The FIS World Cup will start the season for the 6th time in DÃ¼sseldorf, the German city on the banks of the river Rhine. On October 27 and 28, 150 of the best athletes from 21 nations are competing for the first points of the new season. Among the participants will be both overall World Cup winners from 2006/2007 â€” Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) and Tobias Angerer (GER), as well as Jens Arne Svartedal (NOR), the Sprint World Cup winner 2006/2007, and “Mr. DÃ¼sseldorf,” Peter Larsson (SWE) who won the opening Sprint race four times in a row (2002-2005) and last year, the Team Sprint with Bjoern Lind.
In DÃ¼sseldorf, FIS will introduce the “lucky loser” system in the Team Sprint. In Sunday's race, the first three teams in both semi-finals will reach the final directly while the other four places in the final will go to the four overall fastest teams from the semi-finals. “As we saw last season, the lucky loser system in the sprint races worked well and the races were getting faster and faster. Beside tactical aspects, this makes the individual sprint attractive for all-around athletes. We hope that the introduction of the lucky loser rule in the team sprint will have the same effect,” noted JÃ¼rg Capol, FIS Race Director.
US Ski Team members Andy Newell and Torin Koos will be competing along with Canadians Chandra Crawford, Perianne Jones, David Nighbor, Phil Widmer, Sean Crooks and Stefan Kuhn.
Race Times (local time):
October 27 – Sprint Qualification m/w 12.00h
Sprint Finals m/w 14.00h
October 28 – Team Sprint m/w 14.00h
Top three last year:
1. Marit Bjoergen (NOR)
2. Natalia Matveeva (RUS)
3. Ella Gjoemle (NOR)
1. Eldar Roenning (NOR)
2. Oeystein Pettersen (NOR)
3. Tor Arne Hetland (NOR)
1. Norway 1 (Bjoergen, Gjoemle)
2. Sweden 1 (Andersson, Norgren)
3. Finnland 2 (Kuitunen, Saarinen)
1. Sweden 1 (P. Larsson, Lind)
2. Norway 2 (Pettersen, Roenning)
3. Italy 1 (Pasini, Zorzi)