The Viessmann FIS Cross-Country World Cup returned to Rybinsk (RUS) for the third time last weekend. Rybinsk is located in the Yaroslavl region, 320 km north-east of Moscow. The three-day weekend included the first mass start competition over 10km (ladies) and 15 km (men) in free technique on Friday, 30th January. The ladies race saw a first time World Cup winner with Marianna Longa (ITA) taking the top spot. In the men’s race, Tobias Angerer (GER) took his 11th career victory after one and a half seasons without a podium place. In Saturday’s sprint, Pirjo Muranen (FIN) and Renato Pasini (ITA) claimed victory in the free technique sprint competitions. Pasini was the last qualified athlete for the final heats but claimed his second career victory with tactically clever skiing. On Sunday, the planned pursuit competitions had to be cancelled due to too cold temperatures (-22C).
In Ski Jumping, the FIS World Cup continued its around-the-world journey from Vancouver to Sapporo (JPN). The change of the continent did not change the winner however: Just as in Zakopane and Whistler Olympic Park, Gregor Schlierenzauer continued in his dominating ways, posting his fourth straight win and the 8th victory this season on Saturday. Team Austria managed a podium sweep with Thomas Morgenstern in 2nd and Wolfgang Loitzl in 3rd place. The second competition in Sapporo on Sunday had to be cancelled due to poor weather conditions. The FIS Ski Jumping World Cup will now continue with the inaugural FIS Team Tour. The series of five contests at three German venues - Willingen, Klingenthal and Oberstdorf – features two team competitions and three individual competitions. The prize money purse includes a total of CHF 500’000, with the winning team also receiving additional 100’000 Euro.
It was time for Chaux-Neuve (FRA) to return to the DKB FIS Nordic Combined World Cup calendar after a break of six years last weekend. By taking their fifth season victories both Anssi Koivuranta (FIN) and Magnus Moan (NOR) extended their margin in the overall ranking. With seven competitions to go, the fight for the overall seems to have become a duel and Koivuranta currently leads with 92 points over Moan. In Chaux-Neuve, Koivuranta won both ski jumping sessions while on the track, Moan was not to be beaten. Their battle will go on in Seefeld (AUT) this weekend.
In Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER), both the ladies’ and men’s Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup tours met for the final weekend before the Val d’Isère World Championships. Lindsey Vonn (USA) had the ideal preparation with two back-to-back victories. She won the slalom on Friday with an impressive margin of 90/100 over serial slalom winner Maria Riesch (GER), whose four-race run was broken on her home snow. Slovenia's Marusa Ferk came in 3rd to collect her first podium. In the super-G, rescheduled from Saturday to Sunday, Vonn took her first super-G win in two years but already her fifth season win, now including one in four of the five World Cup events. Vonn is only missing a win in giant slalom in which her career (and season) best is a 4th place finish in Aspen in November 2008.