Did you know? Fun facts for Asiago Saturday sprints

20 December 2013 10:48
Asiago -


Kowalczyk big favorite with Bjørgen missing

  • Sprint classic is normally a fight between Justyna Kowalczyk and Marit Bjørgen. They have won 12 of the 13 races in sprint classic (including Tour stages and World Championships) since Petra Majdic retired in 2011.
  • Kowalczyk and Bjørgen have six wins each from the last 13 races.
  • The only other athlete to win is Mona-Liisa Malvalehto, who won in Liberec in Jan 2013.
  • Kowalczyk was second in that competition, while Bjørgen did not participate.
    Bjørgen will not compete in Asiago this weekend, leaving the top of podium open for Kowalczyk, who won the only sprint classic held this season, a stage event in the Ruka triple in Kuusamo.
  • Kowalczyk has actually won all three sprint classic races held since Marit Bjørgen won the event at the World Championships in Val di Fiemme.
  • Sprint classic style is Kowalczyk’s second most successful event in the World Cup with five wins and 13 podium finishes. She has 10 wins and 16 podium places in 10km classic style.
  • Of Kowalczyk’s last 15 World Cup wins (overall Tour wins excluded), 11 have been in classic style, three have been skiathlons, while only one has been free technique.
  • Kowalczyk has never won in Asiago, her only podium here is a third place in sprint freestyle stage in Tour de Ski Jan 2008.
  • Kikkan Randall has been second in both sprints held this season. Randall was beaten by Bjørgen in Davos (free) and by Kowalczyk in Kuusamo (classic, Tour stage).
  • The second place in Kuusamo was Randall’s first finish on the podium in an event in classical style. Randall’s other 22 individual podiums (including Tour stages) have all come in free technique races.


Norwegians superior in Asiago

  • Asiago has been a great place for Norwegian skiers. In the six individual World Cup races and Tour de Ski stages held here, Norwegian men have won five. 
  • Norwegian athletes have dominated the men’s classical sprint since the first World Cup race. In total Norway has 36 wins of 48 possible in World Cup, and 91 podium places of 144 in total.
  • Sweden is the only other country to have more than one win in classical World Cup sprints with eight wins (six by Emil Jönsson). Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Italy and Russia have one World Cup win each.
  • Norway won 32 of the first 36 sprints held in classical style in the World Cup. Of the last 12 World Cup events held in the discipline, Norway has only won four, with Sweden taking home six of the last 12 wins. Emil Jönsson won five of these races.

The Olympic and World champion looking for his first classic WC-win

  • Even with Olympic and World Championship gold medals, Nikita Kriukov has not yet won a regular World Cup event in classic sprint. His best results are 3rd places, which he has achieved on five occasions in the World Cup. In addition Kriukov has stage wins in World Cup Final, Tour de Ski and Ruka Triple in Kuusamo in classic sprint events.

  • The only win for Russia in a regular event in sprint classical style came in Stockholm in March 2007, won by Mickail Devjatiarov Jr.

  • Norway has won six of the last eight individual World Cup competitions for men. The exceptions are Alexander Legkov (RUS) who won the 50km freestyle in Oslo in March, and Maurice Manificat’s win on 30km freestyle in Davos last weekend.
  • Norwegian male athletes have won three of the four individual World Cup competitions so far this season. The three races have had three different winners; Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Pål Golberg and Anders Gløersen. Last season only two Norwegian men won a World Cup race; Petter Northug and Martin Johnsrud Sundby.

Mid-twenties the age to succeed in classical sprint

  • Since Jens Arne Svartedal (NOR) won his last classical sprint in Stockholm in February 2008, all winners of a World Cup classical sprint have been between 23 and 27 years old. Youngest in this period is Emil Jönsson (SWE), who was 23 years and 154 days old in Vancouver in January 2009. Oldest: Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR), who was 27 years and 223 days old when winning in Kuusamo in November 2009.
  • Eirik Brandsdal, 27 years old, won the classical sprint stage in Ruka Triple in Kuusamo in November. Brandsdal has won four of the last six classic sprint wins by a Norwegian in World Cup and stages in World Cup tours. Petter Northug won the remaining two.
  • The winner in sprint free technique in Davos last weekend, Anders Gløersen, 27 years old, has four wins in World Cup, but has never been on the podium in a classic sprint. A fourth place in Canmore January 2008 is his best result. Gløersen has failed to qualify for the quarterfinals in his last four World Cup starts in classical sprints. He last qualified in Otepää in January 2012, when he was 15th overall.