Hofmann, the latter showing obvious signs of fatigue up the last section before crossing over the pass.
Along the descent from Passo Sella towards Val Gardena, the first two positions remain unchanged, while Filippo Beccari-Martin Stofner prove to be excellent downhill skiers touching speeds of up to 90 km/h.
Just before Selva Gardena’s centre they manage to overtake Cappelletti-Bazzana,

  who had been third up to that moment. On the first ascent towards passo Gardena, the last mountain pass to climb that evening, Götsch-Hofmann lose sight of the team Pivk-Holzknecht who are impossible to reach and even risk being caught up by the menacing followers. “We’re going to catch them” Bazzana tells the commentator Carlo Ceola, on the live streaming broadcast, alluding to Götsch-Hofmann duo since the Austrian athlete is struggling up the last mountain pass. Just before crossing over the pass at Dantercepies, Philipp Götsch works hard, ties Hofmann in and pulls him up, since he is obviously struggling. The headlamps announce that Bazzana-Cappelletti, who in the meantime had gained 50 meters on Beccari-Stofner are aiming for second place, which is within their reach. At this point though Pivk-Holzknecht are impossible to catch. Pure suspense for the battle to gain second place. Götsch-Hofmann reach Passo Gardena in second place and as they begin the descent, Bazzana-Cappelletti reach the change over point. The downhill duel is guaranteed.
After 3h14’36” Tadei Pivk and Lorenzo Holzknecht reach the finishing line in Corvara’s ice stadium in Alta Badia, triumphantly greeted by the crowded stands. No record is broken, but the end result is that an amazing and intense race has been achieved, fought out by fierce opponents. And along the last descent Beccari-Stofner made up time once again on Bazzana-Cappelletti, reaching Götsch-Hoffmann on the finishing line. Decision ratified a few seconds after by the jury in favour of the South-Tyrolean athlete Philip Götsch and the Austrian athlete Christian Hoffmann. The partnership Beccari-Stofner came in third.

In the female race there were a dozen teams aiming for the podium, among them
Raffaella Rossi-Bianca Balzarini, Dimitra Teocharis-Cecilia De Filippo, the eternal Monica Sartogo with Chiara Giovando, the locals Beatrice Deflorian-Carla Iellici, Anna Pedevilla-Nada De Francesch, Linda Menardi-Anne Moretti. The time to beat was 3h52:05'' established last year by the Italian athletes from Valtellina: Martinelli/Corinna Ghirardi.
Raffaella Rossi and Bianca Balzarini gained the head of the race from almost straight away in front of the Austrians Katarina Zipser and Verena Krenslehner, in third position the couple made up by Dimitra Theocharis and Cecilia De Filippo.
Rossi and Balzarini crossed Corvara’s finishing line with the time of 4:08’56’’, the Austrians confirmed the second position just three minutes behind the leaders. The team Theocharis-De Filippo came in third in 4:16’27.

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