The Tour de Ski of the Alpine from Gressoney ends with a 15th place, at the end of a hard and demanding final climb to Cermis, in Val di Fiemme. The next goal is the World Championships in Germany.
Lago di Tesero, Italy – Jan. 10th 2020 • It was clear that the fearsome Final Climb from Lago di Tesero to Cermis would be tough and selective and so it was. Francesco De Fabiani was 10th before the start of the last traditional leg in Val di Fiemme.
It was even harder than expected, with Defast struggling from the first meters of the climb, a crazy climb with stretches up to 44%: «I knew that this final stage would be anything but simple – says Francesco – and unfortunately I have had confirmation. It’s a shame, because my ambitions were very different before leaving for this Tour de Ski. My goal was undoubtedly to improve the 9th place of a few years ago, a goal that was missed also due to today's format: I've been saying for years that this is not cross-country skiing for me and I believe that no one will ever make me change my mind. In my opinion these slopes and this spectacle have little to do with our sport».
The final race of the fifteenth edition of the Tour de Ski recorded the victory of Denis Spitsov, ahead of Alexander Bolshunov, with Maurice Manificat third. Defast closed very far from the leaders, in 41st place on a track made even slower by the recent snowfalls and the very low temperatures of the last few days.
In any case, the final balance is by no means negative: «I am quite satisfied – adds De Fabiani – because if I look at the Tour as an overall experience, I can say that after a bad start, I then found my shape during the Tour de Ski, with timid signs of improvement from Dobbiaco onwards. The 15 km of Lago di Tesero, as always, proved to be my ideal format, on my ideal track and I would add that this is one of my best races ever. That was a desired second place obtained with grit and determination that gives me hope for the future».
And the near future is, for the current year, the World Championship event, in German territory, in Oberstdorf, formerly also the site of the 1987 World Championships, where, ironically, to win the 15 km classic, it was a skier from Valle d’Aosta: Marco Albarello: «Yes, Oberstdorf is the main goal of the 2021 season, as well as being one of my favorite tracks. In the past I achieved great results on that track and obviously the goal is to try to bring home at least one world medal after the bronze obtained in Seefeld two years ago in Team Sprint paired with Federico Pellegrino».
Press Office of Francesco De Fabiani
Written by Paolo Mei
Translated by Nicolò Caneparo