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Pre-competition facts: Otepää!
Picture by NordicFocus, Otepää 2017

Sprint classic style – Saturday 19 Jan 2019 

PREVIEW ladies

• Stina Nilsson has won each of the last four ladies' individual sprint events in the World Cup (all freestyle). She could become the second female athlete to win at least five successive individual World Cup sprint events. The only athlete to have done so is Marit Bjørgen, who won 11 sprint events in a row from December 2003 to December 2004.
• In total, Nilsson has won 16 individual sprint events in the World Cup. Only three women have won more individual World Cup sprint races: Bjørgen (40), Petra Majdic (20) and Bente Skari (17). Maiken Caspersen Falla has also won 16 individual sprint events.
• Across all cross-country events, Nilsson has won 22 World Cup races. The only Swedish athlete with more World Cup victories in the sport is Gunde Svan: 30.
• The last athlete other than Nilsson to win a ladies' individual sprint event was Jonna Sundling, the sprint free in Lillehammer on 30 November 2018.
• Swedish women have won five successive individual World Cup sprint events for the first time.
• Swedish skiers have finished on the podium in each of the last nine ladies' individual World Cup sprint races, claiming 17 of the possible 27 podium spots in this run.
• Belorukova could become the first athlete to win successive individual ladies' sprint classic events since Nilsson in March-November 2017.
• Only one woman from Russia has won two individual sprint events in the World Cup: Natalia Matveeva won freestyle races in 2007 (Düsseldorf) and 2017 (Toblach).
• Falla (8) could equal Justyna Kowalczyk (9) in fourth place all-time for most individual sprint classic freestyle victories among women. Bjørgen (16), Majdic (14) and Skari (10) are in the first three places.
• Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (win in classic in January 2015), Hanna Falk (win in classic in January 2010) and Nilsson (win in freestyle in February 2017) could join Majdic (3) as only woman to have won multiple individual World Cup sprint events in Otepää.
• Jessica Diggins has claimed five podium spots in individual World Cup sprint events, including two this season, but has yet to claim her first individual sprint victory.

PREVIEW men

• This will be the second men's individual sprint classic race this World Cup season. Alexander Bolshunov won the first in Ruka on 24 November 2018.
• Bolshunov can become the first Russian skier to win consecutive sprint classic World Cup races.
• Bolshunov has claimed three podiums in individual sprint classic World Cup races. Kriukov (12) is the only male Russian skier to have claimed more podium finishes in the sprint classic event. Sergey Ustiugov is also on three podium places.
• Johannes Høsflot Klæbo has won seven of the last 11 individual sprint World Cup races (classic and free), including four of the last five in the classic style.
• Klæbo could claim his 12th individual victory in World Cup sprint events, equalling Federico Pellegrino (12) in third place all-time among men. 
• Klæbo (4) and Pellegrino (3) are the only male skiers to claim multiple podium finishes in sprint events this World Cup season. Eleven skiers have claimed exactly one podium finish in sprint events this season. 
• Klæbo won the most recent sprint World Cup race in Otepää (freestyle) on 18 February 2017. No male skier has claimed multiple wins in sprint World Cup events in Otepää.
• Sindre Bjørnestad Skar won the most recent sprint World Cup race in Dresden (freestyle) on 12 January 2019.
• For Skar, it was his second win in the World Cup in a sprint event after he won the sprint freestyle in Toblach on 14 January 2017. He has yet to win a classic sprint World Cup event.

10/15km classic style – Sunday 20 Jan 2019 

PREVIEW ladies

• Norwegian athletes have won nine of the 10 ladies' individual distance World Cup events since the start of the season. Therese Johaug won the first five distance races while Ingvild Flugstad Østberg has won the last four (all in the Tour de Ski). Natalia Nepryaeva (Russia) won the other race.
• Østberg could win five individual distance events in a single World Cup season for the first time in her career. Last season, she also won four distance races.
• Østberg has won two 10km classic races this World Cup season. Last season, Krista Pärmäkoski (3) was the only woman to win multiple ladies' 10km classic events.
• Johaug has won more than five distance events in a single World Cup season twice before: 14 victories in 2015/16 (all-time record for most in a season) and six victories in 2014/15.
• Johaug has claimed three podium finishes in individual distance races held in Otepää, but has yet to claim her first win here. Otepää is the host city where Johaug has finished on the podium in individual distance events most often without ever winning.
• None of the currently active skiers has ever won a ladies' individual distance World Cup event in Otepää. The last five individual distance events in the Estonian city were won by either Justyna Kowalczyk (3) or Bjørgen (2).
• The only woman not from Norway to have won an individual distance event this World Cup season is Natalia Nepryaeva: the 10km free in Toblach on 30 December 2018.
• Anastasia Sedova has finished on the podium of four individual distance events this World Cup season, all third places. Sedova has never finished in the top-two of a World Cup race (all events, including team events).
• Krista Pärmäkoski has finished in the top-six in each of the 10 individual distance events this season but claimed only two podium spots (third in 10km free in Davos, second in 9km pursuit free in Val di Fiemme).

PREVIEW men

• Sjur Røthe won the last men's distance World Cup event as he won the final stage of the Tour de Ski in Val di Fiemme (9 km pursuit).
• For Røthe, it was his fourth win in an individual World Cup distance event. All of his wins came in freestyle events.
• Røthe did claim three podium finishes in 15km classic style World Cup races. He finished second in Canmore on 13 December 2012, third in Davos on 13 December 2014 and third in Toblach on 20 December 2015.
• Røthe has won three men's individual World Cup distance events this season, most of all skiers. Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (2) is the only other male skier with multiple wins in individual distance events this season.
• Klæbo has won three 15km classic style World Cup races, but all these races were part of Tours. He won his first in the World Cup Final on 18 March 2017, his second in the 3-Days Tour on 25 November 2017 and his most recent aforementioned in the Tour de Ski.
• Alexander Bolshunov has won two 15km classic style World Cup events. The only Russian skier (including for Soviet Union) to win three 15km classic events in the World Cup is Alexei Prokurorov.
• Bolshunov (4, 1 win and three 3rd places) has claimed most podium finishes in individual World Cup distance events this season. Compatriot Sergey Ustiugov and Røthe follow with three podium finishes each.
• Sergey Ustiugov has won seven individual distance World Cup races, a joint-record for male athletes representing Russia. 
• Martin Johnsrud Sundby won the most recent 15km classic event in Otepää, on 19 February 2017. This was also Sundby's last win in this specific discipline in the World Cup.
• Only Lukás Bauer (3) has claimed multiple wins in individual distance World Cup events in Otepää.
• Coming into the weekend, Sundby has won 44 World Cup events (including overall victories in Tours), only trailing Petter Northug (47) and Bjørn Dæhlie (46) for most among men.

 
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