World of XC predictions and preview: Ladies' 10 km C
In the ladies’ class we have the usual fight between Marit Bjørgen, Justyna Kowalczyk and Therese Johaug – with the addition of Charlotte Kalla who is actually a real gold candidate. The remaining Norwegians and the Finns will fight for the medals.
- Justyna Kowalczyk would normally be the big favourite in a classic interval start race, but the Polish skier has struggled with injuries the last weeks – and although she could turn out to be very close to 100% – there is a uncertainty with respect to her chances. Still a hot winner candidate.
- Marit Bjørgen showed at the Skiathlon that she is in top shape – and is probably the main favourite for the 10 km classic.
- Therese Johaug was not in her best shape at the Skiathlon – but she later said that she did not sleep all night due to the circumstances surrounding Jacobsen’s brother – and thus Johaug might actually be in top shape on Thursday. Count her in the fight for gold – if she has the early November shape of Beitostølen nobody can beat her.
- Charlotte Kalla impressed with a 2nd place in Lillehammer at the 10 km classic – only 12 seconds behind Kowalczyk and ahead of all Norwegians. And that with difficult and soft conditions. Another top classic race in Toblach with a 3rd place. Looking at her statistics – she has increased her capacity in classic significantly this year. Definitely a winner candidate.
- Aino-Kaiso Saarinen: Classic specialist who was on top on the 10 km classic in 2008-2009 – but showed on the Skiathlon that she is on her way to top shape. Can challenge the “Big 4″ for the medals. Gold seems impossible – but ….
- Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen: Impressive shape this year – and has done some very good interval start races. Medal candidate!
- Heidi Weng: Another Norwegian medal candidate – finished 3rd in Lahti on the 10 km classic interval start race last year.
Outsiders: Kerttu Niskanen, Krista Lahteenmaki, Ishida Masako, Yulia Tchekaleva, Nicole Fessel, Anna Haag, Sadie Bjornsen.