1 Other winter sports

Telemark is a really good thing. © JOSEF OBEXER

Carezza is ready for a special kind of World Cup

This week the Telemark World Cup is coming to South Tyrol for the second time, following its premiere last year. Two sprints for men and women will be held at Karerpass on January 17th and 18th. With Raphael Mahlknecht from Völs, a local athlete is also among the world's best.

Like last year, the Masarè piste in the heart of the Carezza ski area is the venue for the World Cup this year. Telemarking is a very versatile sport that includes elements from both Alpine racing and Nordic racing. This is no different with the sprint – the discipline that will take place in Carezza on Wednesday, January 17th and Thursday, January 18th.

At first glance, the sprint resembles a giant Alpine slalom. However, the athletes have to take the turns with a telemark bend. If this is not carried out properly, penalty seconds will be added. After about half of the route, the participants have to complete a jump that is up to 30 meters long. Here too, the landing must be done in Telemark. If the execution of the telemark landing is not clean or the athletes land before a set distance, there will be another penalty second.

Penalty seconds for poor technique or jumps that are too short

The giant slalom then continues before the last obstacle before the finish is a 360° steep curve waiting for the athletes. Here it is important to take as much momentum as possible, because the last part of the route is very flat and the athletes have to push hard with their arms, like in cross-country skiing, in order to reach the finish as quickly as possible. This is also the reason why the telemarkers use cross-country ski poles on the route.

Raphael Mahlknecht in action. © JOSEF OBEXER

The starting signal for the first round will be given at 10 a.m. on both days of the competition, while the decision will be made from 12 p.m. The female athletes will first hit the slopes before the men hunt for the best time. Among the around 50 registered telemarkers from 12 different nations, there is also a South Tyrolean winter sports athlete, Raphael Mahlknecht. The 22-year-old has competed in 63 World Cup races so far and reached the podium once. That was in February 2023, when the Völser took third place in Aal in Norway. Mahlknecht also won bronze at the Junior World Championships in Mürren, Switzerland, in March 2022.

“We are ready and have largely completed the preparations. Conditions are ideal after last week's snowfall. The world's elite telemarkers can look forward to a perfectly prepared slope. Of course, we will also do everything we can to ensure that athletes from all parts of Europe feel at home in our sunny ski area,” says Florian Eisath, Managing Director of Carezza Dolomites.

Program FIS Telemark World Cup Carezza Dolomites:

Wednesday, January 17, 2024
10 a.m.: Start of the 1st round sprint
12 a.m.: Start of the 2st round sprint

Thursday, January 18, 2024
10 a.m.: Start of the 1st round sprint
12 a.m.: Start of the 2st round sprint

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