At the base of the decision taken by Francesco De Fabiani and Federico Pellegrino the choice to train with one of the most appreciated technicians in the world as well as the possibility to compare, day after day with top level athletes.
Gressoney Saint-Jean, Italy – Apr. 23rd 2021 • The choice that is causing enthusiasts and experts in the cross-country world to discuss has become real only in the last few days. Francesco De Fabiani, the Alpine of the Centro Sporivo Esercito of Courmayeur and Federico Pellegrino (Fiamme Oro di Moena), will be trained by Markus Cramer. The two Italian athletes will therefore follow a different program from the Italian national team starting from the next few days, to finish the "Balkan" experience in November 2021 and line up at the starting line of the first World Cup races in blue, despite Cramer will remain the coach of both also during the winter season.
With the Olympic Games almost upon us – there are only 10 months to Beijing 2022 – for the Italian couple the expectations are high and the pressures are very strong. The figure of an international coach was perhaps what was most missing, in a moment of change, even and above all within the FISI. Approaching the most important four-yearly event with the weight on the shoulders of the result at all costs is not absolutely simple and here is the opportunity to be trained by one of the best coaches in the world (above all, a unique opportunity, given the agreement of a season) was the almost mandatory choice for the two athletes from Valle d’Aosta.
The goal is to refine and perfect the preparation, but there is more: «We will have the opportunity to discover a new reality – adds Defast – we will have the opportunity to confront ourselves in terms of the level of preparation and beyond. Working with who prepares the Russian "squad" could, at least I hope, help us fill the gaps in some sectors. Remember that the "Cramer squad" is made up of a group of top-level athletes, capable of excelling in long races and sprints, and moreover in both techniques. Let's not forget that its 5 athletes are among the 10 best in the world in recent years. The mere fact of seeing them closely, training with them, discovering their methodologies, their mental attitude in the vicinity of the races represents for us a great motivation and a particular curiosity».
The possibility of competing in training with people like Ustiugov, Belov, Maltsev, Bessmertnykh, is motivating «and this is an aspect that both Chicco and I care very much about. We will be able to work hand in hand with them, and contrary to what one might think, this factor could become a sort of "investment" for future generations of Italian cross-country skiing because this choice will inevitably bring a breath of fresh air as well as an important baggage that we will be able to pass on to young Italian athletes for their career. If Beijing is close, Milan-Cortina 2026 is still far away and it could all be useful precisely for the young Italian talents who will participate in the Games in Italy, perhaps still with us by their side».
De Fabiani in these hours busy with ski mountaineering training in his Valle d'Aosta is therefore officially and fully a member of the "Cramer group" starting from 22 April and more than ever ready to face various training camps: «many more training camps than before – says the Alpine – and certainly the first step will be in Ramsau, but then we will also go to Estonia, perhaps Norway and other parts of Europe in search of snow and obviously the best shape. In all likelihood, there will also be a week of testing, perhaps in September, in Russia. The best thing, however, is the enthusiasm that both Chicco and I are experiencing these days. For me it is a new professional adventure, particularly motivating. A novelty that I hope will give new life to my future as an athlete: I feel like a young man making his debut in the World Cup!».
Press Office of Francesco De Fabiani
Written by Paolo Mei
Translated by Nicolò Caneparo