Fasterskier.com had featured a number of skiers in the week leading up to the World Cup opening. Remember that this is the first race in a long World Cup season. Results will greatly fluctuate as the season progress. A first place today might be traded with a 15th next weekend and a 40th might be improved to a top 20. Those who end up at the top of the list at the end of the year will eventually capture a high number of top six results.
Here is how some of them did:
Sprint World Champion Marit Bjorgen placed 6th. Her previous best ever normal skate World Cup race was 22. She was very happy with her race a hoped that she now had got rid of the â€œsprinter onlyâ€ trademark.
Hilde G. Pedersen skied a good race and placed 7th.
Kristen Skjeldal, Tor Arne Hetland, Odd-Bjorn Hjelmeset and Martin Koukal did not race as well as they had hoped — they placed 15, 28, 54 and 51 in the field of 89 racers.
Not a good day for the Swedes.
Swedish Skidsport said that Mathias Fredriksson’s 8th place and Anders Sodergren’s 16th place had â€œpassedâ€ the first test of the season. The rest of the team struggled. Thobias Fredriksson was 47th, Per Elofsson 50th and Joergen Brink 53rd.
Elin Ek was the best Swedish woman in 20th.
It was really the Italian’s that as a team dominated the World Cup opening race. 4 women in the top 15 and 4 men in top 10 including 1st and 4th. This was a big step forward for the Italian men’s team after a very disappointing 2003 World Championship.
Langrenn.com reported that Norwegian skier John Kristian Dahl was the most unlucky in Saturday’s race. Two minutes before start he discovered that someone had replaced his poles with a pair that was 10 centimeter shorter than his own. No one was around with replacements so he raced the first 2 kilometer with them before he got the right length.
â€œThey must have belonged to a girl — I could not get my hands to fit into the strapsâ€ said Dahl.
â€œI got a little stressed about it but probably didn’t loose more than 10 seconds totalâ€
Dahl ended up in 61th place — 2.03 behind the winner.