XC Predictions: Ready for new record in La Clusaz?

Posted by Jan Kocbach, 17 Dec 2010@8:04

We are ready for the first mass start of the season in the cross country skiing World Cup – can you beat the record of Martin U giving 1002 points from Kuusamo? There are some really big favorites this time, so it might just be possible if they perform…

Set up your predictions for La Clusaz here:

Last chance to change your predictions is at the start of the womens race tomorrow at 13:15 CET – but set up your team now to be sure you remember.

Race preview
The first mass-start event of the year – and the stage should normally be set for Petter Northug. Is his shape good enough in order to take the victory? To Norwegian journalists he said that he is not in top shape, but he does not have to be in top shape to win. A fight between Northug and Hellner is expected – but the Russians have been very strong lately, and Dario Cologna also wants to mix in ahead of Tour de Ski. And what about Markus Hellner and Lukas Bauer?

In the womens class, Bjørgen must be counted as the big favorite – probably the biggest favorite so far this year! She is skipping Tour de Ski, and wants to get her 42nd World Cup victory in this mass-start event (or 44th, depending on how you are counting). Other favorites among the women are Kowalczyk, Kalla and Follies. Saarinen might also mix in?

Some information about the race:

  • Start times: 13:15 CET for the women and 15:15 CET for the men
  • The course is not the greatest due to the snow conditions: It looks like each loop will be only 2.5 kilometers which the men will go 12(!) times – the women 6.
  • The German team is very thin: Axel Teichmann, Jens Filbrich, Franz Göring, Tom Reichel, Tobias Angerer, Evi Sachenbacher, Denise Herrmann and Nicole Fessel are all out on Saturday.
  • Kristin Størmer Steira is back after her injuries – can she fight for a place in the Top 5 again?
  • Petter Northug is back, but is said to have problems with the technique (Norwegian text)
  • Vincent Vittoz is still out with injury – very disappointed to not be able to race on homeground.
  • Astrid Jacobsen won her first World Cup victory on this distance (Norwegian text) – can she mix in on the Top 5? From her blog: – I did not really have a good day, but I managed to hang on to the tail of the field, and…
  • See teaser video for the races in La Clusaz

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