The Viessmann FIS Cross-Country World Cup will continue at the upcoming weekend in the famous Estonian World Cup village Otepää. On the schedule are, as tradition calls, distance races over 10 km (ladies) and 15 km (men) on Saturday, 24th January, and sprint competitions on Sunday, 25th January. All the races will be in the classical technique.
The tracks including the 5 km loop for the distance races, the sprint courses and ski stadium, are all prepared with artificial snow and in a very good condition as shown by the winning time of Jaak Mae at last week's Estonian Championships - he was more than 3 min faster than last year's winning time of Lukas Bauer on the identical track.
"Otepää is ready to host our 9th World Cup weekend. All tracks are prepared as planned. We expect temperatures around or just below 0 degrees during competition days. Estonian male skiers performed very well at the FIS Tour de Ski. Therefore the expectations of the home crowd are very high; the decisive factor will be how athletes have recovered. For the Estonian team, the Otepää event will be the most important milestone before the World Championships in Liberec," said Tiit Pekk, Chief of Competition.
According to the preliminary entry list, about 200 skiers from 21 countries are coming to Otepää, including last year's winners Virpi Kuitunen (FIN), Lukas Bauer (CZE), Petra Majdic (SLO) and Eldar Roenning (NOR). From the top of the current World Cup standing only Petter Northug (NOR), Jean Marc Gaillard (FRA), Valentina Shevchenko (UKR) and the racers from Italy and Canada are missing and will take a World Cup break.
Includes contributions by Veiko Ulp
More information: http://www.tehvandi.ee/mk/index.php?id=50
Saturday, 24th January:
10 km classical technique ladies 11.00h* (10.00h CET)
15 km classical technique men 13.00h* (12.00h CET)
Sunday, 25th January:
Sprint classical technique Qualification 11.00h* (10.00h CET)
Sprint classical technique Finales 13.00h* (12.00h CET)
Top three in February 2008
10 km classical technique ladies
1. Virpi Kuitunen (FIN)
2. Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (FIN)
3. Therese Johaug (NOR)
15 km classical technique men
1. Lukas Bauer (CZE)
2. Jaak Mae (EST)
3. Ville Nousiainen (FIN)
Sprint classical technique ladies
1. Petra Majdic (SLO)
2. Astrid Jacobsen (NOR)
3. Virpi Kuitunen (FIN)
Sprint classical technique men
1. Eldar Roenning (NOR)
2. John Kristian Dahl (NOR)
3. Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR)