‘Trofeo delle Contrade’, Europe’s First Ski Race of Season

When does competition skiing season start in the Northern Hemisphere? Most people would likely point at the races in Lapland in November – but we say it starts with the ‘Trofeo delle Contrade’ held annually – where else?- in Livigno, Italy.

On Friday, August 25th the town high street, via Plan, will once again become one kilometer long skiing stadium – just for the night.

Nothing like watching skiers flying down the middle of one of the fanciest shopping streets in the Alpine region, with all those mannequins dressed in top Italian clothing brands in shops’ windows for atmosphere.

And what of snow? We think Trofeo delle Contrade’ is as much about showing off Livigno’s prowess in snowfarming as about anything else.

The snow that will be used to set up the track is a part of the 90,000 cubic meters stored from last winter. That snow ( artificial – it holds better) was covered first with sawdust and then with geothermal cloth, that isolates it from the summer heat and reflects the sun’s rays.

Snowgroomers spread it fast along the street – amazingly, it holds in the chilly mountain evening air when the races are held. The rest will be used in October-November making Livigno one of perennial favorites for season’s first snow training.

The start list of the ‘Trofeo delle Contrade’ would make some of the more established competitions envy: the whole of the La Squadra A Italiana shall be there as usual – and just remember that before Federico Pellegrino became the world champion in sprint, he won ‘Trofeo delle Contrade’ last year.

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Says Federico Pellegrino:  
“Events like these are very important because they promote cross country skiing to all the tourists who are in the area for the summer and who otherwise may never have seen the sport.

We could only concur.

PHOTOS Courtesy of http://www.ilovelivigno.com

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