Holmenkollen 50 km preview

10 March 2018 08:52
Alex Harvey (CAN) becoming 50 km World Champion 2017
Alex Harvey (CAN) becoming 50 km World Champion 2017 -
NordicFocus

PREVIEW MEN 50KM FREESTYLE – Saturday 10 Mar 2018

·  Last season, Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR) became the second man to win successive World Cup 50km events in Holmenkollen, after Vegard Ulvang (NOR) won in 1989 and 1991 (not held in 1990).

·  Sundby can become the first skier to win three men's 50km races in Holmenkollen in the World Cup. He currently shares the record of two with five other skiers.

·  Sundby's two wins in Oslo both came in the classic style. He could become the first man to win the Holmenkollen 50km event in the World Cup in both the classic and freestyle style. Daniel Rickardsson (SWE) could also achieve this as he won the 50km classic event in 2014.

·  Sundby has finished on the podium in each of the last six World Cup 50km events in Oslo. His six podiums in the Holmenkollen race are at least three more than any other skier.

·  Sundby has won 22 individual World Cup distances races in total and needs one more win to join Petter Northug (NOR, 23) in fourth place on the all-time list among men.

·  Only Northug (47) and Bjørn Dæhlie (NOR, 46) have won more World Cup events (individual and team, incl. Tour stages and overall Tour wins) than Sundby (43).

·  Iivo Niskanen (FIN) won the men's 50km race at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. He can become the third reigning Olympic champion in the 50km to win this event in Holmenkollen, after Northug in 2010, Vladimir Smirnov (KAZ) in 1995 and Thomas Wassberg (SWE) in 1987.

·  Only Northug in 2010 (Oslo) won the first men's 50km event in the World Cup after becoming Olympic champion in this event.

·  Niskanen finished second in last year's World Cup race in Oslo. He could become the third Finnish skier to win the men's Holmenkollen 50km in the World Cup, after Harri Kirvesniemi (FIN) in 2000 and Asko Autio (FIN) in 1983.

·  Reigning world champion in the 50km, Alex Harvey (CAN), could become the second Canadian to win the Holmenkollen race in the World Cup, after his father Pierre Harvey (CAN) who won in 1988.

·  Harvey can become the second male athlete from North America to claim five victories in distance World Cup events, after Bill Koch (USA).

·  Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (NOR), Dario Cologna (SUI) and Alexey Poltoranin (KAZ) have won a joint-record three distance World Cup races this season.

·  Of these three men, only Cologna once claimed a World Cup podium in a 50km race as he finished second on two occasions in Holmenkollen: in 2012 (classic) and in 2015 (free).

·  Cologna has won 26 World Cup events (incl. Tour stages and overall Tour wins), including 18 distance races. Cologna needs four more victories to join Vladimir Smirnov (KAZ, 30) and Gunde Svan (SWE, 30) in joint-fourth place on the all-time list.

·  Poltoranin (11) needs one more win to surpass Tobias Angerer (GER), Thomas Alsgaard (NOR) and Per Elofsson (SWE) in 10th place for most individual distance wins in World Cup history.

·  Distance World Cup leader Maurice Manificat (FRA) has won nine individual distances races in total in the World Cup, joint-most for a French athlete together with Vincent Vittoz (FRA).

·  Manificat's best result in a 50km race at the Olympic Winter Games, world championships or in the World Cup is a ninth place at last year's world championships.