Friday, January 4, 2013

The Classic Setup (Val di Fiemme)

Except for the Final Climb - about which my Canadian co-blogger and I will have to disagree - I like the mass-start classic race the most. Do I say that about the stages of the Tour de Ski? Maybe I do. But the classic mass start in Val di Fiemme is a brutal, brutal race, with a ton of climbing, more tactical maneuvering than a war game, and all those bonus points - fewer this year than last, but still a lot of them. And then there's the timing of the race, the day before the Final Climb. Some racers are going great guns to catch up, others are fighting to maintain a lead, others are doing their bits for their teams, and still others are just conserving energy. If that's possible on such a tough course.

Anyhow, here are my picks. I had a hard time not putting Randall in the women's top five, but I just don't see it. Up the Alpe, though...