Alba de Silvestro

I was a downhill skier but I moved to alpinism because I was looking for something more. I was running for training during the summer and I was doing well competing in local races. A friend said Skimo was perfect for me, combining skiing and running. I tried just for fun and fell in love with this sport - it’s a beautiful way to explore the mountains.

Now I compete in the World Cup, an international Skimo circuit, in which there are three different stages. The first one is sprint. The second one is vertical, it's 20 minutes only uphill - you have to push very hard. Last is the individual race over varied terrain which is my favourite. I have never won the World Cup as I am not a sprinter, and the sprint races are very important. But I have won several stages, with my first victory being three years ago in Andorra.

The best part of skimo is that you don’t need the lifts or the slopes, you can go whenever you want, to places which no-one else can reach in the mountains.

For me, it is not just about the racing for me but a love of nature and the outdoors. Now I live in Albesaggio and train in San Giuseppe but I grew up in the Dolomites near Cortina which is my favorite place to ski. San Giuseppe is good for skimo, but nothing can compare to the beauty of the Dolomites.

If I had to summarise skimo in three words they would be beautiful, freedom and mountains. The similarities with cycling are endless. The uphills and downhills, the fun, the endless opportunities to explore so many different roads and routes. The feeling of satisfaction when you reach the top of the climb and get ready for the descent.

For me there’s only one difference between cycling and skiing, it’s just the season – one is for winter and the other is for summer.

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