The first period of the Cross-Country season is over. It was a very exciting and successful period with good snow conditions everywhere. 14 individual competitions and 6 team competitions took place whilst a total of 11 nations reached the podium and 7 of them the top position.
Some new faces appeared on the podium along with a few veterans. Tor Arne Hetland, a so-called sprinter claimed his first victory in a 30 km distance race while Natalia Matveeva (RUS), Josef Wenzl (GER), Astrid Jacobsen, Anders Gloersen (both NOR) and Kikkan Randall (USA) all took their maiden World Cup victories. Randall's victory will be recorded in history as the first ever World Cup victory for the US ladies' Cross-Country team. The Czech men's team (Jaks, Bauer, Sperl, Koukal) also managed the first relay victory for the Czech Republic.
The new faces on the podium in the individual competitions were Alena Prochazkova (SVK), Natalia Korosteleva (RUS), Sami Jauhojaervi and Ville Nousianen (both FIN)
The most successful skier in the season until now was the sprint World Champion from Sapporo 2007, Astrid Jacobsen, with a total of 4 podium places. She will wear the ladies' yellow bib on the Tour de Ski. On the men's side, the leader is Axel Teichmann from Germany with three podium places by now. In the Nations Cup, Norway holds a clear lead of 1694 points.
“The season has so far been a total success and great promotion for the sport of Cross-Country skiing. We saw very exciting World Cup races with several athletes on the top. We also owe a great thanks to the Organizing Committees for their great work to host such good World Cup competitions. The on-site spectators and TV viewers alike increased and we had a great atmosphere at the venues, especially last weekend in Rybinsk where 20'000 spectators cheered all athletes, from the first to the last. I'm looking forward to seeing this trend continue on the Tour and at the World Cup races in Canada, says Juerg Capol, FIS Race Director Cross-Country.