The World Cup opening weekend in Duseeldorf concludes tomorrow with the Team Sprint. The start order is determined by FIS sprint points.
The American team of Andy Newell and Torin Koos are in the first position in the first qualification heat, followed by Sweden 1 (Fredriksson, Lind), Norway 2 (Kjoelstad, Pettersen), Germany 1 (Angerer, Wenzl), and Italy 1 (Pasini, Zorzi). The second heat is led by Russia 1 (Morilov, Rotchev), Sweden 2 (Hellner, Joensson), and Norway 1 (Northug, Dahl).
It is hard to pick a clear favorite with so many strong teams. It will be interesting to see if today's surprise winner Josef Wenzl can lead the Germans back to the podium and how the young Finnish skiers fare.
On the Women's side, Norway 1, with 2005/2006 overall World Cup champion Marit Bjoergen and surprise 2007 Sprint World Champion Astrid Jacobsen, lead the first heat. They will be challenged by Sweden 2 – a strong team of World Junior Champion Charlotte Kalla and Britta Norgren. Russia 1 features a team of Natalias – individual sprint winner Mateeva partnered with Korosteleva. Finland 2 (Roponen, Saarinen) will attack out of the third spot.
In a tough second heat, Finland 1, led by 2006/2007 World Cup Champ Virpi Kuitenen does battle with the Swedish Olympic Gold Medal team of Anna Dahlberg and Lina Anderssen. An experienced duo of Evi Sachenbacher-Stelle and Claudia Kuenzel-Nystad leads the German attack. Rounding out the top four is Russia 2 (Ivanova, Shapovalova).
Contributing Source: FIS