WWW.TOUR-DE-SKI.COM Edition 30 |3 March 2009  

Welcome to the 30th edition of the FIS Cross-Country News. The 2009 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships are now history and we are looking forward to the last period of the Cross-Country season which is traditionally held in Scandinavia. Have fun reading our current news!

 Viessmann FIS Cross-Country World Cup presented by Rauch 

  Lahti is preparing for the Salpausselänkisat ... more

  Trondheim back in the Cross-Country World Cup ... more

  World Cup Final in Sweden ... more

 Cross-Country Inside  

  World Cup Final rules in brief ... more

  Exciting and challenging last World Cup period ... more

  2009 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec are history ... more

 Important dates 

... more

 Viessmann FIS Cross-Country World Cup presented by Rauch 

Lahti is preparing for the Salpausselänkisat
Lahti (FIN)
Photo: Nordic Focus

Right after the 2009 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec the Lahti Ski Games (Salpausselänkisat) will be held for the 84th time with a full Nordic World Cup program (Cross-Country, Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined). The event will take place from 6th to 8th March. Within the Viessmann FIS World Cup Cross-Country, the athletes will compete in a free technique Sprint on Saturday and race an interval start race over 10 km (ladies) and 15 km (men) in the same technique on Sunday.The courses for the sprint were reviewed and increased in length. This year, the female athletes will race on a 1,4 km course while the men will fight for the victory on a 1,6 km course.

Team Finland achieved 8 medals at the World Championships in Liberec, half of these were won by Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (three gold and one bronze medal) with amazing performances throughout the event. Also the men did well and took, for the first time since 1999, medals at a World Championships event. The Cross-Country fever is very high in Finland at the moment and organizers of the Lahti Ski Games are expecting big crowds to attend cross- country races in Lahti next weekend.

In Lahti, Finland's seventh-largest city, everything is prepared for the World Cup circus. The snow conditions on the courses are good and the tracks are well prepared. Beside the sports program, several side-events will be offered for all target groups by the organizer of the Lahti Ski Games. A great weekend is waiting for you!

More information: http://www.lahtiskigames.com

Starting times:

Saturday, 7th March
Sprint F ladies/men Qualification 11.00h* (10.00h CET)
Sprint F ladies/men Finals 13.00h* (12.00h CET)

Sunday, 8th March
10 km interval start F ladies 10.45h* (9.45h CET)
15 km interval start F men 13.00h* (12.00h CET)

*local time

Top three in March 2008

Sprint F ladies                                      Sprint F men
1. Chandra Crawford (CAN)              1. Anders Gloersen (NOR)
2. Natalia Matveeva (RUS)                 2. Andrew Newell (USA)
3. Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle (GER)  3. Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR)

Interval start C ladies                   Interval start C men
1. Virpi Kuitunen (FIN)                 1. Lukas Bauer (CZE)
2. Valentina Shevchenko (UKR) 2. René Sommerfeldt (GER)
3. Katrin Zeller (GER)                  3. Sergey Cherepanov (KAZ)


Trondheim back in the Cross-Country World Cup
Mass start in Trondheim
Photo: Nordic Focus

For the first time since February 2004 the Cross-Country World Cup is making a stopover in Trondheim (NOR) from 12th to 14th March. Due to the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011 in Oslo and the related reconstruction of the Holmenkollen Ski Stadium, the Norwegian Ski Federation applied last spring to hold the traditional March Cross-Country events in Trondheim.

Trondheim hosted the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 1997 and is located in the middle of Norway in the province Sør-Trøndelag. It is the third biggest city of Norway after Oslo and Bergen.

On 12th March, a classical sprint is on the schedule in the Granåsen ski stadium where the athletes will fight for the victory on challenging 1,4km (ladies) and 1,6 km (men) courses. On Saturday, 14th March, the traditional 30km and 50km mass start races in the classical style will take place. For the first time in Cross-Country history, intermediate sprint points will be distributed during a long distance competition, where the top three racers crossing these points will be awarded World Cup points (15 -10 -5 points). The ladies will have 3 times the chance to win World Cup points at intermediate sprints during the race while for the men it will be 5 times. At the end of the race, the winners will be awarded the normal 100 World Cup points. It will surely become an interesting fight for the World Cup points in which also team tactics can help to be successful.

More information: http://www.wctrondheim.org//index.php?groupid=68

Starting times:
Thursday, 12th March
Sprint C ladies/men Qualification 14.00h*
Sprint C ladies/men Finals 15.45h*

Saturday, 14th March
30 km Mass start C ladies 10.30h*
50 km Mass start C men 12.30h*

*local time


World Cup Final in Sweden

Sweden is hosting this year's Cross-Country World Cup Final with the Svensk Skidspelen in Stockholm and Falun. The World Cup Final, which is a competition series over four stages, is taking place in Sweden for the first time and for the second time altogether after the premiere in 2008 in St. Caterina (ITA)   

It will start on 18th March in Stockholm with a Sprint in the classical technique around the famous castle and will continue until 20th-22nd in Falun, with the challenge to become the "Queen and King of Mördarbacken" being held on Friday over a distance from 2,5 km for ladies and 3,3 km for men in free technique, the short pursuit races over 5 km + 5 km (ladies) and 10 km + 10 km for men  on Saturday and the exciting finish with handicap start in free technique (10 km ladies/15 km men) taking place on Sunday.

The overall World Cup winner will be announced on Sunday 22nd after the last competition of the World Cup Final - it will be an interesting Final with a lot of World Cup points to win. In total the best male and female can earn 400 points during the World Cup Final, 200 for the overall victory of the World Cup Final and for each single event 50 points which will be awarded for the daily victory. According to the rules, the racers have to finish the World Cup Final to get the World Cup points for each stage.

The experienced organizers of the Svenka Skidspelen are already well prepared for all the sports activity along with various side events and looking forward to the Final weekend - come and join us in Stockholm and Falun!

More information:   http://www.skidspelen.se

Starting times:

Wednesday, 18th March
Sprint C ladies/men Qualification 14.00h*
Sprint Cladies/ men Finals 15.45h*

Friday, 20th March
2,5 km F Prologue, Interval start ladies - Queen of Mördarbacken 12.30h*
3,3 km  F Prologue,  Interval start men -  King of Mördarbacken 14.00h* 

Saturday, 21st March
Pursuit 5km+5km ladies 15.00h*
Pursuit 10 km + 10 km men 13.15h*

Sunday, 22nd March
10 km handicap start F ladies 14.15h*
15 km handicap start F men 12.15h*

*local time

Top three at the World Cup Final in 2008 in Bormio/St. Caterina (3-stage-event)

Ladies                                           Men
1. Virpi Kuitunen (FIN)               1. Vincent Vittoz (FRA)
2. Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)       2. Lukas Bauer (CZE)
3. Claudia Nystad(GER)             3. Giorgio Di Centa (ITA)


 Cross-Country Inside 

World Cup Final rules in brief
Fight for bonus seconds
Photo: Nordic Focus
  • Overall result is based on the overall time score in all competitions
  • All racers have to finish all four races to earn points and prize money
  • Max. 400 World Cup points will be awarded in total - 200 points for the overall result (200 points for the 1st, 160 points for the second, 120 points for the third place, etc.) and per each stage 50 points (50 points for the 1st, 46 points for the second and 43 points for the third) for the stage victory
  • There will be bonus seconds (minus seconds) at sprint in Stockholm (max. 60 sec.) and at designated intermediate points in the third stage (at one or more intermediate points), 15-10-5 seconds for the top three. At the end of the second and third stage, the top three will also get 15-10-5 bonus seconds
  • In total, 320.000 CHF will be awarded for both genders, 110'000 for the overall victory per gender (the winner get 41.250 CHF of it) and each 10'000 CHF for the sprint ranking and daily ranking per gender
  • In the Pursuit and in the handicap start the overlapping rule is valid, which means that the overlapped athlete will have to leave the race. In the interval start competition with less than 5 km the athletes with more than 18% (for ladies) and 15 %( for men) will be excluded and in races with more than 5 km the percentage of the possibly losing time is 23 % for ladies and 20 % for men.


Exciting and challenging last World Cup period
Dario Cologna (SUI)
Photo: Nordic Focus
Petra Majdic (SLO)
Photo: Nordic Focus

The last period of the World Cup will be really exciting. On the men's side, there are still 875 World Cup points to be awarded if somebody would win everything from now on (3 x 100 points, 175 points at the 50 km race in Trondheim and 400 points at the World Cup Final). Due to this, the overall World Cup victory is still open, but the best chances belong to the current overall World Cup leader from Switzerland Dario Cologna, who will turn 23 on 11th March. He is leading with an advantage of 203 points ahead of the king of Liberec Petter Northug (NOR) who is in a great shape which the three gold medals from Liberec showed us. For both it would be the first overall World Cup victory, and for Switzerland it would be the first ever one if Cologna can confirm his performances of this season.

The distance World Cup is quite open as well. At the moment several athletes maintain good chances. Currently the ranking is led by Axel Teichmann (GER) 1 point ahead of Dario Cologna and 6 points ahead of Pietro Piller Cottrer (ITA). In the sprint World Cup there is only a theoretical chance left to beat Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR), the defender of the last year's sprint title. The Norwegian has an advantage of 245 points over Tor Arne Hetland and only max. 250 points can be won in the last period.

On the ladies side there is a really tight fight for the overall World Cup trophy. Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (FIN) is leading 26 points ahead of Petra Majdic (SLO), while Justyna Kowalczyk also has chances (109 points behind) and we should never forget the title defender Virpi Kuitunen (FIN, 181 points behind). In the last period the maximum World Cup points available amount to 845 points (3x 100 points, 145 points at the 30 km in Trondheim, 400 points at the World Cup Final). 

The ladies' distance World Cup is also open: Double World Champion Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) is in the lead 31 points over Saarinen and 127 points over Marianna Longa (ITA).

In the sprint World Cup the decision is already taken. Petra Majdic defended her title from last year. She has raced in an outstanding manner at all Sprint competitions and has now an uncatchable lead ahead of Pirjo Muranen (FIN) and Arianna Follis (ITA).

The overview of the current standings can be seen below. Please remember that since last year the top 6 of the World Cup ranking and also the Rookie of the Year - the best U23 athlete - will receive prize money for their great performances during the entire season. In total 180'000 CHF will be distributed, 90'000 CHF per gender. The overall winner will get 31'500 CHF.


Photo: Nordic Focus

Overall ranking ladies
1. Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (FIN) 1276 pts
2. Petra Majdic (SLO) 1250 pts
3. Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) 1167 pts
4. Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) 1095 pts
5. Arianna Follis (ITA) 835 pts
6. Marianna Longa (ITA) 813 pts

Distance ranking ladies
1. Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) 671 pts
2. Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (FIN) 640 pts
3. Marianna Longa (ITA) 544 pts

Sprint ranking ladies
1. Petra Majdic (SL0) 625 pts
2. Pirjo Muranen (FIN) 361 pts
3. Arianna Follis (ITA) 334 pts

Team Cup ladies
1. Finland 4115 pts
2. Italy 2608 pts
3. Norway 2528 pts

Overall ranking men
1. Dario Cologna (SUI) 939 pts
2. Petter Northug (NOR) 736 pts
3. Axel Teichmann (GER) 663 pts
4. Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR) 580 pts
5. Pietro Piller Cottrer (ITA) 568 pts
6. Giogio Di Centa (ITA) 521 pts

Distance ranking men
1. Axel Teichmann (GER) 395 pts
2.Dario Cologna (SUI) 394 pts
3. Pietro Piller Cottrer (ITA) 389 pts

Sprint ranking men
1. Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR) 580 pts
2. Tor Arne Hetland (NOR) 335 pts
3. Renato Pasini (ITA) 276 pts

Team Cup men
1. Norway 4310 pts
2. Italy 2512 pts
3. Russia 2381 pts

Nations Cup (ladies & men)
1. Norway 6836 pts
2. Finland  5268 pts
3. Italy 5120 pts


2009 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec are history

Photo: Nordic Focus

From 18th February -1st March the 2009 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships took place in Liberec 2009. As noted by FIS President Gian Franco Kasper, these Championships in the region of Bohemia in the Czech Republic "marked a milestone in the history of FIS Nordic Championships". Altogether, 20 medal events were on schedule in Liberec. Of those, Cross-Country  had twelve (six female and six male) events in Vesec, plus - for the first time - the qualification race for the individual start competition for competitors with less than 120 FIS points (for the ladies) or 90 FIS points (for the men).

Also a premiere was the mass start race which included for the first time the chance to change the skis. The ladies had two ossibilities to change their skis in the stadium while for the men the chance was offered 4 times. "I changed my skies twice and I think it's a very good thing. Most girls used this opportunity", said Valentina Shevchenko, the bronze medalist in the 30 km race, who was satisfied with the new rule.

In the end the spectators and TV viewers saw great races in the Cross-Country Stadium Vesec. The weather was not always optimal but the thanks to the great job of a lot of volunteers under the lead of Michal Lamplot, Sports Manager and Peter Mach, Chief of Competition the conditions were good and allowed fair competitions.

The Queen of this World Championships is 28-year-old Aino-Kaisa Saarinen from Finland, who was able to win three gold medals and a bronze medal. Justyna Kowalczyk, the strong Polish skier, showed equally great performance and is now double World Champion with an additional bronze medal. As well notable is the first medal for an US-American female skier in the history of the World Championships. Kikkan Randall from Anchorage, Alaska made the surprise silver medal in the sprint competition. In her sixth World Championships the Ukrainian Valentina Shevchenko was able to finally take a medal at a big event, the bronze medal in the 30 km mass start race. It was also the second medal at World Championships ever for a Ukrainian skier after the bronze medal of Irina Terelia in 1999 in Ramsau (AUT).

On the men's side, 23-year-old Petter Northug from Norway was the hero of Liberec. The five-time Junior World Champion has now also three gold medals from the 2009 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. His finish on the last few hundred meters is unique and makes him really dangerous for the other distance racers. The Finnish men also delivered great performances and made their first medals since 1999 in a World Championships competition with the bronze medal of Matti Heikkinen in the 15 km Interval start, bronze in the team sprint for Sami Jauhojärvi and Ville Nousiainen and team bronze medal in the relay.

The medal table of the Cross-Country events in Liberec was won by Norway with five gold medals and two silver medals followed by Finland (3-0-5) and Poland (2-0-1).

For more information visit www.liberec2009.com  

World Champions from Liberec (CZE)
Individual start 10 km classical technique: Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (FIN)
Mass start 30 km free technique: Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)
Pursuit: Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)
Team sprint classical technique: Finland (A.-K. Saarinen, V. Kuitunen)
Sprint free technique: Arianna Follis (ITA)
Relay: Finland (P. Muranen, V. Kuitunen, R.-L. Roponen,A.-K. Saarinen, )

Individual start 15 km classical technique: Andrus Veerpalu (EST)
Mass start 50 km free technique: Petter Northug (NOR)
Pursuit: Petter Northug (NOR)
Team Sprint classical technique: Norway (Johan Kjoelstad, Ola Vigen Hattestad)
Sprint free technique: Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR)
Relay: Norway (E. Roenning, O.-B. Hjelmeset, T. R. Hofstad, P. Northug)



 Important dates 

7th- 8th March FIS World Cup Cross-Country in Lahti (FIN)
12th- 14th March FIS World Cup Cross-Country in Trondheim (NOR)
18th- 22th March FIS World Cup Final in Stockholm & Falun (SWE)



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