Carlos Lannes beat out Fede Cichero by about one second to win the Marcha Blanca on Sunday August 19th outside of Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Lannes and Cichero were in a class of their own as they skated the 21 KM course together and well ahead of the rest of the field that was composed of nearly 600, mostly citizen skiers.
Tierra del Fuego’s Governor, Fabiana Ríos, rang the Club Andino Ushuaia’s ceremonial starting bell to mark the start of the race. This year, the start finish was at Centro Invernal Tierra Mayor, about thirty minutes northeast of Ushuaia and in the Valley of Tierra Mayor. The traditional 21 KM loop overlays what has more recently also been designated the Provincial Cross Country Ski Trail.
Fueguino Tourism Minister, Marcelo Echazú, who himself is a skier and skies the Marcha Blanca every year, successfully funded grooming four days a week on the Marcha Blanca trail for a period of several weeks. All together, multiple groups in the region continue to work towards a financially sustainable set of cross-country skiing services for Fueguino locals and visitors alike.
Argentina’s federation, FASA, has contributed to the growing success of skiing in Tierra del Fuego by funding Cichero and Lannes in an effort to raise the level of competitive skiing in Argentina. Lannes will eventually return to Spain where he has received help from the Spanish national team and Cichero has a full slate of training and racing in the northern hemisphere starting in November.
Race Director, Pablo Valcheff, thanked all his sponsors and partners and said, “thanks also to the Patagonian weather which was ugly until right before the race when the sun came out and the wind died down!”
Contributed by Matthew Muir