IBU Cup 5 in Sunny Arber
After a cloudy Osrblie, the IBU Cup circuit moved to the sunny Arber Hohenzollern Ski Stadium, located 950 to 1035 meters above sea level. It has pretty tough and elevated courses with few chances for rest.
In the past few days, the temperatures in Arber stayed above freezing. IBU Cup Race Director Felix Bitterling commented on the weather conditions and expectations for the coming days. “Conditions were really perfect until the last week when it started to get warm and rain. Reports are changing, but we expect the nights to be colder and there is a slight possibility for some snow. Regarding the track, it is really packed and hard.” As the last IBU Cup competitions to qualify for the Olympic Games, he added, “Individuals and sprints will give the athletes to gain necessary points to qualify for the Olympics, and we expect quite a lot of guys, who will not take part in relays in Ruhpolding, to come for Saturday sprints.”
After a great start of the year with two wins in Osrblie, the current IBU Cup Total Score leader Uliana Kaisheva of Russia will skip the competitions in Arber and try to show her best in Ruhpolding. Still, her advantage in the overall is so big that none of the rivals could overcome her. At the same time, the results in the Men’s Total Score are very tight, where the Norwegian Fredrik Gjesbakk leads only by 2 points over the second’s place teammate Vegard Gjermundshaug.
A young mother Karin Oberhofer of Italy, who stepped back on the track at the last IBU Cup in Osrblie, is excited and looking forward to the next very important competitions for her, “That is my second IBU Cup here and it is a very nice experience for me. Arber is a very nice place but the track is very very hard, so I really hope I can show my best here. Those competitions are important for me because I want to qualify for the Olympic Games. But at the same time, I understand it is going to be hard because the other Italian girls are very strong.”
IBU Cup 5 will have 38 nations with 131 men and 101 women in the following competitions:
10:00 Individual Men
13:30 Individual Women
10:00 Sprint Men
13:00 Sprint Women