Italy make two key cross-country skiing appointments


The Italian men’s cross-country skiing team will begin the 2018-2019 season under new leadership after two key appointments were confirmed.

Stefano Saracco has been named as men’s head coach, replacing Giuseppe Chenetti.

In addition, Marco Selle will take over from Sandro Pertille in the role of sport director.

Saracco has been promoted after working within the Italian set-up since 2012.

“The boys have developed a lot in the last season,” he said.

“We had the youngest team in the relay of the Winter Olympic Games, that gives us hope for the future.

“We will work a lot but with a smile.

“I am convinced that a cheerful and peaceful atmosphere can help.”

Federico Pellegrino is the top name in Italian cross-country skiing ©Getty Images
Federico Pellegrino is the top name in Italian cross-country skiing ©Getty Images

Selle has been in charge of Italy’s junior teams for six years, and will now be replaced in that position by Pietro Piller Cottrer.

“I will try to give decision-making autonomy to coaches, to be the reference figure that gives the answers when needed and to be the figure of liaison between the lever and top athletes,” he said.

Italy boast one of the world’s best cross-country sprinters in Federico Pellegrino, who has been named in the  World Cup squad for next winter alongside Francesco Di Fabiani.

Pellegrino won sprint gold at the 2017 World Championships in Lahti and then silver at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics in February.

He also won the overall sprint World Cup title in 2016.

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