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Ski Classics Season XV starts in Austria

Austria prepares to welcome Pro Teams and their athletes once again as the highly anticipated Ski Classics Season XV kicks off in Bad Gastein. The season opener features a weekend of two Pro Tour events: Bad Gastein PTT – Pro Team Tempo and Bad Gastein Criterium.

Photo: Ski Classics

On Saturday, December 9, Ski Classics Season XV will burst into action with the Bad Gastein PTT – Pro Team Tempo, covering a distance of 15km. This event serves as a platform for Pro Teams and their athletes to showcase their brand-new race suits, unveil sponsors, and introduce fresh recruits to the world of long-distance skiing.

The Pro Team Tempo is organized as an interval start competition with block starts. One Pro Team is starting at a time in reversed order according to the Pro Team ranking of the previous season, with the top 5 ranked teams spread out in the starting field.

Bad Gastein Pro Team Tempo, Season XIV. Photo: Magnus Östh/Ski Classics

A time gap of 4 minutes separates the blocks, and the female athletes begin their race 30 seconds after their male counterparts. The finishing time of the team’s second-ranked male and second-ranked female will be considered for classification purposes.

Continuing the action-packed weekend, on Sunday, December 10, Season XV continues with the second event: the Bad Gastein Criterium. This long-distance race spans 35km, offering participants breathtaking views of the enchanting surroundings of the Tauern Alps. The Bad Gastein Criterium, characterized by a mass start event, comprises several laps on a challenging course, pushing skiers to their limits.

Bad Gastein Criterium, Season XIV. Photo: Magnus Östh/Ski Classics

“The opening weekend in Bad Gastein will be a thrilling start of Season XV with stunning views and races packed with action; we can not wait to get started!” says Ski Classics Sport Director Anton Karlsson.

As last season, a Ski Classics Challengers event for professional and recreational skiers are also available. On Saturday afternoon, December 9, it’s time for the Gastein Classics, a 30-kilometer-long classic mass-start race. 

Online registration for the event is not yet open, but anyone interested can pre-register by e-mail at gastein.classics@gastein.com and will be informed as soon as registration is open. 

All those who register by e-mail until 15.06.2023 will receive a 15% discount on the Early Bird price.

Bad Gastein

Bad Gastein embodies a captivating blend of contrasts and extremes, where tradition meets modernity, untouched natural beauty converges with urban dynamism, and art and culture flourish. One striking feature is the village center’s magnificent Belle Époque-style buildings, complemented by a waterfall. This unique combination has earned Bad Gastein the title of “Monte Carlo of the Alps.”

However, this southernmost town in the Gastein Valley offers much more than meets the eye. With majestic peaks soaring above 3000 meters and its proximity to the Hohe Tauern National Park, it emerges as a veritable paradise for nature enthusiasts and sports fans.

Situated at an altitude of 1600 meters, Sportgastein stands out as a winter wonderland with guaranteed snow from mid-November until the end of April, thanks to its strategic location. Here, long-distance and traditional cross-country skiers can revel in a network of perfectly groomed tracks, both for classic and skating techniques, and can appreciate the winter landscape, encompassed by the magnificent Hohe Tauern National Park. 

The town center of Bad Gastein. Photo: Marktl Photography

The prologue weekend in Bad Gastein, Austria, promises a special kick-off for the Ski Classics Season XV, captivating fans with two thrilling events amidst the picturesque Alps.

Ski Classics Pro Tour Season XV (2023/2024)

  • Event 1: December 9, 2023 – Bad Gastein PTT, Austria, 15km
  • Event 2: December 10, 2023 – Bad Gastein Criterium, Austria, 35km

For more updates and detailed information about the Ski Classics Pro Tour, make sure to visit skiclassics.com.

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Photo: Reichert/NordicFocus
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