World Cup Finals Falun - Sprint preview

PREVIEW LADIES' SPRINT FREESTYLE – Friday 16 Mar 2018

·  Maiken Caspersen Falla will win her 3rd sprint crystal globe with the absence of Sweden's Stina Nilsson due to illness.  

·  Falla becomes the fourth woman to win the World Cup sprint three campaigns in a row, after Kikkan Randall (3, 2012-2014), Marit Bjørgen (4, 2003-2006) and Bente Skari (5, 1998-2002).

·  Bjørgen (5), Skari (5), Randall (3) and Petra Majdic (3) are the only women to have won the sprint classification at least three times.

·  Falla and Nilsson have both won three World Cup sprint races this season, most among women. Laurien van der Graaff follows on two wins.

·  Falla won the last two sprint races in the World Cup, in Lahti on 3 March (free) and in Drammen on 7 March (classic). She could win three successive for the second time, after winning four in a row from February to March 2016.

·  Falla could win her 17th individual World Cup sprint race, which would see her equal Skari in third-place all-time among women (including Tour stages). Only Bjørgen (40) and Majdic (20) have won more.

·  Nilsson (12) is in joint-fifth place all-time among women for most individual sprint World Cup victories (including Tour stages), alongside Kikkan Randall.

·  Falla and Nilsson have both won eight individual World Cup sprint races in the free technique, only trailing Bjørgen (24) and Randall (12) for most all-time among women.

·  Last season Nilsson won the sprint freestyle event in the World Cup in Falun on 28 January, finishing ahead of Falla (second) and Heidi Weng (third).

·  Sophie Caldwell will finish third in the World Cup sprint standings. She is the second woman from the United States to finish on the podium of any World Cup classification, after Randall (sprint and overall).

·  Caldwell is also hoping to join Randall as the only women from the United States to claim multiple World Cup sprint victories in a single season. Randall achieved this on four occasions, most recently in 2013/14.

·  Laurien van der Graaff has claimed two podium finishes in individual sprint events this World Cup season, a victory in the sprint free in Lenzerheide on 30 December (Tour de Ski) and a victory in the sprint free in Seefeld on 27 January.

·  Van der Graaff can become the first female Swiss cross-country skier to claim at least three top-three finishes in a single World Cup season (all disciplines). Evi Kratzer also reached the podium twice in both 1984/85 and 1986/87.

PREVIEW MEN'S SPRINT FREESTYLE 

• Johannes Høsflot Klæbo won six of the first nine individual World Cup sprint races this season and has already secured the sprint crystal globe. Federico Pellegrino (2) and Sergey Ustiugov (1) won the other three.

• Klæbo can become the first man to win seven individual sprint events in one World Cup season. He currently shares the record of six with Emil Jönsson (2010/11) and Ola Vigen Hattestad (2008/09).

• Klæbo finished on the podium in eight of the nine individual World Cup sprint races this campaign. This is a joint-record among men for one season, alongside Hattestad in 2008/09.

• Considering all disciplines, Klæbo has won 10 World Cup races this season. The only man who won at least 11 World Cup events in one campaign was Martin Johnsrud Sundby in 2015/16 (16).

• Pellegrino has won 11 individual World Cup sprint races, joint-third all-time among men alongside Tor Arne Hetland and Jens Arne Svartedal. Only Jönsson (16) and Hattestad (13) have won more.

• Ten of Pellegrino's individual sprint victories in the World Cup came in the free technique, a record among men.

• Last season Pellegrino won the sprint event in Falun in the World Cup on 28 January 2017, finishing ahead of Emil Iversen (second) and Sindre Bjørnestad Skar.

• Lucas Chanavat has claimed three World Cup podium finishes in individual sprint events this season, all in the free technique. He could become the second Frenchman to win a sprint race in the World Cup, after Baptiste Gros who won stage 3 (free) of the 2016 Ski Tour Canada.

• Chanavat can become the first man from France to finish on the podium of the World Cup sprint classification. Maurice Manificat (distance) and Vincent Vittoz (distance, overall) are the only men from France to claim an individual podium finish in any World Cup standings.