Dolomites: Cross-country skiing across South Tyrol to Cortina d’Ampezzo

So One can be mistaken. Here in the Lesach Valley, in a remote part of the already quite unspoilt East Tyrol, one does not suspect such accumulations of international glamor. Outside Obertilliach, directly under a mountain with the curious name of Golzentipp, a wooden house was built and spectacularly blown up in 2015 for the James Bond film “Specter”.

Further back, just before Untertilliach, the most successful biathlete of all time, Ole Einar Björndalen, lived and trained for many years. Actually an area to retreat to, to hide in the snow.

The fact that there is still something going on here is due to the excellent snow reliability and the exceptional cross-country skiing offer. The Grenzlandloipe crosses the valley for a good 50 kilometers to the neighbors in Carinthia’s Gailtal. And outside of Obertilliach, the modern biathlon center is right on Talstrasse.

You can see many well-trained cross-country skiers rushing past, which leaves you with the impression that you are moving backwards. But there are also average skiers, and that is also due to a special offer: Trans-Dolomiti is a journey on cross-country skis from Untertilliach to South Tyrol to Sexten and on through the Höhlenstein valley to Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Source: WORLD infographic

Either comfortably in a week or a little more sporty in four days, each with a 35-kilometer route. And always with luggage transport, organized overnight stays and a comfortable shuttle service at the end of the tour.

A professional on the trail leads through the Dolomites

Our group of five doesn’t exactly look like the Italian national cross-country team. Comfortable jackets and pants instead of skin-tight racing suits, shy looks before the start and a technique that makes you think more of walks than competitions.

It doesn’t have to be, says our guide Eugenio from Sexten. His small and sturdy stature does not make one think so much of a cross-country skiing expert. But that is precisely where one can be mistaken. Eugenio is a professional in the cross-country ski run, but on the other hand also blessed with a classic Italian passion for good food, which should also benefit the group.

Cross-country skiers are repeatedly rewarded with great views on their tour through the Dolomites

Cross-country skiers are repeatedly rewarded with great views on their tour through the Dolomites

Quelle: Getty Images

The Grenzlandloipe with its uphill and downhill sections is ideal for warming up. Too much ambition soon takes merciless revenge. Running uphill on skating skis can quickly become a pain for the inexperienced. In terms of landscape, the first stage westwards to Kartitsch is pure enjoyment, as you walk through the mountain forest with various clearings and at the end with a wonderful view of the Puster Valley.

For the short stretch from Kartitsch to Sillian we take the bus due to the lack of cross-country trails. In addition, the 250 vertical meters downhill would be quite a hara-kiri action for us casual runners. The trip should be a pleasure tour, says Eugenio. And nobody contradicts him.

A cappuccino on the border with South Tyrol

Sillian is a lively border town whose main attraction is the large white factory of the South Tyrolean biscuit manufacturer Loacker. We walk past the outskirts, leaving the bleak arrangement of gas stations, dismantled freight buildings and customs houses at the old border crossing behind us and enjoying the open meadows as far as Vierschach.

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At the valley station of the Drei Zinnen ski area, a few meters from the cross-country ski run, a coffee bar invites you to take a break. A cappuccino is only befitting, now that we are on the South Tyrolean side of our tour. Shortly after Vierschach we switch to the south side of rail and road and walk a good three kilometers to Innichen.

There Eugenio surprises us with an interlude. It’s around noon, the stomachs start to growl, and we’re only four kilometers from our destination for the day in Toblach.

We take the bus in San Candido, drive south through a narrow valley to Sexten and on to Bad Moos. There we climb back onto the cross-country ski trail at the Hotel “Bad Moos”, into the famous Fischlein Valley, but not without first slipping in an espresso while standing up as legal doping at the hotel bar.

Cross-country skiing with a full stomach is difficult

The trail into the Fischleintal takes us in the direction of the Drei Zinnen, but the mountain range is hidden behind the high walls of the Sesto Dolomites. We walk gently uphill through the idyllic larch forest and end up in a place that Eugenio has obviously grown fond of. The Talschlusshütte is a stately wooden structure with typical South Tyrolean rooms.

Even before arriving, Eugenio raves about the Sesto black bread noodles with goat cheese, which he always has served up here. Getting back on the trail with properly filled bellies doesn’t have much to do with being light-footed.

Cross-country skiing in the Dolomites: The tour is suitable for both beginners with a little skill and advanced skiers

The tour is suitable for both beginners with a little skill and advanced

Source: Harald Wisthaler

Fortunately, it goes out of the valley and thus almost entirely downhill to Innichen and with a left turn to Sexten. We spend the night in a hotel right next to the “Nordic Arena”, the scene of Tour-de-Ski competitions and World Cup races, where the Pustertal Marathon, a legendary popular race, starts.

The next day we run on a famous trail through the Höhlensteintal, which is much more beautiful than the name suggests. Lake Dobbiaco, a view of the Three Peaks in all its glory, then the target shot with Monte Cristallo and Tofana near Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Luxury vacationers migrated to Cortina d’Ampezzo

This trail is a real beauty. But we don’t see them for free either. A short hump after the arena, then we walk gently uphill for the first 15 kilometers. We have almost 200 meters of altitude ahead of us until we have reached half of the route at the Cimabanche Pass. The trail follows a disused railway line, forest passages alternate with open meadows.

After ten kilometers there is a mandatory stop at the Drei-Zinnen-Blick, on the left we can see the three giants in the distance. The opposite inn of the same name is good for an espresso, but nothing more.

Eugenio planned our tour perfectly. At lunchtime we are at the Cimabanche Pass, unbuckle our skis and boot into a rustic restaurant. The innkeeper, Nilo Snaider, welcomes us in the tiny dining room and has some old stories to tell about the many black and white pictures on the wall.

Up until the end of the First World War, there was a luxury hotel here, which then fell into disrepair like many other luxury hotels in the region. Luxury tourism migrated to Cortina d’Ampezzo, where it lost its luster over the years.

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Culinary we don’t need luxury, we stick to local traditions, fortify ourselves with tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms and pappardelle with venison ragout. We leave the restaurant a bit clumsy and are happy that the last 15 kilometers are decently downhill.

The next morning in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Eugenio makes another excursion with us up to the Tre Croci Pass at 1,800 meters above sea level. The trail is very winding with lots of small climbs and descents.

Right next to an abandoned grand hotel, we dive into the mountain forest, experience a particularly entertaining cross-country skiing, because switching off and thinking of other things is rather inappropriate with such a route. Here we are almost alone on this sunny weekday. And only a few kilometers from Cortina d’Ampezzo. One can be mistaken.

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Tips and information

Getting there: By car from Germany via the A8 motorway to the Inntal triangle, then on the A93 Inntal motorway to Kufstein-Süd and via the Felbertauern tunnel and Lienz to Untertilliach. You can take the train via Salzburg and Spittal to Sillian and continue there by bus or taxi (

Cross-country skiing arrangement: The Trans-Dolomiti package with 7 nights in a double room, with half board, luggage transport, transfers and cross-country ski pass costs from 725 euros per person in four-star accommodations. The short version with four nights is available from 463 euros. The tour can be booked between 7.1. and 14.3.2021, further dates are possible by arrangement depending on the snow conditions. The tour is suitable for both beginners with a little skill and advanced. The provider is Osttirol-Information in Lienz (

Corona rules: A travel warning is currently in force in Tyrol, but entry from Germany is permitted without restrictions. Stricter measures to contain the coronavirus will initially apply in Austria until December 6, 2020, leisure facilities, restaurants and hotels as well as many shops will remain closed. In addition, all-day exit restrictions apply. Restrictions also currently apply in South Tyrol, overnight stays for tourists are temporarily not possible, at least until November 29, 2020. Restaurants are only allowed to open for pick-up or delivery services. Distance rules and mask requirements apply in both countries, in South Tyrol there is also a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Since the corona rules can change quickly, it is advisable to keep an eye on the current information from the Federal Foreign Office.

Information desk:;

Participation in the trip was supported by the Drei-Zinnen-Region. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at


Honda CRF 1100L Africa Twin 2021: new colors

2020 was a big step in the evolution of the two versions, increasing displacement and changing the name Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin and Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin Adventure Sports. The redesign was based on an aggressive and compact rally style emphasizing its offroad aspect with more power (7%) and torque (6%) on a lighter (5kg) and smaller motorcycle that offered more forcefulness at low, medium and high speed. . Step motor It already complied with the EURO5 standard.

The cycle part was revised, with aluminum elements in the subframe and swingarm (the latter based on the successful motocross CRF450R) that is complemented by the inclusion of a IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) six-axis, 3-level anti-wheelie control, ABS in curve, rear wheel lift control during braking (Rear Lify Control) and detection in curve for the versions equipped with the DCT double clutch transmission.

Ergonomics improved with a narrower seat and higher handlebars, and it came equipped – finally – with a 6.5 inch TFT monitor, plus AppleCarPlay, Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control as standard, very useful for ring rounds with speed limitations.

With all these improvements just 12 months ago, the news for 2021 is limited to the inclusion of a new tricolor combination called White Pearl Glare Tricolor which comes to complement the options in Rojo Grand Prix Y Negro Matte Ballistic. In the images we also see that the three combinations include the wheels in black, contributing to the feeling of lightness.


The Cap de Creus Trail Marathon opens a special weekend for mountain racing

In a 2020 marked by the lack of racing and the global crisis of the Covid-19, the Cap de Creus Trail it has been an oasis that has allowed the unconditional to continue enjoying nature and paradise. It has been possible thanks to a demanding protocol of action that show that it is possible to organize a safe and responsible race. The Cap de Creus has been able to share, despite the north wind, its fascinating landscapes with the runners. The party has been sounded and there is still Sunday with the Trail and eight tickets in play for the Golden Trail Championship in the Azores islands of Portugal.

The exceptionality of the moment has reinvented the Cap de Ceus Trail, but it has not lost its essence. Klassmark has limited participation, fragmented the program by staggering the collection of bibs and exits, and has sought wider spaces for common areas. These are measures that have come to stay until further notice; but as important is hygiene and safety as respect and love for the environment. Paradise must remain intact as participants pass. Those lucky enough to wear a Cap de Creus Trail bib will know this weekend why they call it that.

This Saturday has been the turn of the Marathon runners. The organization activated the alternative route in the middle of the week due to the weather forecast of strong winds eliminating the ridge of the Sierra de Rodes, the most exposed section. The best of the new challenge 40 kilometers and 1800 meters of positive gradient Eduard Hernandez and Àngels Llobera have been excellent.

Hernandez started as a clear favorite in the men’s fight. After being crowned Trail champion in 2018 and 2019 he made the leap to the queen distance to continue his reign in Roses. That’s how it has been. Eduard Hernandez has fulfilled the predictions by beating the finish line with a time of 3h13m10s. The fight for the first places has been a heart attack. The leader took less than 2 minutes to a total of 10 runners on the way to kilometer 11 in Port de la Selva. In fact, Eduard Hernandez has not sentenced his rivals until the last climb. From behind Isaac Salva made a big comeback to climb the second rung of the podium, meanwhile Marcel Romaní sneaked into the photo of the best. Among the girls Àngels Llobera has had less competition and has dominated with pleasure to win with 4h14m29s ahead of Cheynna Treto and Sara Garre. Llobera has never seen his victory in danger.

Mountain, sea and the excitement of feeling the heart beating while enjoying the unique environment of Cap de Creus is just what the participants expected. Running in a Natural Park with the utmost respect for the environment and being able to enjoy this steep place, hostile on windy days like today but always grateful for those of us who enjoy running has been, perhaps, the greatest pleasure ‘this 2020. But it’s not over, because the highlight of the weekend arrives tomorrow with the Trail and the best participation ever seen in a Klassmark race. The Golden Trail World Series has been reinvented in a single final event in the Portuguese islands of the Azores with the best athletes in the world. The Cap de Creus Trail will distribute eight tickets, the four best runners and the four best runners, for the big international event of this 2020: the Golden Trail Championship.


On the hiking trails of the Upper Harz water shelf.

Dhe information boards on the edge of the hiking trails are well labeled and expertly designed, and yet we don’t understand anything at first. What is this strange Hutthaler counterbalance we are going to? Not even the word seems familiar to us. In addition, there is always talk of flood ditches and mouth holes, of gear pull and failure, of sweeping wheel and artificial wheel. Because all these curiosities were once skillfully combined with dams and ponds, watercourses, water ditches and water basins as well as inlets and outlets, we can explore a technical masterpiece of mining and water management here: the Upper Harz water shelf. This system arose between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries as a result of legal claims to mining and the necessary use of all regional water supplies.

Since the Middle Ages, the Upper Harz has been one of the most important producers of silver, iron, lead and copper in Central Europe. For centuries, half of the silver came from the pits around Clausthal-Zellerfeld. One had to deal with a paradoxical situation: although the mining industry in the ore mines had to contend with excessive water, it constantly needed additional amounts of water. Because water constantly seeped into the tunnels, it had to be removed with pumps. In pre-industrial times, however, these systems consisted of gigantic wheels, which in turn were driven by water that was brought in from outside via a complicated storage and power system. With such a method, excess water is transported upwards and removed by newly brought in, flowing water. Had the philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz had their way, this type of water management would have been superfluous early on. From Hanover he traveled several times to the Upper Harz around 1685 in order to optimize mining with the help of various technical systems. He wanted to replace the system of water pumps in the tunnels with horizontal windmills based on the Chinese model, but his experiments repeatedly failed.

Tunnels a thousand meters long

In the course of time, miners and engineers had therefore dug almost one hundred and fifty reservoirs and five hundred kilometers of ditches around Clausthal-Zellerfeld, St. Andreasberg, Lautenthal, Altenau and Torfhaus, thus transforming the Upper Harz landscape from the ground up. Thirty kilometers of underground watercourses were also built, the tunnels of which were up to a thousand meters long. The ditches and tunnels led the water collected at high altitudes from the reservoirs and basins to the tunnels. Because the entrances to the mines were also at a great height, care had to be taken to lead the waters from their natural occurrence and the reservoirs to the places of use without losing height. This was the only way to maintain a sufficient gradient for the use of power. Therefore, the trenches were dug parallel to the contour lines of the slopes, if possible with a slope of less than one per thousand.

Nothing has ever been too heavy for the engineer: a gigantic waterwheel on the Upper Harz water shelf.

Image: Janina Dörmann

Major parts of the water shelf have been preserved and are still functional. After the end of mining and before the construction of larger dams, they were used for water supply and electricity generation in the twentieth century. Now the Harz waterworks maintain this historical cultural landscape over an area of ​​two hundred square kilometers and maintain sixty-five ponds and ninety kilometers of ditches and watercourses, even if they now hardly contribute to the drinking water supply and power supply of the region. After UNESCO declared the water shelf a World Heritage Site in 2010, the other buildings and landscape elements are also under passive protection.


Xavier Thévenard, the ultra of the trail

Upon arrival, he lay on the ground, shot down by pain and exhaustion. Xavier Thévenard has tears in his eyes. It is not the man but the body that cries, after swallowing the GR 20 of Corsica, its 180 km and its 14,000 m of elevation gain. “I was dead, he confides two days after the effort. Today, I have trouble walking and at the joint and muscle level I am completely damaged. “

Hell of the GR20

The aftermath lives up to the feat. Leaving Calenzana (Haute-Corse) on July 6 at 4 o’clock, he rallied to Conca in the south of the island the next day at 12:32 p.m., after a 32:32 race. A performance he could not have done alone. He was accompanied by about thirty “pacers”, local runners well acquainted with the course. “The GR 20 is an incredibly demanding route, there are ridges which are quite vertical, he details, and the markup is not well marked, there is not a path to speak of. “

→ READ. Lies and truths in the high mountains

On arrival, the Jurassien was 1 h 26 behind the record set by François D’haene, set in 2016. Regardless of the time, Xavier Thévenard retains “A great human adventure” and claims to be “Grown out of this story”. A false positive speech? Not for Xavier Thévenard, who places performance in second place.

“You can have fun and have a lot of happiness without having the latest iPhone or 5G. “

Yet it is hard to believe as Xavier Thévenard’s record places him among the tenors of his discipline. At 33, he has three Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), one of the most prestigious courses. “We play with our physical form, our body, the stopwatches too, but the present moment, the experiences in the mountains count more. “ Xavier Thévenard draws her strength from the landscapes that surround him and helps him to surpass himself. In difficult times, it is “Hang up” to nature so as not to dive, in a discipline where the body must undergo strong differences in level. “What I like is to feel alive in the effort, he explains. We try to be at one with our environment. “

If ultra-trail is considered an extreme sport, it is its “Quirky, revolutionary side” that Xavier Thévenard appreciates. “In our society, we are always looking for comfort, the least effort. There are a lot of things that are superficial. ” The Jurassian assumes this nonconformism, readily citing the “happy sobriety” of Pierre Rabhi as a model.. “Through ultra, we experience incredibly strong things, with memories that will remain engraved forever. I try, in my activity, to show that you can have fun and have a lot of happiness without having the latest iPhone or 5G. “

Environmental commitment

For “Give back to nature”, the ultra-trailer is also engaged in the fight against global warming. A month ago, he announced that he was stopping taking long-haul flights, after consulting with his various partners. “To make a living from my activity, I have the possibility of staying in Europe while respecting my green convictions”, affirms the Jurassian.

His commitment comes from his childhood, spent at the Plans d’Hotonnes, in the Jura, a remote village of about thirty inhabitants, backing onto a ski resort. An environment in which “Roughness” transmitted to him ” a taste of effort “ since he had to walk 10 km to see his friends. After a long period of cross-country skiing, alongside Martin Fourcade, born the same year, Xavier Thévenard devoted himself to ultra-trail. Exhausted after crossing Corsica, the Jurassien intends to rest “At least ten days” before relaunching himself in a new challenge. Ultra no doubt.


The Ulldeter Trail marks a new path

The wait is over. He Trail Ulldeter it has opened a new era. Klassmark has opted for a new format in the face of the threat of the Covid pandemic19. It is possible to run safely and responsibly without losing the essence of mountain racing. To avoid congestion, the organization divided the Camprodon program into two days. On Saturday afternoon, the participants of the Express distance entered the scene. The highlight would be the Trail, during Sunday morning, with the best country runners in competition. Aleix Domenech i Núria Gil they would rise with a victory of great prestige to be proclaimed champions of Catalonia of Trail.

Camprodon met the characteristics needed to host the seventh edition of the Ulldeter Trail; the current situation requires very large common spaces. In addition, the organization fragmented the schedules to collect the numbers and opted for staggered outings every 5 or 10 minutes in groups of 20 to 30 participants. The new action protocol complied with all the safety and hygiene measures and social distancing that marks the script of the moment. The responsibility and cooperation of all the runners did the rest.

The Catalan Athletics Federation put the spotlight on the Trail de 24 kilometers i 1300 meters of elevation gain positive to give life to the Catalonia Trail Championship. The battle for the absolute Catalan title has been a heart attack. In the women’s fight Mònica Vives, Mireia Pons and Núria Gil have signed an unprecedented race. Mireia, after twisting her ankle, lost track of a Núria and a Mònica who would play the title in the last straight. The final victory was for Núria Gil after 2h33m22s of effort and running half a race with blisters on her feet; he ended up limping. Mònica Vives would stay 12 seconds of glory. Both runners were worthy of first place on the podium.

In the men’s competition, the duel was starred by Aleix Domenech and Marc Pinsach. After alternating in the first position the balance has tipped in favor of the first in the final descent to Camprodon. Aleix Demenech won with the victory and the title of Catalonia Trail Champion with a record of 2h03m06s. Marc Pinsach was just over half a minute away from victory. The podium of the Catalan Athletics Federation was completed by Miquel Corbera, while the third absolute position of the Trail was occupied by an eternal Albert Llonch who did not aspire to the Catalan Trail Championship because he does not have a license.

The list of winners of the Trail Ulldeter has been completed by Eduard Hernandez and Aroa Berenguel. Both were the fastest of the day on Saturday. Eduard Hernandez stopped the clock in 54m52s to prevail with solvency in the Express distance. Iu Net and Enric Caballé also came down early to complete the honor photo. For its part, the Aroa Bereguel was the best of the 12 kilometers and 650 meters of positive gradient after 1h09m09s of effort. Martina Gonfaus was less than a minute behind the winner, while Olga Estellé closed the podium.

The essence of mountain racing lies in the routes. The participants of the Ulldeter Trail have been able to enjoy the paths and trails of the Capçaleres del Ter and Freser Natural Park. Klassmark’s next stop will be in Roses on the weekend of 26 and 27 September, when the Cap de Creus Trail will once again shine with its own light. We hope that many more will follow. The Ulldeter Trail has corroborated that it is possible to run safely and responsibly in these days of uncertainty in which we live.


Russia: Filmmaker and Director Kirill Serebrennikov Sentenced to Suspension

Where does the absurdity culminate in the Serebrennikov affair? In a court file so obviously fabricated that it comes from the theater of the absurd? In this sad spectacle, typical of Russian courts, who sees the judge read at great speed and in a monotone voice an endless verdict? In the meantime, under a blazing sun, hundreds of people who came this Friday to support the director, all riveted to their mobile phones on the lookout for the slightest bit of information filtering from the courtroom? Or in the fact that the sentence of several years in prison suspended after three years of a Kafkaesque trial, of four innocents, takes on a taste of acquittal?

Justice in Russia does not acquit the innocent

Since 11 a.m. this Friday and the start of the reading of the verdict, we knew the four accused convicted. It is not a surprise. Justice in Russia does not acquit the innocent: it condemns them to suspended sentences, or to a prison time less than that already spent in preventive detention. So the wait continues, stretches hour by hour, to get the answer to the only valid question: Kirill Serebrennikov and his comrades will they go to prison this evening? Around the court, reporters from the Russian news channels are desperately trying to furnish by going over the details of the case.

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This is called in Russia “Studio 7 affair”, after the name of the company founded by Serebrennikov, in 2011. A rising figure in contemporary Russian art, Kirill Serebrennikov had then committed with the Russian government to create the “Platform” program to develop and popularize contemporary theater and the live performance in Russia. Between 2011 and 2014, hundreds of shows were staged throughout the country, bringing out a whole generation of talented young actors and authors. The project ended in 2014 on a report of success. Three years later, on May 23, 2017, Kirill Serebrennikov was arrested and his apartment searched. He was charged on August 22, imprisoned and then placed under house arrest.

“A signal sent to all too independent creators»

He is accused of having diverted 120 million rubles (1.6 million euros) of funding for his personal enrichment. The details of the accounting of “Studio 7” sifted by the investigators, indeed show incomplete accounts, money disappearing in subsidiary companies, considerable sums withdrawn in cash. But in the chaotic world of entertainment in Russia, it is impossible to function otherwise, explains Alexandre Khant, filmmaker: “The system is made so that each of us can be accused of embezzlement of public funds. The accounting rules are extremely strict, while the entire entertainment sector is organized informally, with cash payments. We have to break the rules. In fact, all creators who accept public money are outlaws.Everyone normally closes their eyes. Why, in the case of Kirill Serebrennikov, did the sword of Damocles fall? “This is a signal sent to all overly independent creators, considers the filmmaker Alexei Krassovsky, himself worried last year by the Russian Ministry of Culture for a comedy taking place during the siege of Leningrad. An attempt to set an example to scare us. ”

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It is 4:40 pm in Moscow when the judge, who has been reading the verdict for almost six hours, finally arrives at the fateful moment. In the square at the foot of the court, information spread like wildfire, from phone to phone: three years suspended prison sentence and 800,000 rubles (more than 10,000 euros) fine for Kirill Serebrennikov. Two and three years suspended sentence for his co-accused. The crowd cries out for joy. “Thank God, exclaims a young girl. They weren’t too hard. ” A few minutes later, the convicts come out of the court one after the other. In front of the cameras, they thank their supporters: we can see broad smiles behind the masks. “It’s still a denial of justice, shade Alexei Krassovski. But yes, it must be said, this is good news. ” “Stay … It is life and culture that are suspended in our country, writes the critic Anton Doline. And the relief we are experiencing right now, too, is on hold. ”

Lucien Jacques correspondent in Moscow


The new Nissan X-Trail was a disappointment for the Russians – repeat for the “Koreans”

“Cunning” is not the same – to have time to buy a dorestyling.

The previous restyling of the Nissan X-Trail happened already in 2016, and now after 4 years an updated crossover should be born, but the company has not yet spoiled the audience with pictures of the new “Japanese”. And so motorists would continue to sit in ignorance if not for the promo video with the participation of the new Ixtrail “merged” into the network: the video has already been deleted, but the screenshots taken by users remained.

In the images you can clearly understand what the new Nissan X-Trail will be: despite the similarity with the current version of the model, the crossover design will receive noticeable changes, in particular, the new two-story optics in the front: now there will be only DRLs and turning lights, and below it will be located other lighting modules. In general, the design of the photos that got into the network is as close as possible to the recently published Ixtrail patent images.

Salon Nissan X-Trail also updated: the multimedia display is now half removed from the front panel, like a tablet, a new look has acquired a “tidy” and a block of physical control keys. But they have not talked about the technical “stuffing” of the new Ixtrail yet – they expect that the crossover will retain the same 2.5-liter engine, the power of which will increase to 191 “horses”.

However, the new Nissan X-Trail was a disappointment for the Russians, for whom the crossover has almost lost its personality. It seems that, striving for unification, the company is repeating the “Koreans”: just like the new Hyundai models are combined with a large mesh radiator as a carbon copy, and KIA introduces the signature “tiger smile” everywhere, and Ixtrail becomes strikingly similar to Qashqai and even something on Juke. “We’ve lost Nissan,” users complain.

In addition, for some car enthusiasts, the new “Khitril” seems not just faceless, but ugly, both outside and inside: “Tired of this licked design, return Cubism”, “Design insect, sadness”, “Sticking out grandma’s radio from the panel already tired, ”- these are one of the many claims to the new Nissan X-Trail.

Mia Gronskaya

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“the UTMB is a unique sporting event”

Columbia main partner of UTMB

Romain Cancilleri-Michy, Columbia’s marketing manager France looks back on the partnership that links the brand with the UTMB.

What are the reasons that pushed Columbia, at the end of 2018, to renew its partnership with the UTMB for three more years, until 2021?

We are very satisfied with the first four of our partnership with the UTMB which is a unique sporting event. We learned during this period and managed to reach our goals. This partnership is part of the construction of our global trail-running offer launched in 2017 and expected to strengthen over the coming seasons. The UTMB has also proven and strengthened its international resonance, which is a strong point in our Asian and South American markets.

What does it mean to be presenting partner of the UTMB ? What does this imply?

Presenting Partner is the highest level of partnership with the UTMB which allows us to have strengthened collaborations with the UTMB teams, visibility on all communication media and on the entire digital ecosystem of the UTMB via the “UTMB presented by Columbia” logo. This partnership status also covers the shoe textile part since we provide the UTMB with all of the runners ‘and volunteers’ endowments, in addition to the organization and press endowments.

What objectives have you set for yourself with this UTMB partnership?

The first objective was to associate the Columbia brand with the UTMB event. Today we come to this level: we have visibility on the ground, on social actions and a presence with the runners. The second point was to raise the perception of the Columbia brand among trail running practitioners and to move from general outdoor to more specific and technical outdoor. We also know that our sales increased in Chamonix this week. This strengthened us in the idea that we must communicate in this way.

How does the UTMB help Columbia improve its R&D?

We invest a lot in R&D. This year, on the UTMB, we are bringing in biomechanics, we are implementing foot scans, etc. We try to take into account the needs of European runners vis-à-vis American specificities. The idea is to better understand how to segment the offer of our products, because in Europe the distances of the trails are not the same, the types of terrain either, etc. Thus, our trail running offer is refined and becomes more and more relevant. For example, we have redefined our range architecture in trail running, because we have faced the terrain.

More generally, Columbia aims to double footwear within three years. This notably involves reworking the product offer. We also have a brand new footwear team. Our VP footwear is a former Nike (he led the basketball category and supported the growth of the Jordan brand) and Under Armor.

The idea behind trail running is also to penetrate the huge sneakers market?

The sneaker is a strong trend in the shoe market. It necessarily questions outdoor brands, because consumers are evolving. We will always have the classic outdoor, but we also know that city dwellers want to hike and will not necessarily change shoes. With our new SH / FT collection, ‘is the beginning of a long-running story between the outdoor and the city of sneakers, a revival of light hiking shoes without compromising on style. Consumers want to have versatile products that are not for single use, but can wear for many different activities. It is a product that we will introduce in Europe in mid-September. It will be the standard bearer of our footwear energy in the years to come.

In terms of supply, what does shoe represent at Columbia?

We are a historic player in textiles, so it is logical that textiles, in number of references, are the most developed. The shoe is increasing year by year and we are working on all segments … By spring-summer 2020, we will present a new offer for trail-running. We have renewed a large part of our range with new cushioning and rebound technologies, soles with different grips, a redesigned clamp, an innovative fit. It was to renew it.

Salomon and Hoka One One are two of the most visible shoe brands on the UTMB. Where is Columbia located?

In distribution, we are still in our infancy, because there are very established players like Salomon, and very talented new ones like Hoka. The difference is that they focus a lot on trail-running and running when Columbia has a wider offer, and is very established in textiles … But in the medium term, our desire is to be able to bring our trail running vision with Columbia Montrail and offer consumers the choice.


“Trail running is 10% of the European outdoor market”

Columbia main partner of UTMB

Romain Cancilleri-Michy is Columbia’s Marketing Director for Europe, UTMB sponsor. Trailer top class (2nd in the 1st edition of the UTMB, 6th in 2005 and 2006, 11th in 2008 …), it looks back at what seduced the legendary brand of sportswear and outdoor equipment to get involved alongside the UTMB.

How did Columbia become the official sponsor of the UTMB?

Columbia is a company created in 1938 with more than $ 2 billion in sales. The company is 51% family owned, the rest is listed on the stock market. During the 2000s, the group acquired other brands. Today, Columbia Sportswear Company owns Mountain Hardwear for mountaineering and expeditions, Sorel, which designs outdoor and very cold shoes, and Montrail for trail running. In 2015, when Columbia had the opportunity to become a partner of the UTMB [l’équipementier The North Face avait mis fin à son partenariat, d’un commun accord avec l’organisation de l’UTMB, NdlR], we jumped at the chance. But it was a group-level partnership contract. In other words, we brought the whole Columbia group to Chamonix: Moutain Hardwear, especially for the PTL [la Petite Trotte à Léon, 300 km, 25 000 D+, NdlR] for more technical and specific equipment, Montrail for trail running shoes and Columbia for the textile part. We were not a title partner, but a rank 1, 2 and 3, one brand per level. When the naming official of the event became UTMB [la course s’appelait jusque-là Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc], we had the opportunity to become presenting partner from 2016. If the UTMB has no more naming partner, Wanting to be a brand in its own right, Columbia today has the highest level of partnership of the event. We are talking about the UTMB by Columbia.

It’s sort of a homecoming for Columbia. Franco Fogliato, Director General Europe, Columbia and Sportswear Company Africa and Middle East, and Topher Gaylord, President of Mountain Hardwear, having been in the UTMB adventure from the start …

Not really, because at the time Franco and Topher worked for The North Face. They arrived at Columbia’s house afterwards. But it’s true that their personal connections allowed them to initiate conversations business with the Poletti [fondateurs et organisateurs de l’UTMB] pretty quick.

What motivated Columbia to become a partner of the UTMB?

Columbia is part of a trail running strategy. In 2017, Columbia and Montrail merged under the Columbia Montrail brand. The UTMB is one of the biggest trail running events in the world by its organization, the number of bibs, the difficulties in aligning with the starting line … The UTMB is the benchmark race in the world . Columbia has the will to assert itself in the outdoor community. And trail running is no longer a trend but a sport in its own right. Chamonix has an international resonance. For our foreign subsidiaries, Chamonix makes sense. The UTMB week is the busiest of the year for Chamonix. For us, it is an extraordinary platform for visibility and field tests. We have beta testing throughout the UTMB week, we have Columbia Montrail athletes for shoes, like Ruy Ueda [2e sur le Gaoligong by UTMB 2018, 124 km, 6 700 D+], registered on the OCC this year, the Camus brothers [dont Sylvain, fondateur du Team Adventure Garmin, 2e de la TDS 2017], registered on the UTMB this year, for which we have great ambitions, or Amy Sproston [8e des femmes UTMB 2017], also involved in the UTMB.

What does Columbia expect from the trail phenomenon?

It is no longer a phenomenon. The UTMB was born in 2003 and trail running has been a sport in its own right since 2007, 2008. Today, in all sports shops, you have a section of wall dedicated to trail running and athletic brands all have a trail running offer. The market is valued at 500 million euros in fair market value for Europe, when the market value of European outdoor sports is 5 billion euros. Trail running therefore occupies 10% of this outdoor market. We can therefore speak of activity assumed in its own right. As an outdoor brand, we see that trail running must be part of Columbia’s activities. We have to bring our point of view on textiles and shoes.

What exactly is Columbia’s “point of view” on trail running?

Columbia brings all the expertise developed by Montrail, one of the first full-fledged trail running brands, to shoes. We also have proprietary technologies on the soles, midsoles and stability points. In Lyon, you can now find all Columbia Sportswear products in our new store, which opened on July 28.