Tour de Ski - Lenzerheide Sprint Preview
PREVIEW Ladies' SPRINT FREESTYLE – Saturday 30 Dec 2017
• Last season's Tour de Ski winner Heidi Weng (NOR) is looking for her third stage win in the competition. Weng won the 10km classic in 2015/16 (Val di Fiemme) and the 9km pursuit in 2016/17 (Val di Fiemme).
• Weng, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) and Jessica Diggins (USA) are the only athletes to have won a Tour de Ski stage in both of the last two seasons.
• Weng's best result in a sprint event in the Tour de Ski came on 5 January 2016, when she finished in second place in the sprint classic in Oberstdorf behind winner Sophie Caldwell (USA).
• Weng is the only woman to have recorded at least one top-three finish in a sprint event (classic and free) in each of the last three editions of the Tour de Ski.
• Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR) has recorded a top-two finish in each of her last 10 sprint free World Cup appearances, since a 45th place in Planica on 16 January 2016.
• Falla is on a total of 19 World Cup victories, including 14 in individual sprint events (7 in free and 7 in classic).
• Falla has been on the podium in 22 sprint free World Cup events, only trailing Randall (23) in second place and all-time record holder Bjørgen (32).
• Four of the previous five Tour de Ski stages in Lenzerheide have been won by Norwegian athletes. Only Kerttu Niskanen (FIN) avoided Norwegian success as she won the 10km classic on 1 January 2014.
Men's SPRINT FREESTYLE
• Finn Hågen Krogh (NOR) is the only athlete from Norway to have won a sprint free stage of the last eight in the Tour de Ski, as he won this event in 2012/13.
• Five of the last six sprint World Cup events have been won by Norwegian athletes, with Alex Harvey's (CAN) sprint free triumph in the 2016/17 World Cup Final as the only exception.
• Harvey could become the second athlete from Canada to win a sprint event (classic and free) in the Tour de Ski after Devon Kershaw (CAN) who won the sprint free in Toblach on 5 January 2011.
• Maurice Manificat (FRA) won the final stage of last season's Tour de Ski (9km pursuit) and could become the first ever man to win the opening stage, after being the fastest in the final pursuit the year before.
• Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR) has won the last two Tour de Ski stages in Lenzerheide, the 30km classic and the 10km pursuit in 2015/16.
• Only Petter Northug (NOR, 13) has won more Tour de Ski stages than Sundby (6). Sundby has never won an individual sprint event (classic and free) in World Cup history.
• Federico Pellegrino (ITA) is the only man to have recorded a top-three finish in a sprint free event in each of the last five editions of the Tour de Ski.
• Only Northug (6) has claimed more podium spots in sprint free events in Tour de Ski history than Pellegrino (5).
• Sergey Ustiugov (RUS) won the first stage of last season's Tour de Ski (sprint free) and could become the second athlete to win the opening stage in back-to-back editions after Northug in 2011/12 and 2012/13.
• Ustiugov won the opening five stages of the 2016/17 Tour de Ski, the longest winning streak in history of the competition.
• Ustiugov's tally of five stage wins in 2016/17 is an all-time high for a single Tour de Ski edition. Sundby won four stages in 2015/16.
• Only Ustiugov in 2016/17 (sprint free) and Lukáš Bauer (CZE) in 2007/08 (4.5km classic) won the opening stage of the Tour de Ski and then went on to claim the overall title.