Period 3 of World Cup racing wraps up with another three-race weekend as the circuit returns to Italy, this time the Südtirol community of Toblach, for the final World Cup races before World Championships start in Planica later this month. There will be a skate sprint on Friday, an interval-start skate on Saturday, and relays on Sunday.
The season’s first World Cup relays featured mixed-gender 4 x 5-kilometer racing in Beitostølen in December. This weekend brings single-gender relays, which is more traditional, and a 4 x 7.5-kilometer relay format, which is somewhat less so, at least for the women. Look for the U.S. to enter only one team per relay this time, as it will have more than four, but fewer than eight, potential starters per gender.
Projected starters for the weekend’s first two races are as follows, per an email from Matt Whitcomb in late January:
skate sprint, Feb. 3
Men: Ben Ogden, Kevin Bolger, Logan Diekmann, Will Koch
Women: Hailey Swirbul, Julia Kern, Jessie Diggins, Rosie Brennan, Alayna Sonnesyn, Lauren Jortberg
10km interval-start skate, Feb. 4
Men: Ben Ogden, Scott Patterson, Hunter Wonders, Finn O’Connell
Women: Hailey Swirbul, Jessie Diggins, Rosie Brennan, Alayna Sonnesyn, Julia Kern, Alex Lawson
(Whitcomb had initially mentioned Zak Ketterson as a projected men’s starter for both races, but Ketterson flew home from Europe after the Les Rousses weekend in order to more fully recover from what he described on Instagram as a “seemingly unshakable tiredness” brought on by the Tour de Ski. Ketterson is currently back in the Midwest.)
Starters for Sunday’s relays will be determined following Friday and Saturday’s races.
Disclosure, I remain on the ground in Whistler for World Junors/U23 reporting, and Morgan Hartley, who assisted with World Cup coverage during the Tour de Ski, will be working equally long hours while coaching at Arctic Winter Games in remote Wood Buffalo, Alberta. Nordic Insights will be concentrating its efforts on World Junior/U23 Championships this week. Expect detailed coverage here from Whistler, and frankly pretty de minimis World Cup coverage this weekend.
Here are the races:
World Cup, Toblach, Italy (local time at venue: GMT +1, six hours ahead of East Coast Time)
|date||race||time (AK)||time (EST)||results|
|Friday, Feb. 3||M/W sk sprint qual||2 a.m.||6 a.m.||here|
|M/W sk sprint heats||4:30 a.m.||8:30 a.m.||here|
|Saturday, Feb. 4||W 10km interval-start skate||3 a.m.||7 a.m.||here|
|M 10km interval-start skate||5 a.m.||9 a.m.||here|
|Sunday, Feb. 5||W 4 x 7.5km relay||1 a.m.||5 a.m.||here|
|M 4 x 7.5km relay||3 a.m.||7 a.m.||here|
Need help viewing the races from the U.S.? Here’s our full article on how to watch.
— Gavin Kentch
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