Cross-Country Continental Cup season is over
A mild winter and difficult snow conditions caused a lot of challenges for European Cross-Country Continental Cup Organisers. Many competitions had to be rescheduled, moved to other venues or even cancelled. Here is an overview of the COC standings for the 2013/14 season of which the winners will be entitled to start in the 1st World Cup period of the 2014/15 season.
The OPA Cup was concluded in Valdidentro (ITA) after a series consisting of seven venues in seven countries. This season was a great success for the Italian skiers who swept the top-three ladies overall. Fransecsa Baudin topped the overall standing with 948 points ahead of Sara Pellegrini and Giulia Stürz. The men’s final standing was dominated by France, Italy and Germany as Paul Goalabre (FRA) secured the OPA title, Francesco De Fabiani (ITA) finishing in second and Arnd Kuehne (GER) taking third.
Similar to the FIS Cross-Country World Cup, this season’s Scandinavian Cup was dominated by Norwegian skiers, who conquered the entire podium both on the ladies’ and men’s sides. Kathrine Rolsted Harsem led the ladies ahead of Martine Ek Hagen and Marthe Kristoffersen. The men’s victory went to Simen Haakon Oestensen, Daniel Myrmael Helgestad finished second and Emil Iversen third.
The U.S. SuperTour was concluded in Kincaid Park, Alaska from 22nd – 28th March. Four competitions were on the schedule, out of which two counted in the U.S. Super Tour, 10 km free ladies (15 km free men) and sprint classic ladies/men.
In a tight competition until the last race of the season in Prince George (CAN), Emily and Graham Nishikawa’s took the titles in the North American Cup. Emily Nishikawa claimed the overall title just 27 points ahead of her closest contender Heidi Widmer. Nishikawa scored a total of 686 in front of Heidi Widmer (659) and Alysson Marshall (620). On the men’s side Graham Nishikawa improved his final standing from last season, when he finished second, and took this year’s Nor-Am title with 760 points. Runner up Kevin Sandau collected 596 points and Michael Somppi repeated third place form last season with 505 points.
The Far East Cup 2013/14 featured three venues at the Alpensia Resort (KOR), Otoineppu and Sapporo (both JPN).
On the ladies’ side, Yuki Kobayashi claimed the overall Cup victory with 640 points. Chisa Obayashi defended second place from last year and Sukari Tanaki took third with 395 points. Among the men, Kohei Shimizu was the strongest competitor winning the series with 618 points. Nobuhito Kashiwabara picked up 490 points and took second place with Akira Lenting rounding out a hat-trick of three, third places in the last three years.
This year’s Balkan Cup saw only one competition in Mavrovo (MKD) as all other events were cancelled due to lack of snow. Bulgaria’s Andrey Gridin won the men’s series ahead of two Croatians Edi Dadic and Milanko Petrovic. Bulgaria’s Antoniya Grigorova-Burgova took first on the ladies’ side ahead of compatriot Teodora Malcheva and Croatia’s Vedrana Malec.
In the Eastern Europe Cup World Cup skier Natalia Korostelava won the series, Alisa Zhambalova was second and Yulia Belorukova ended in third. Sergey Turyshev claimed the overall victory with 424 points ahead of Alexander Utin in second whilst Nikolay Khokhryakov took third place.
This season’s Slavic Cup was won by Sandra Schuetzova and Jakub Graef (both CZE).
Three out of six venues that were scheduled to host Slavic Competitions were forced to cancel their competitions due to a lack of snow. Sandra Schuetzova (CZE) topped the ladies’ ranking in front of compatriots Eliska Hakova and Klara Moravcova.
Jakub Graef of the Czech Republic won the men’s standings with 420 points. Jacob Kordutch (CZE) finished 120 points behind and took second place and Ondrej Horyna claimed third place with 309 points.