The FIS Continental Cup series all over the world are some of the most important Cross-Country competitions. They allow the younger athletes to prepare themselves for the World Cup level in several ways. These series are held in the different parts of the World where Cross-Country skiing is a competitive sport. Some of those held during the Northern hemisphere winter period are the OPA Cup (Central Europe), the Scandinavian Cup as well as the US Super Tour.
The OPA Cup was a great success this season. 21 events in 9 different venues and five countries took place. The winners of this Cup, and therefore holders of a fixed starting place during the first World Cup period next year, are Italians Silvia Rupil and Florian Kostner. Rupil won the OPA Cup ladies' ranking 156 points ahead Laura Orgue (SPA) and 181 points ahead of the Swiss skier Ursina Badilatti. Kostner defended his overall victory from the season before 6 points ahead of his teammate Fulvio Scola as Benoit Chauvet (FRA) finished third, 271 points behind the winner.
In the Scandinavian Cup, 5 different venues with a total of 10 competitions were included. The Norwegians dominated the top of this series having seven skiers in the men's top 10, and six athletes among the top 8 on the ladies' side. Roger Aa Djupvik (NOR), the brother of the World Cup coach Morten Aa Djupvik, and Sara Svendsen (NOR) won the overall rankings clearly. The runner-up on the men's side, 83 points behind Djupvik was his team mate Geir Ludvig Aasen Ouren whilst Jesper Modin (SWE) ranked third, 178 points behind the winner. On the ladies side, Norwegians Kristin Mürer Stemland (2nd place) and Agnetha Asheim (3rd place) rounded out the podium.
The US SuperTour is still in progress. The current overall leaders are Kristina Strandberg (SWE) and Lars Flora (USA).
The next continental cup series will kick off in July/August with the Continental Cups in the Southern hemisphere.
Overview of the Northern hemisphere Continental Cup series winners or current leaders:
OPA: Silvia Rupil , Florian Kostner (both ITA)
Scandinavian Cup: Sara Svendsen, Roger Aa Djupvik (both NOR)
NorAm : Daria Gaiazova , David Nighbor (both CAN)
Slavic Cup: Mariusz Michalek (POL), Rajdlova Kamila, (CZE)
Eastern European Cup: Olga Mikhailova, Stanislav Volzhentsev (both RUS)
Far East Cup: Chisa Obayashi,Tomio Kanamaru (both JPN)
US Super Tour: Kristina Strandberg - 537 pts - Saab Salomon/XC Oregon and Lars Flora - 309 pts - APU/Saab Salomon