World Cup Finals Falun - 10/15 km classic preview
PREVIEW LADIES' 10KM CLASSIC STYLE – Saturday 17 Mar 2018
• Heidi Weng could become the first woman to win the overall classification in back-to-back seasons since Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) completed a three-peat from 2009 to 2011.
• Last Sunday, Weng already secured the distance World Cup, her second in this discipline after also winning it in 2017.
• In the past four World Cup seasons, the ladies' overall standings was dominated by Norway as they claimed 11 of the 12 podium spots. The only exception was Krista Pärmäkoski's second place for Finland last year.
• The last non-Norwegian woman to win the overall World Cup title was Kowalczyk in 2013.
• Jessica Diggins (USA) can become third non-European woman to finish on the podium of the overall classification, after Canada's Beckie Scott in 2006 (second) and USA's Kikkan Randall in 2013 (third).
• Weng has finished on the podium in 10 of the 15 distance races this World Cup season, most of all women. Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) and Ragnhild Haga (NOR) are next with six top-three finishes each.
• Weng can win three distance races within a single World Cup season for the second time, after 2015/16.
• With four victories, Østberg has won the most distance races this World Cup season. Last season, Marit Bjørgen (NOR) recorded the most World Cup race wins in distance events (7).
• Only Justyna Kowalczyk (18) has won more 10km World Cup races in the classic style (excl. pursuits) than Bjørgen (16).
• Bjørgen has finished on the podium in each of her last 14 participations in a 10km classic World Cup race, including claiming the victory in five of her last six appearances.• The last time Bjørgen missed out on a podium spot in a 10km classic World Cup race was on 17 March 2012, when she finished fourth in the World Cup Final in Falun.
• Krista Pärmäkoski has won two World Cup races this season, the last two 10km events in the classic style: in Planica on 21 January and in Lahti on 4 March.
• The last Finnish woman to win at least three World Cup races in one season (all events) was Virpi Kuitunen with six victories in 2008/09.
• Charlotte Kalla (SWE) can become the second Swedish woman to win three individual distance events in one World Cup season, after Stina Nilsson (SWE) won three in 2016/17.
PREVIEW MEN'S 15KM CLASSIC STYLE
· Coming into this final weekend of World Cup action, Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (NOR) leads the overall men's standings.
· He could become the sixth Norwegian skier to win the overall men's World Cup standings. No other country has had more than four different winners (Sweden).
· Norway's 13 victories in total are already most for any country (Sweden 9).
· At 21, Klæbo could become the youngest winner of the overall men's standings, surpassing Gunde Svan (SWE) who was 22 years old when he won in 1983/84.
· The last two men's overall World Cup standings were also won by a Norwegian, Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR). The last time a specific country won three times in a row was from 2004 to 2007 when German skiers emerged victorious four times.
· Sundby still has a shot at his third consecutive overall title. He could join Svan (1984-1986) and Bjørn Dæhlie (NOR, 1995-1997) as only male skiers to have done so.
· It would be Sundby's fourth overall title in total (also 2014) - only Dæhlie (6), Svan (5) and Dario Cologna (SUI, 4) have reached that milestone in the men's overall.
· Cologna could still equal Svan on five World Cup titles in the men's overall standings, only behind Dæhlie (6).
· Coming into this weekend, Cologna leads the men's distance classification on 642 points, only 30 points ahead of Sundby (612).
· Cologna (2011, 2012, 2015) and Sundby (2014, 2016, 2017) are tied on a record three titles in the men's distance standings (including middle and long distance standings).
· Maurice Manificat (FRA, third on 579 points) is the only other skier who has a chance to win the men's distance standings. In the last seven seasons, Alexander Legkov (RUS, 2013) is the only skier other than Cologna or Sundby to win the men's distance standings.
· Manificat has won nine individual distances races in total in the World Cup, joint-most for a French athlete together with Vincent Vittoz.
· Cologna has won most men's World Cup distance events this season: four, including the 50km freestyle in Holmenkollen last weekend. Klæbo and Alexey Poltoranin (KAZ) follow on three each.
· Cologna could win five individual distance races in one World Cup season for the first time. He also won four in 2010/11 and 2011/12.
· All of Poltoranin's three victories this season came in the last three 15km classic style events. He could become the first to win four in a row, as Lukáš Bauer (CZE) also won three in a row in 2008.
· Bauer (2007/08) is also the only skier to win four men's 15km classic style events in a single World Cup season.
· Poltoranin's eight victories and 16 podium finishes in total in this event are already most for any athlete in the World Cup.
· Poltoranin (11) can become the 10th man to win 12 individual distance events in the World Cup.
· Last season, Klæbo won the men's 15km classic style in the World Cup final in Quebec City.
· Martin Johnsrud 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 Dæhlie (46) have won more World Cup events (individual and team, incl. Tour stages and overall Tour wins) than Sundby (43).