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FRANCESCO DE FABIANI CLOSE TO THE PODIUM AT THE MINI TOUR

The three-day event in Lillehammer shows the most complete athletes and Francesco De Fabiani, after some problems in the sprint and a complicated 15 km time trial, finds the condition in the pursuit classic closing just 3 seconds from the podium in the overall standings.

The event in Lillehammer, better known as "Mini Tour", were among the most awaited races. Immersed in the Scandinavian nature, with no muchwinter feeling, the best cross-country skiers in the world have given a show in three races and two different techniques. Domination in the Overall by the Norwegians, but Italy has defended itself very well with Pellegrino able to win the sprint and De Fabiani who’s growing more and more.

Francesco De Fabiani (C.S. Esercito) is the best of his National Team, able to reach, day by day, a great shape which allowed him to get so close to the podium in the GC, only 3 seconds away from his twelfth final position.

The feeling demonstrated by "Defa" is really positive, especially because it coincides with a good start of the season, certainly better than a year ago, perhaps thanks also to a different psychological approach.

In the skating sprint, won by Federico Pellegrino, after a good qualification (27th), he fell to the ground due to a contact with Chanavat and closed twenty-eighth. "I think I did little or nothing wrong - says the atlhete from Gressan - it was a shame because the sensations were good".

The 15 km time trial in free technique on Saturday has delivered to the Alpine of Gressoney more uncertainties than anything else, relegating him to 1'49'' from the first in the standings, Sjur Roethe, complicating his situation for the last race, the 15 km classic (Francesco's favorite format) in pursuit on Sunday.

Despite the slight débacle of Saturday the young of C.S.E. did not lose hopes: "I did not feel so bad, the skis were very fast and the shape was still growing".

The last step, the 15 km chase was his goal: "I really wanted to do well - says De Fabiani - and in addition to the overall standings I was aiming to do well in the daily classification, since it was classic technique. I'm really satisfied with my shape".

The race was held in the historic location of Lillehammer, theater of the 1994 Olympic Games, those who gave Italy the historic result in the relay 4X10 Km with De Zolt, Albarello, Vanzetta and Fauner who were able to beat the Norwegian quartet.

The only downside, the sprint: "I arrived at the sprint perhaps a little more fatigued, due to the effort to back up, the track was slow and my skis today were slightly faster than the previous days, but I am, again, very happy of the result. The TOP TEN is very close and the podium is only at 3 seconds!".

Next step of the World Cup will be the two days of Beitostolen, still in Scandinavian territory, next Saturday and Sunday and Francesco De Fabiani seems at the moment oriented to skip the 30 Km in skating: "It is a format that does not suit me, shortly I will decide what to do, while I will certainly be at the start of the relay on Sunday, where I will try to perform well".

    

    

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