Did you know is back! - Ruka World Cup preview 2014

28 November 2014 08:00
Justyna Kowalczyk Ruka 2013
Justyna Kowalczyk Ruka 2013 -
NordicFocus

Information provided by Infostrada Sports 

WORLD CUP RUKA, 29-30 NOVEMBER 2014

MEN'S PREVIEW 

Norway to continue sprint dominance in Ruka?
- Norwegian skiers have won six of the eight sprint races held in the classical style in Ruka. Norway has won 14 of 24 possible podium places in this event in Ruka. Russia and Sweden are next with four podiums.
- Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR) is the only athlete to win the sprint in Ruka twice, he won in 2008 and 2009.
- Hattestad has been on the podium on 13 occasions in classic sprints on World Cup. He needs one more to equal Jens Arne Svartedal (NOR), who leads the all-time ranking with 14 classic sprint podiums (11 of these are wins).
- Hattestad and Emil Jönsson (SWE) are currently tied at 13 World Cup wins in sprint (classic + freestyle), the most of all athletes.

New races – new winners in Kuusamo?
- This year two regular World Cup races are held in Ruka, after four years with the “Opening Tour” in Northern Finland. A total of 19 World Cup races have been held in Kuusamo (not including Tour-stages). The 19 races have seen 14 different winners. Only Petter Northug with three wins, Axel Teichmann (GER), Martin Johnsrud Sundby and Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR) on two wins have won more than once in Ruka.
- Martin Johnsrud Sundby won all three Tours (Opening Tour, Tour de Ski and World Cup Final) in the 2013/14 season, and also won the World Cup overall. Sundby won his first individual World Cup race in Ruka, the 15km Classic on 30 November 2008, exactly six years ago.
- Sundby has six career individual World Cup wins, only three are regular distance races. All of Sundby’s three distance race wins have been at 15km (two freestyle, one classic).
- Two of Sundby’s three 15 km wins have been in Finland, Ruka in November 2008 and Lathi in March 2014. The third one was in Gällivare, Sweden, in November 2012.
- Excluding Tours, eight of Sundby’s 10 regular World Cup podiums have been in events in Finland (four) or Norway (four). In addition Sundby has one podium in Sweden (Gällivare) and one in Switzerland (Davos 2013).

No joy for Finnish hopes on home snow
- In all 19 World Cup races in Kuusamo, a Finnish athlete has never won a race in the men’s competition. Only once has a local athlete entered the podium, Sami Jauhojärvi was third on 15km classical style 30 November 2008. This is the only male Finnish result on the podium in a World Cup race on home snow since the World Championships in Lahti 2001. Jauhojärvi was also third in a stage in Ruka triple 2010, in sprint classical style.

Northug to strike back after season without podium?

- Petter Northug did not finish on the podium in any individual World Cup events in the 2013/14 season (he did, however, win a TDS-stage). His best result was a fourth place in the Tour de Ski. This was the first time since the season 2007/2008 Northug finished a season without an individual top three finish in a World Cup race.
- Northug won the 15km Classic style in Ruka in November 2009. This was his first win in classical style with individual start on World Cup.
- No male athlete has more wins in Ruka than Northug, he has won four times here (including Tour stages). He is one win ahead of Lukas Bauer (CZE) with three wins.
- Northug also has the most podiums in Ruka (including Tour stages) with six. Bauer, Axel Teichmann (GER), Alexander Legkov (RUS) and Eldar Rønning (NOR) are all on five podiums in Ruka.

15km Classic style- wide open as always?
- The last eight 15km classic events held on the World Cup (not including Tour stages), going back to Jan 2012, have seen eight different winners.
- In these eight races, only three athletes have been more than once on the podium. Alexey Poltoranin (KAZ) and Dario Cologna (SUI) both have four podiums, while Alexander Legkov (RUS) has two.
- Lukas Bauer (CZE) has five World Cup wins in 15km classic style, most of today’s active athletes. He needs one more win to equal Bjørn Dæhlie (NOR) with six wins in second place in World Cup history. Gunde Svan (SWE) has the most wins on 15km classic with seven.

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LADIES' PREVIEW

Bjørgen and Kowalczyk dominate sprint classical style
- Marit Bjørgen (7) and Justyna Kowalczyk (7) have won 14 of the last 16 sprints held in classical style (includes stages, World Cup races and World Championships). 
- The last winner apart from these two is Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR), who won in Drammen in March 2014. Bjørgen finished second, while Kowalczyk did not participate in this race. The other is Mona-Liisa Malvalehto (FIN), who won in Liberec in January 2013. Kowalczyk finished second, while Bjørgen did not participate in this race. 
- The last event in sprint classic in which both Bjørgen and Kowalczyk participated but without any of them winning was a stage in the World Cup fnal in March 2011, when Petra Majdic (SLO) won. Bjørgen finished second and Kowalczyk seventh.
- Marit Bjørgen has won nine sprints in classical style on World Cup, currently tied with Bente Skari (NOR) in second place on the all-time ranking. She needs one more win to equal Petra Majdic who is in first place with 10 wins.
- Including Tour stages, Majdic and Bjørgen are tied on 14 wins, eight second places and two third places (24 podiums in total). Kowalczyk is third with 20 podiums.
- Only three athletes have shared the eight possible wins in classics sprints in Ruka (World Cup and Tour stages). Marit Bjørgen and Petra Majdic each have three wins, while Justyna Kowalczyk has two.
- Bjørgen has a total of four podium finishes in Ruka in the classic sprint, one behind Petra Majdic who has a record five podium finishes in Ruka.

10km classic back on the programme in Ruka after five-year absence 
- The 10km classic style with individual start has not been held in Ruka since November 2009. Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (FIN) won the last two 10km classic style held in Ruka (2008 and 2009).
- Marit Bjørgen also has two wins in 10km classic in Ruka (2005 and 2007). Bjørgen and Saarinen are the only two athletes who have won this event in Ruka more than once.

Marit Bjørgen is the queen of Ruka
- Marit Bjørgen has a total of six World Cup wins in Ruka. No other athlete has more than three (Majdic). 
- Bjørgen has finished on the podium in 10 of her 14 World Cup starts in Ruka.