RacingWorld CupUp Next at Worlds: 30km/50km Classic Mass Start Races

FasterSkier FasterSkierMarch 2, 2007

The last two events at the 2007 Sapporo World Championships are the 30km and 50km classic mass-start races. The women race tonight (11:30pm ET/tomorrow at 1:30pm Sapporo time), and the men on Saturday night at the same time.

Women's Race: The big favorite among bookmakers at Nordicbet.com is Virpi Kuitinen of Finland, followed by team-mate Aino Kaisa Saarinen. Marit Bjorgen is third on the bookmaker list.

The FasterSkier.com staff agrees with the top two picks but believes that Petra Majdic, Olga Savialova, and Valentina Schevchenko all have a good shoot at gold! We (Fasterskier.com crew) also agree that Marit Bjorgen needs a miracle to dig herself out of her slump and get a medal at this point of the Championships. A miracle could of course come in the form of another snowstorm!

It’s hard to believe that any of the North Americans can be top-30 following disappointing relay results for both USA and Canada, but we are crossing our fingers!

Men’s Race: Odds for the 50km men's race are not up yet, but the Germans are in shape and want to strike back after a very disappointing 4 x 10km relay. Neither Angerer nor Teichmann will give an inch. Norway is on a roll and is flying high after winning the men’s relay. Vasaloppet champion and classic specialist Anders Aukland (NOR) has put all his eggs in one basket and prepared for this race for the past six weeks. He will be ready and will go from broke! One can bet Frode Estil is hungry for revenge after having been kicked off the Norwegian relay team. It’s time to prove everyone wrong — and that’s good motivation! Who else? Anders Sodergren of Sweden will be tough, but might be tired from the relay and has historically come up short at the end. Add a couple Russians, one Estonian, and possibly one more Swede and one surprising Finn…. and we could see one heck of a 50km!!!

North Americans: Team USA skipped the men’s relay in order to focus on the 50km race. This disappointed many US fans. A great US result could be a nice Band-Aid.

This is the last chance for Team US and Canada to shine at these Worlds. Can anyone step up and post a top 15 result?

NordicBet.com odds for Women's 30km classic mass-start:

Virpi Kuitunen 1.80
Aino Kaisa Saarinen 4.75
Marit Bjœrgen 12.00
Petra Majdic 12.00
Justyna Kowalczyk 14.00
Kristina Smigun 25.00
Evi Sachenbacher 25.00
Olga Savialova 25.00
Valentina Shevchenko 35.00
Vibeke W. Skofterud 35.00
Marianna Longa 45.00
Viola Bauer 45.00
Kamila Rajdlova 60.00
Therese Johaug 65.00
Natalia Korosteleva 65.00
Britta Norgren 75.00
Youlia Tchekaleva 85.00
Antonella Confortola 100.00
Anna-Karin Strœmstedt 100.00
Oxana Jatskaja 100.00
Betty Ann Bjerkreim Nilsen 100.00

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