All Quiet in the World Cup Stadiums
Just three or four months ago, the stadiums that host the BMW IBU World Cup circuit were bustling with athletes, fans, and volunteers either competing or getting ready for their biggest week of the year. Now, most look very different, quietly welcoming spring, with not especially warm temperatures and seeming a bit lonely, as they await the return of the athletes, many of whom cycling in a sunny warm spot like Mallorca, Spain.
Spectacular Antholz and Holmenkollen
This second week of May was perfect for a quick tour via webcams to see what many venues look like sans snow. Not every venue has a webcam on site, but here a few images from this week. The two most stunning webcam views come from Antholz and Oslo. Antholz as always, never disappoints, even on a cloudy afternoon. The stadium is stunning, framed by the snow-capped peaks and green forest with the national flags in place behind the shooting range. Just drop in some snow and it is ready for the World Cup. Likewise for Oslo’s Holmenkollen National Ski Arena where the views from atop the ski jump are beyond spectacular. The quiet biathlon stadium is to the left and the city of Oslo spreads out beyond the landing area. The only vestige of winter is a small patch of snow at the bottom of the jump.
Cool Pokljuka; Quiet Chiemgau and Vysočina
Pokljuka where the temperature dipped to freezing overnight on Wednesday is not quite ready for spring, looking quite dreary and a bit foggy mid-week. Ruhpolding got some much needed sunshine and warmth this week, but the Chiemgau Arena was not as busy as it is mid-summer with many teams on site. Over in Nove-Mesto na Morave, the Vysočina Arena was basking in sunshine framed by the green hillsides of the Moravian Highlands. This stadium that hosted the biggest World Cup crowds this past winter had just one lonely figure standing on the shooting range yesterday.
Oberhof and Le Grand Bornand
The DKB Ski Arena in Oberhof looked like they were ready for next winter today, with their snow guns lined up next to the penalty loop. It is just May so they may have to wait for a while to get back in action! Le Grand Bornand will host a World Cup next season, but this week just looked like many other small villages in France, rather quiet other than the locals going about their daily business.
Mallorca for Sea and Sunshine
While these six venues are in an almost dormant state, most teams are “back in business,” many at cycling camps in sunny warm spots. One of the most popular this spring is Mallorca, Spain. Among those cycling through the hills and along the coast are the German and Polish women, Ole and Dasha and Spain’s Victoria Padial Hernandez and Russia’s Dmitriy Malyshko. Just one quick look at the photos of the German women cycling and running and it is easy to see why the big stadiums are empty today!