Livigno 22.01.2023 - It was a finale worthy of the beauty of the rest of the weekend, the one brought to the stage by the teams in the Team Event, the final act of the first World Cup stage in Livigno's history. Cold temperatures mitigated by splendid sunshine, perfect snow conditions and a large crowd, in fact, set the stage for two races with high technical and emotional content, both enhanced by sprint finishes.
In the women's field it was Swedish domination again, after the resounding hat trick scored on Saturday in the individual event. The pair formed by Emma Ribon and Jonna Sudling, the winner of yesterday's event, and the pair formed by Linn Svahn and Maja Dahlqvist, controlled the final from start to finish, managing the attempts of the other nations, the United States and Germany in the lead, third and fourth respectively, to undermine their leadership. Careful teamwork allowed the Scandinavians to pull away, securing the top two positions early in the final straight, and thus launching an all-yellow-blue sprint. Coming out on top, by a narrow margin, was the pair of Dahlqvist and Svahn, who commented, "It's a great feeling to win, and it's maybe even better to do it like this, together. We did everything we could today, and getting the first two places makes it a special day." An awareness also shared by her partner: "After yesterday's result we knew we had a good chance: we tried to have the best possible tactics to win, and it went well."
But it was the men's race that gave the most intense emotions to the many fans who flocked to the course, not only thanks to the remarkable tactical level expressed by the athletes, who gave life to a gripping challenge from the very first changes, but also thanks to the acuto of Federico Pellegrino, who with a final, screaming fraction brought the Azzurri to the podium, defeated only by Richard Jouve's France in a very tight sprint. Third were the Swiss Janik Riebli and Valerio Grond. The Italian pair, composed of the Valdostan and Francesco De Fabiani led an exemplary race from a strategic point of view, giving the transalpines Jouve/Jay a hard time all the way to the finish line. For Jouve, it was his second podium finish of the weekend, following Saturday's silver: "We didn't expect it. We had two very good French teams at the start today, we knew we could compete for the podium, but the win was the perfect ending to this weekend. With yesterday's silver, this was really a weekend
to remember for me, and it's nice to do it here: in a great race and with a great organization."
Final reflection entrusted to Federico Pellegrino's words, which encapsulate all the satisfaction of the organizers, FISI and the athletes who arrived in Livigno: "I really wanted this podium, because Livigno deserved it: it was a World Cup recovery weekend, with only a month to prepare the event, but the organization responded, putting on a fantastic weekend. All the athletes are happy and the setting is ideal: really a lot of stuff. And it was great to give a podium to the many fans on the track." A real investiture, adding to the positive comments made by insiders and champions from around the World: the best confirmation of the success of a high-profile weekend of sports, culture and music.