Dario Cologna among the favourites in Davos

07 December 2010 12:20

Davos Nordic is ready for a great international cross-country ski festival. This coming weekend, local hero Dario Cologna will be one of the principal players on the Flüela cross-country ski run and the sprint in the Bünda stadium.

Dario Cologna proved his excellent early shape in this winter’s first World Cup races in Scandinavia. At times the Graubunden skier even wore the yellow starting number as World Cup leader. This was wrested from him in Kuusamo, Finland by Russian Alexander Legkov. Nevertheless, Cologna still ranks as a top contender for a place on the podium in Davos – not only in Saturday’s classic-style individual races over 15 kilometres but also in Sunday’s sprint. In his preparation for the season, the Olympic champion put more emphasis on training in diagonal style, something that has shown dividends in his first races.

Swiss team aims for top 30

Outstanding starts to the World Cup winter were also made in Gällivare (Sweden) by Toni Livers, Curdin Perl and Remo Fischer. All three were classified under the first 18. However all the 15 km races were held in freestyle and all three are more at home in skating style than classic. For Davos, the trio’s aim is still to finish under the fastest 30 and thus gain World Cup points.

Strong international field

Many racers are considered a potential winner on the demanding Flüela run. Legkov will of course be defending his World Cup lead. He traveled straight to Davos from Kuusamo, skipping last Saturday‘s sprint in Düsseldorf to make specific, on-the- spot preparations for the Davos Nordic. Swede Daniel Rickardsson’s third place in Kuusamo caused people to sit up and take notice, as did the fourth place of Norwegian Eldar Rönning. Germans Axel Teichmann and Jens Filbrich are other strong candidates for a place on the podium. Various Norwegian and Finnish racers also have potential for improvement. Current overall World Cup winner Petter Northug will be making his debut in the still young World Cup season, in Davos. He has been Cologna‘s greatest opponent in recent years. Northug had to miss a start in the first World Cup races because of health problems.

Unpredictable sprint

The starting situation in the men’s sprint event is completely open. The only free technique sprint race to take place so far was won in Düsseldorf last Saturday by Sweden’s Emil Jönsson. He was followed by Italian Fulvio Scola and Norwegian Oystein Pettersen. Swiss racer Christoph Eigenmann took an excellent eighth place. Two other Swiss athletes, Jöri Kindschi (24th) and Eligius Tambornino (28th), also won World Cup points.

Another WC victory for Bjoergen?

The winner of the Davos Nordic women’s events in both the classic 10 km race and sprint, will no doubt have to beat Marit Björgen. Taking three gold medals, one silver and one bronze, the Norwegian was crowned Ski Queen at last February’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver. At the start of the season, she continued her dominating form without a hitch. Justyna Kowalczyk (Poland), Petra Majdic (Slovenia) and Charlotte Kalla (Sweden), three other well-known rivals will be aiming to upset Björgen’s throne.

Swiss ladies to collect WC points

Every World Cup point win can be regarded as a success for the Swiss women’s team, now being trained by Davoser Christian Flury. Silvana Bucher has so far shown herself to be the keenest collector of points. We can eagerly await the results of Seraina Mischol, Seraina Boner and Ursina Badilattiin. Last spring, the trio were taken out of the Swiss-Ski squad and will now make a new start as the Engadin Ski-Marathon Team. In Davos, the team will get the chance to start in the World Cup and, with suitable results, possibly even force a World Championship selection.

PROGRAMME FIS CROSS-COUNTRY SKI WORLD CUP

SATURDAY, 11 DECEMBER 2010

12:15 Ladies, 10 km – classic technique, single start
14:30 Men, 15 km – classic technique, single start

SUNDAY, 12 DECEMBER 2010

10:00 12:00 15:00

Björn Daehlie Kids-Event Ladies and Men, Sprint - free technique PROLOGUE Ladies and Men, Sprint - free technique FINAL