IBU Cup 1 in Snowy Sjusjoen

IBU Cup 1 in Snowy Sjusjoen

As usual, the IBU Cup season starts in Scandinavia, but there is one big difference this year; this is an  Olympic season. For sure, it will bring much more pressure, expectations, and hopes for the athletes, who have put a lot of effort into preparations. It is no wonder that the season-opening IBU Cup 1 in Sjusjoen will see many nations with the familiar names, who will use these first starts to see where they are at the moment.

IBU Cup 1 in Snowy Sjusjoen

Biggest in Norway

Sjusjoen is a traditional Norwegian skiing resort with 350 km of cross-country tracks; it is located 20 km east of Lillehammer, host of the 1994 Olympic Winter Games and the Youth Olympic Games in 2016. Sjusjoen ski center was established in 2003; last year  they mad a big investment in a snow production factory, which can produce snow at 25C! Beyond that, the stadium has 41 lanes on the shooting range, which makes it the biggest in Norway.

IBU Cup 1 in Snowy Sjusjoen

Heavy Snowfall

The perfect weather conditions which have prevailed in recent days, changed to a -9C, heavy snowfall with the wind gusts today during the first official training of the new season. IBU Cup Race Director Felix Bitterling commented, “Until yesterday the weather was perfect, but today it has significantly changed. Tomorrow, the temperature should go up and it may rain. But the venue is very well prepared, the course is fantastic and the tracks are in a good condition”.

Qualification

42 nations with 158 men and 117 women have registered for the first IBU Cup; these high registration numbers can be easily explained, as some of the World Cup regulars want to have a test competitions before the BMW IBU World Cup season starts. Some of the athletes will try to qualify for Oestersund, and others still have a chance to find their place on their National Olympic squads. Last year’s World Cup and IBU Cup winner Norwegian Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen admits, “It is an Olympic season, and of course my expectations are high, I want to qualify for Pyeongchang, but our team is very strong and it will be tough. Anyways, I will try my best!”

IBU Cup 1 in Snowy Sjusjoen

Familiar Names

Besides Christiansen, there are also few familiar names, who will  try to show top results in the season's first  competitions: his teammates Tarej Boe and Erlend Bjoentegaard, Krasimir Anev of Bulgaria, Canada’s Scott Gow, Timofei Lapshin of Korea, and Latvia’s Andrejs Rastorgujevs. The women’s field will be strengthened by Estonia’s Grete Gaim, Laura Toivanen of Finland, France’s Julia Simon, Denise Herrmann and Horchler sisters of Germany, Slovakia's Terezia Poliakova, Aita Gasparin of Switzerland and Ukraine's Anastasiya Merkushyna.

Schedule

The first weekend of the season opens with sprints tomorrow, followed by a second round of sprints on Saturday and single/regular mixed relays on Sunday. All times in CET.

November 23, Thursday

10:00 Sprint Men

13:00 Sprint Women

November 25, Saturday

10:00 Sprint Men

13:00 Sprint Women

November 26, Sunday

10:00 Single Mixed Relay

12:30 Mixed Relay

Twitter Accounts

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