Norway unbeatable in Cross-Country in Gaellivare
Already for the 6th time, the FIS Cross-Country World Cup kicked off 100 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, in Gaellivare (SWE), with a new record number of 18,000 spectators. The opening weekend saw the world’s best Cross-Country skiers start their quest for the crystal globes, FIS Tour de Ski wins and medals at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2013.
Gaellivare, the mining centre of Northern Europe welcomed everybody with excellent snow conditions, perfectly groomed tracks and mild temperatures just below 0°C.
Norway's Marit Bjoegren started her season just as she ended the last one, with top spot on the podium. Bjoergen dominated the opening competition, 10 km free ahead of Therese Johaug and the surprise of the day, Kikkan Randall. The US World Cup Sprint champion 2012 entered the season with her career best first podium in a distance competition.
The men's competition over 15 km free technique also saw a surprise winner when classical specialist Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway topped the podium. Sundby has focused on skating for many years and those efforts paid off in Gaellivare. Kazakhstan's Alexey Poltoranin carried on his good performances from FIS races in Muonio (FIN) and finished second. Marcus Hellner pleased his home fans and powered to third place.
The ladies' 4x5 km relay and men's 4x7.5 km relay were on schedule on 25th November and the Norwegian teams topped the podium in both competitions.
Norwegian ladies have dominated all the relay competitions that have taken place in Gällivare and won again ahead of the home team Sweden and the United States finished on the podium for the first time in a relay competition.
The men competed on the newly introduced shorter distance of 4 x 7.5 km. It was again team Norway, which dictated the tempo. A tough fight for the two remaining podium spots took place between Sweden and Russia with the home team winning the duel in the end.
The FIS Cross-Country World Cup will stay in Northern Europe where the third edition of the Ruka Triple is set to take place from 30th November to 2nd December.
To stay tuned, visit fiscrosscountry.com