XC-Predictions: Milano Sprint

Posted by Jan Kocbach, 13 Jan 2012@20:14

For the first time since 1998 the Cross Country Skiing World Cup is back in Milano. The course this weekend is a completely flat course – 620 meters long – but still with some technical elements due to many curves. The competitions will take place in the Sempione Park (Parco Sempione) close by the city center for the first time. The Park with its 380,000 square meters is the largest green space in the historic center of the city.

Most of the all-round skiers who competed in Tour de Ski skip the Milano sprint – like Dario Cologna, Petter Northug, Justyna Kowalczyk and Marit Bjørgen. The pure sprint specialists are all at the start in the sprint races in Milano – but notably the Swedish Sprint specialists Emil Jönsson skips the races. “Emil got cold after the Tour and therefore had to stay at home,” Sweden’s sprint coach Arild Monsen explains in a press relase from the Swedish Ski Team.

Men’s favourites

Of the Men on the start list, Morilov (RUS), Petukhov (RUS) and Hattestad (NOR) each have one victory in skating sprint races this season (see table below for results in the last skating sprints for all starters in the Milano sprint). The biggest favourites in the Milano sprint are again the Russian skiers – but Hattestad who won in a similar flat course in Düsseldorf in early December is very eager to be back on top after his disappointing classic sprint during Tour de Ski where he missed the finals.

Swedish Peterson started the season very well with 5th and 2nd places in Düsseldorf and Davos – the Swede will want to show that he is still to be counted in the top. Also count in the other Norwegian skiers among the favourites – Gløersen, Golberg and Brandsdal finished 3rd, 4th and 6th in Rogla. Also count in home favourite Pellegrino (ITA) who got to the finals in Düsseldorf but has not come past the semifinals since then – and Hofer (ITA) who finished 4th in Toblach.

Women’s favourites

Kikkan Randall has been the dominating skier in the women’s sprint this season – winning the two first races in Düsseldorf and Davos. Finishing Tour de Ski up Alpe Cermis last weekend cost her a lot of power though, so it will be exciting to see if the American skier has managed to get enough rest the last week.

Norwegian sprint specialist Maike Caspersen Falla got her first World Cup victory in Rogla before Christmas, and will try to repeat the victory in Milano. Also look out for Crawford (CAN) and Matveeva (RUS).

Another interesting start is Swiss Van der Graaff who has the impressive series 3 – 5 – 8 in the first three sprint races this season – after finishing around number 40 last season. See the table below for other outsiders based on the latest sprint free technique races in the World Cup.

Men starters
Name 2012
MORILOV Nikolay 1st 2nd 6th 34th 8th
HATTESTAD Ola Vigen 5th 53rd 1st 4th
PETUKHOV Alexey 5th 9th 1st 2nd 14th
PETERSON Teodor 9th 8th 2nd 5th 16th 33rd
GLOEERSEN Anders 3rd 17th 26th 13rd
GOLBERG Paal 4th 8th 3rd 26th
HOFER David 4th 12nd 13rd 59th 18th 23rd
PENTSINEN Anssi 23rd 30th 4th 32nd 47th
JYLHAE Martti 24th 22nd 15th 22nd 5th
MODIN Jesper 26th 20th 21st 5th
KUMMEL Peeter 30th 39th 34th 52nd 6th
BRANDSDAL Eirik 6th 10th 17th
PELLEGRINO Federico 28th 7th 12nd 6th 12nd 17th
WENZL Josef 7th 37th 27th 17th 39th
STRANDVALL Matias 45th 46th 7th 20th 7th
TAMBORNINO Eligius 11st 26th 8th 35th
FRASNELLI Loris 23rd 8th
KINDSCHI Joeri 33rd 18th 9th 38th
VALJAS Len 18th 28th 42nd 15th 9th
NOECKLER Dietmar 10th 43rd
NEWELL Andrew 21st 16th 16th 10th 18th
HAMILTON Simeon 10th 33rd 25th 53rd
PASINI Renato 35th 38th 33rd 30th 11st
JAEGER Martin 28th 31st 11st 11st
NORTHUG Tomas 54th 12nd 14th
GAFAROV Anton 13rd 41st 31st 37th
PETTERSEN Oeystein 16th 14th 29th 41st
PASINI Fabio 14th 47th
SCOLA Fulvio 32nd 60th 57th 43rd 15th
LINDBLAD Anton 15th 28th
TRITSCHER Bernhard 17th 34th 24th 61st 21st 19th
BRYNTESSON Robin 17th 19th 22nd
EISENLAUER Sebastian 46th 19th
GROS Baptiste 20th 47th 36th
EDIN Johan 29th 21st
PANZHINSKIY Alexander 25th 51st 22nd
HEDIGER Jovian 22nd 39th
HEUN Daniel 48th 35th 23rd 27th 30th
KOZISEK Dusan 65th 50th 24th 34th
FOSSLI Sondre Turvoll 25th
BOGDANOV Stanislav 30th 25th 30th 38th
DARRAGON Roddy 36th 32nd 27th 40th
SAAREPUU Anti 34th 50th
SIMONLATSER Timo 35th 40th 47th
BARTON Jan 58th 52nd 35th
EIGENMANN Christoph 55th 40th
WURM Harald 41st 51st 44th 53rd 44th
MIRANDA Cyril 43rd 43rd 62nd 42nd 56th
HERBURGER Aurelius 44th 44th 54th
PARFENOV Andrey 45th
STOCKINGER Martin 49th
SELLIS Siim 56th 64th 51st
RAZYM Ales 60th 54th
RANKEL Raido 65th 57th
JAY Renaud 67th 65th
KOSTNER Janmatie 68th
WATSON Callum 75th 87th 81st
Women starters
Name 2012
FALLA Maiken Caspersen 1st 3rd 8th 13rd 2nd
RANDALL Kikkan 2nd 6th 1st 1st 26th 1st
CRAWFORD Chandra 2nd 9th 4th 28th 14th
MATVEEVA Natalia 23rd 14th 2nd 2nd
INGEMARSDOTTER Ida 27th 3rd 48th 12nd 6th
VAN DER GRAAFF Laurien 8th 5th 3rd 40th 41st
FABJAN Vesna 5th 7th 11st 20th 4th 9th
HERRMANN Denise 4th 16th 13rd 37th 23rd 19th
BRODIN Hanna 41st 4th 5th 10th 33rd
KOROSTELEVA Natalia 14th 5th 18th 24th 32nd 39th
WENG Heidi 12nd 6th 23rd 47th
SARASOJA-LILJA Riikka 21st 13rd 26th 6th
MALVALEHTO Mona-Lisa 21st 17th 7th
BRUN-LIE Celine 14th 7th
GAIAZOVA Daria 9th 30th 46th 20th 20th
ERIKSSON Mia 57th 9th
JEAN Aurore 9th 23rd 40th 31st 59th
VISNAR Katja 10th 21st 13rd 21st 21st
EIDE Mari 56th 12nd 29th
VUERICH Gaia 17th 14th 35th 26th
GRUBER Bettina 22nd 32nd 15th
NIKOLAEVA Svetlana 40th 15th 16th 55th
KYLLOENEN Anne 20th 42nd 28th 17th 33rd 43rd
GROENVOLL Maria Nysted 25th 18th
CEBASEK Alenka 31st 28th 19th 18th 19th
TRACHSEL Doris 20th 43rd
BROCARD Elisa 22nd 29th 34th 21st 46th 51st
BUILLET Marion 38th 51st 22nd
BJORNSEN Sadie 52nd 34th 24th 42nd
DIGGINS Jessica 25th 46th
SARGENT Ida 25th 50th 52nd 45th
SOEMSKAR Linn 35th 36th 26th
JONES Perianne 52nd 29th 32nd 29th 49th
NOVIKOVA Valentina 32nd 40th
RINGWALD Sandra 47th 33rd
DEBERTOLIS Ilaria 38th 48th
LAURENT Greta 41st 54th
GROHOVA Karolina 65th 42nd
BOTTOMLEY Esther 44th 56th
LOCATELLI Manon 44th 44th
HARSEM Kathrine Rolsted 53rd


Comment by Christian

January 13, 2012 @ 21:04

Very exciting preview here! As we looked at the swedish Teodor Petterson i do not think he will be as good as he was before christmas. His shape has become worse and worse. Petukhov is the biggest favourite, he has the biggest top speed of all in flat terrain in skating. But the course should also fit Hattestad very well, and he won in Liberec exactly one year ago, so if his training has been quite similar to last year his shape should be at the best, (if he gets through the qualification) Morilov is also in a good shape, but normally he is not delivering good results over a longer period. It will be exciting!! :)

Comment by Jan

January 13, 2012 @ 21:08

@Christian: The Swedes have some hopes for Petterson, but I agree that his shape has been sinking regularly.

I think Hattestad will be very strong after what happened in Tour de Ski – I’m more afraid he will burn too much power early than that he’ll not get through the qualification. Pellegrino will be one to look out for as well I think – but we’ll see tomorrow :)

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