The Viessmann FIS World Cup Cross-Country will start the season for the 6th time in Düsseldorf (GER), the metropolis at the river Rhine. On 27th and 28th October 2007, about 150 of the best athletes from 21 nations are competing for the first points of the new season. Among the participants will be both overall World Cup winners 2006/2007 Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) and Tobias Angerer (GER), as well as Jens Arne Svartedal (NOR), the Sprint World Cup winner 2006/2007, and ‘Mr. Düsseldorf’’ Peter Larsson (SWE) who won the opening Sprint race four times in a row (2002-2005) and then last year, the Team Sprint together with Bjoern Lind.
In Düsseldorf, FIS will introduce the ‘lucky loser’ system also in the Team Sprint. In Sunday’s race, the first three teams in both semi-finals will reach the final directly whilst the other four places in the final heat will go to the four overall fastest teams from the semi-finals. “As we saw last season, the lucky loser system in the sprint races worked well and the races were getting faster and faster. Beside tactical aspects, this makes the individual sprint attractive for all-around athletes. We hope that the introduction of the lucky loser rule in the team sprint will have the same effect”, noted Jürg Capol, FIS Race Director.
But where does the snow for this unique event come from? It is artificial snow from the Allrounder Ski Hall in Neuss, located just outside the city of Düsseldorf. Starting on Thursday, 25th October, the snow will be transported by five trucks predominantly at night. The trucks will drive from the Ski Hall in Neuss to the Düsseldorf Rhine bank ca. 15-20 times each. The slope technicians from the ski hall will then create the high-speed World Cup course using the transported snow.
Besides top level sport, there will be a lot going on at the Rhine. Switzerland Tourism will offer a strong entertainment program for all spectators, including a Swiss village. On offer: skiing, a toboggan run, Guggenmusic and Alpine macaroni & cheese. On Saturday evening, there will be the legendary World Cup party at the Allrounder Ski Hall in Neuss, where all the sponsors, VIPs and others can party a bit longer thanks to the end of the daylight savings time (shifting clocks back an hour at 3 am).
[Watch the very cool intro video on the official race web site: http://www.worldcup-duesseldorf.de/index.php?id=35&L=1 - Mike Muha]
Race times (local time):
Attention: The clock will be changed from summer to winter time at 3 am on 28th October to 2 am!
Top three last year:
1. Marit Bjoergen (NOR) 1. Eldar Roenning (NOR)
2. Natalia Matveeva (RUS) 2. Oeystein Pettersen (NOR)
3. Ella Gjoemle (NOR) 3. Tor Arne Hetland (NOR)
1. Norway 1 (Bjoergen, Gjoemle) 1. Schweden 1 (P. Larsson, Lind)
2. Sweden 1 (Andersson, Norgren) 2. Norway 2 (Pettersen, Roenning)
3. Finnland 2 (Kuitunen, Saarinen) 3. Italy 1 (Pasini, Zorzi)