Can Renner, Scott, Kershaw and the other North American sprinters step it up? American and Canadian World Cup skiers will be in action again on Wednesday. They will be up against the Worlds elite international sprinters as well as 47 eager to prove themselves Norwegian sprinters where the majority has not ever before got a chance to excel in an international race of this caliber.
As with all World Cup Races this race can also be viewed live online here at Fasterskier.com. Look for that option on the t the right side of the home page.
Keep an eye up for Canadian Devon Kershaw, he is showing consistency in classic sprints with his 13th best qualification time at Worlds and 17th and only a few hundreds of a second from making the finals in the classic sprint in Finland last weekend.
This course with an uphill finish should fit him and the other Canadian male sprinter better than the Lahti course as well. The whole Canadian team did well in the Oberstdorf sprint and could step it up again.
Torin Koos and Andy Newell on the US team did not have a great day in Finland and were roughly 4 seconds from making it into the top 16. That is a lot in sprint racing, but Newell made the cut at Worlds with his 16th place.
Things can change fast in sprints and both have proven that they have the skills to ski fast.
The key in sprint as in all ski racing is often to find a ski pair that glides a little faster than last weekend, get rested, have a few good workouts, feel a little better, hit the kick wax perfectly, ski your best and find your â€œfifth gearâ€ and you are suddenly skiing 2-5 seconds faster per kilometer.
In a sprint race you are then suddenly in the finals!
Beckie Scott was the top North American in the sprint last weekend with her 9th place, while Sara Renner narrowing missed the top 16 cut and placed 17. Milaine Theriault was 24.
Beckie was edged out in the quarterfinal by the eventual winner and fifth place finisher. The Drammen course with the uphill finish should fit her better. Beckie’s fifth place in the 10-k skate shows good fitness and advancing in the sprint might be a question about doing a tactically good race.
This is the last classic World Cup sprint race of the year and Sara Renner needs to step it up like she did in Oberstdorf and Beckie need to advance from the quarterfinals after failing to do that the last couple races.
Norway has entered 47 skiers to this sprint race. This includes the World Cup and national quota.
For many of these skiers it represents a unique and rare opportunity to race the Norwegian and international top skiers. A good result might mean a spot on a development team while a poor effort might mean loosing their status on a team. Next season is an Olympic year and being on a team is critical. Expect everyone to race like it’s no tomorrow!
For other related Fasterskier.com stories see The World Cup Continues: Huge Crowds Expected in Norway and Sweden http://www.fasterskier.com/racing2033.html
Norwegian skiers selected to race in Drammen
Marit Bjrgen, Rognes
Hilde Gj. Pedersen, Nybygda
Vibeke Skofterud, Slitu
Kine Beate BjrnÃ¥s, Varden
Ingrid Urdahl, Vaaler
Ella Gjmle, Lyn
Guro Strm Solli, Drevja
Domestic group :
Ine WigernÃ¦s, Lyn
Sigrid Aas, Tverrelvdalen
Astrid Jacobsen, Heming
Therese Engen, Raufoss
Lena Jensen, Kilkameratene
Ingvild Aas, Ã˜stre Toten Skilag
Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes, MVS/SkÃ¥la
Christine Mathisen, Ringkollen
Liv Miriam Nordtmme, Henning Skilag
Solfrid Braathen, Hybr & Stovner
Lena Cecilie Pedersen, Strindheim
Ingrid Aunet Tyldum, Overhalla
Kjersti Nordberg, Henning Skilag
Ellen Sandbakken, SkÃ¥bu/Tverrbygda
Ingvild Engesland, Lyn
Tor-Arne Hetland, ByÃ¥sen
Odd-Bjrn Hjelmeset, Fjellhug/Vereide/Hyen
Trond Iversen, Mjndalen
Eldar Rnning, Skogn
Johan Kjlstad, Skogn
Brre NÃ¦ss, Eftelt
Jens Arne Svartedal, Trsken
Ola Vigen Hattestad, Ã˜rje
John Kristian Dahl, Kirkenes
Stig Rune Kveen, Strindheim
Audun DomÃ¥s Pedersen, Medkila
Stein Vidar Thun, KlÃ¦bu
Tommy Ã…sen, Ottestad
Krister Trondsen, ByÃ¥sen
Arnstein Finstad, Steinkjer
Arve SkÃ¥ren, ByÃ¥sen
Rune MÃ¼ller, Tynset
Arne Mortensen, Tromsdalen
Ã˜ystein Pettersen, ByÃ¥sen
John BjrgÃ¥rd, Haltdalen
Erik Bakkejord, Strindheim
Petter Northug, Henning Skilag
Asgeir Ã…rdal, Jlster
HÃ¥vard Vatn, Nittedal