The time of truth: Chaux-Neuve is on!
After conquering new ground in Russia with the World Cup stopping in Chaikovskiy for the first time, this weekend is all about returning to a traditional Nordic Combined venue - and one known for its massive numbers of spectators as well. With local hero Jason Lamy Chappuis clinching three gold medals at last year's World Championships in Val di Fiemme and two team medals for the local heroes, the interest cannot be any higher than at this point where the preparations for the Olympics hit the critical stage.
Chaux-Neuve is the time of truth: who of the top contenders has trained well over Christmas and was able to conserve the good shape? Which other athletes have stepped it up and are now also to be counted among the medal favourites, both for the Olympic Games but also for the Nordic Combined TRIPLE which will take place next weekend in Seefeld? One Individual Gundersen and one thrilling Team Sprint offer enough chances to assess where the athletes are now. The suspension is electrifying!
From a snow perspective, everything's set and even tough positive temperatures were also finding their way into the French region close to the Swiss border, for now, there's still snow left. "The jumping hill is covered by cultured snow and the cross-country track is ready with a mix of natural and culture snow. A few hundred cubic metres of culture snow are available if needed", snow controller Eric Lazzaroni of the French Ski Association reports. In order to simplify matters, the organisers have concentrated on preparing a 2 km-loop over a 2,5-kilometre one but all other matters will be according to the usual standards.
So it's all set in Chaux-Neuve and the tiny French village will once again provide the beautiful backdrop to what will surely be one of the most exciting World Cup weekends in this season!