The Italian Almanac

Cable, Wisconsin is the home of the largest cross-country ski race in North America. 6,500 skiers compete in this 52-kilometer race. Aside from the 52-K race, various smaller races are included to form what's know as "Birkie" weekend.

Birkebeiner race

Italian Sport - March 4

Italian skiers continued their mastery of the American Birkebeiner completing a near-clean sweep of both the men's and women's events.

Winning the men's Birkie was Marco Cattaneo of Caronno Pertusellva, Italy, who completed the 51-kilometer course in 2:03:14.6. It was the third straight Birkie win for an Italian man, won in 2004 and 2003 by Gianantonio Zanetel. Meanwhile in the women's race, Laura Peyrot of Prali, Italy set a Birkebeiner record with her third straight American Birkebeiner win in 2:15:30.7, a feat unmatched before Saturday by either men or women in the 32-year history of the Birkie. The time is also a new course record, breaking the 1997 mark of 2:19:04 set by Gudren Pflueger of Austria.

Taking second place in the men's Birkie was Per Luigi Costantin of Moena, Italy in 2:04:10.9 while third went to Ivan Margaroli of Cavalese, Italy in 2:04:11.1. In the women's Birkebeiner, second went to Cristina Paluselli of Tesero, Italy in 2:21:32. In third place was American Brooke Baughman of Ketchum, Idaho, in a time of 2:22:00.