Welcome back to the first Nordic Insights viewing guide of Period 3. It is January now. The holidays came. The holidays went. The Tour de Ski came. The Tour de Ski went. Jessie Diggins was in contention for the overall World Cup title. Jessie Diggins was suddenly fourth in the overall standings, 443 points in arrears of Tiril Udnes Weng with slightly less than half the season to go. Klæbo had written off contending for the World Cup overall. Klæbo had suddenly won six out of seven stages en route to his third Tour crown, and was leading the men’s standings by 54 points over Pål Golberg.
Ben Ogden had had a string of very solid races, but maybe nothing epically memorable. Ben Ogden had taken off the gloves and thrown down with Klæbo in an all-time gutsy semifinal, then finished a historic 13th in the Tour de Ski. A lot has happened.
World Cup racing resumes, after this time off, with a skate sprint–focused weekend at altitude in Livigno, Italy. Some nations are sending an atypical mix of starters; as the invaluable Twitter account @FantasyXC writes, for example, “The Swedes are sending an interesting team of newbies, long lost friends and sprint regulars.” You can find American starters here. You can find a roundup of other nations’ starters from this Twitter account. Note that Finland, for example, is simply not sending any athletes to this weekend’s World Cup stop, as they remain focused on their domestic national championship races.
I was going to embed an official course map for you at this point in the story, but the homologation certificate has not been uploaded to the relevant page of the FIS site (this doesn’t mean that the course is not homologated, of course, just that there’s currently no PDF available in the database). Here’s a screenshot from the event program. There’s no elevation profile given here, but sounds like we might not be missing too much. (Update: the Strava segment for the course lists 36m of total elevation gain, including a false flat over the final 200m. Also, the low point on the course is at 1,811 meters above sea level, or over 5,900 feet.)
And here’s Alayna Sonnesyn’s take on the course from this morning’s pre-race ski:
Sonnesyn will be joined by Rosie Brennan, Julia Kern, and Lauren Jortberg — but, perhaps notably, not Jessie Diggins — in tomorrow’s race. Kevin Bolger, Will Koch, Adam Witkowski, and Logan Diekmann are scheduled to start for the men. Koch and Witkowski will be making their World Cup debut.
Here is when the races are this weekend:
World Cup, Livigno, Italy (local time at venue: GMT +1, six hours ahead of East Coast Time)
|date||race||time (AK)||time (EST)||results|
|Saturday, Jan. 21||skate sprint qual||12:45 a.m.||4:45 a.m.||here|
|skate sprint heats||3:15 a.m.||7:15 a.m.||here|
|Sunday, Jan. 22||team sprint qual||1:45 a.m.||5:45 a.m.||here|
|team sprint finals||3:15 a.m.||7:15 a.m.||here|
Need help viewing the races from the U.S.? Here’s our full article on how to watch.
SuperTour racing in this country is on hiatus for the next month. Here’s a look at this series of high-level domestic racing, including a SuperTour calendar at the bottom of the article. Zanden McMullen and Hailey Swirbul, both of APU, currently lead the overall SuperTour standings.
— Gavin Kentch
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