The FIS Continental Cup series all over the world are some of the most important Cross-Country competitions. These different series geared for the younger athletes include the OPA Cup (Middle Europe), the Scandinavian Cup, the North American Cup as well as the US SuperTour. They allow the younger athletes to prepare themselves in several ways for the World Cup level and have a chance to compare themselves to athletes from other countries.
The OPA Cup has been a great success this season. All 12 events in six different venues took place as planned. The current leaders, who earned a starting right for the upcoming competition period in the World Cup, are 21-year-old Anouk Faivre Picon from France and Florian Kostner of Italy. Faivre is only 5 points ahead of her teammate Celia Bourgeois and Katerina Smutna (AUT), both of whom have 195 points.
On the men's side, Kostner has a lead of 9 points over Kay Bochert from Germany. Thomas Morrigl (ITA), who is 43 points behind Kostner ranks 3rd (click here for the current standing), The OPA Cup will continue in Welsberg/Monguelfo (ITA) with a Sprint competition on 15th February.
In the Scandinavian Cup, the Norwegians have dominated the top in the 8 competitions of 10 (per gender) that already took place. On the ladies side, Norwegians have a seven-fold lead and on the men's side, 8 of the top nine come from Norway.
25-year-old Ingri Aunet Tyldum, who has already had several World Cup starts, is clearly in the lead with 525 points. Behind her, Marthe Kirstoffersen (386) ranks 2nd and Karianne Bjellaanes 3rd (352 points). Hans Petter Lykkja from Norway is the leader (351 points) on the men's side thanks to his victories in Riga (LAT) and Joulumae (EST). Fredrik Oestberg from Sweden is the only non-Norwegian within the top nine in 2nd position with 239 points. Ranked third is Roger Aa Djupvik, the brother of the Norwegian men's World Cup Coach Morten As Djupvik, who is only one point behind Oestberg. The final of the Scandinavia Cup will be in Sundsvall (SWE) from 16th – 17th February.
Haywood Nor-Am series
The Haywood Nor-Am series includes 14 competitions in five different venues in Canada, among them also the World Cup venues Canmore and Vernon. Madeleine Williams from Edmonton (CAN) and the only 19-year-old Alex Harvey (CAN) showed their strength in this competition series and earned the starting right in the World Cup for February.
The US SuperTour is in full progress. The current overall leaders are 23-year-old Laura Valaas (USA) and Garrott Kuzzy (USA), who surprised in the World Cup sprint competition in Canmore by making the B-Final and his career-best 9th place. Both athletes will now have a starting right for the third period in the World Cup.
After the final sprint competitions of the season in Madison last weekend, Garrott Kuzzy (USA) and Karin Camenisch (SUI) have won the overall sprint titles, earning $3,000 each for their overall victories.
The US SuperTour is a very attractive Continental Cup series, where also a significant number of foreign skiers participate and one million US dollar in prize money will be paid out.
The US Super Tour will continue in the famous Alpine resort of Aspen the upcoming weekend.