The Blue Bib Group

With the invention of the Blue Bib before the 2020/2021 season, the season-long battle for the best U25 athlete immediately became very prestigious.

On the women’s side, Elvira Oeberg took over from Dzinara Alimbekava in the 2021/2022 season and never looked back: the prodigious Swede took the next three U25 Score wins with relative ease. Sturla Holm Laegreid, Niklas Hartweg, and Tommaso Giacomel have won the U25 title for the men. We analysed their performance in the often hard-fought winning seasons.

Laegreid set the bar (nearly) impossibly high

On the men’s side, Sturla Holm Laegreid set the bar impossibly high in his first-ever entire BMW IBU World Cup season in 2020/2021. Laegreid had not only won seven times (including two Gold medals at the BMW IBU World Championships 2020/2021 and added three podiums but gave JT Boe a run for his money as Johannes clinched the Total Score title only in the Mass Start in Oestersund, the last competition of the season. Laegreid finished the season in second place in the Total Score, 13 points behind Boe.

Wearing the Blue bib, Laegreid finished the Olympic season 2021/2022 as the best U25 athlete but on a very different note than the winter before: he edged ahead of Sebastian Samuelsson in the Mass Start in Oslo-Holmenkollen, as he turned the four points deficit into 19 points advantage in the last competition in the season. Laegreid finished the season in second place in the Total Score, 248 points behind Quentin Fillon Maillet.

The 2022/2023 season saw Niklas Hartweg starting and finishing winter with second place and Tommaso Giacomel being the U25 Score leader for big chunks of the season. Hartweg clinched the U25 Score title in the Mass Start in Oslo-Holmenkollen, 16 points ahead of Giacomel. He finished 11th in the Total Score title.

In the 2023/2024 season, Giacomel was in control of the U25 Score battle for most of the season and got challenged only after the Frenchman Eric Perrot - and the whole French men’s team - hit a streak of good form in the last two weeks of the season in Soldier Hollow and Canmore. Coming full circle from the year before, Giacomel delivered big time in the Mass Start in Canmore, finishing fourth and winning the U25 Score 66 points ahead of Perrot. The Italian finished eighth in the Total Score standings.

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