Andy Newell is the only American skier who is racing the XC World Cup this weekend. Conditions are excellent – “the best ever here with a lot of snow and good consistent cold temps (-10C), according to US Ski Team Coach Justin Wadsworth. “The tracks are super hard and fast, and grip is no issue.”
Wadsworth predicts some intense racing with a number of skiers vying for final Olympic spots. The Norwegian sprinters will be gunning for one or two spots, and took the top-5 in the men’s sprint in Otepaa last season.
Canada has a large contingent, though none of the top World Cup skiers made the trip.
Daria Gaiazova is the lone Canadian women to start the 10km classic tomorrow. Phil Widmer, Sean Crooks, Brent McMurtry, Graham Nishikawa, and Stefan Kuhn will all race the men’s 15km event.
Newell is only racing Sunday’s sprint, so no AMerican will race tomorrow.
“Newell is rested, relaxed and doing well, so look for good things,” said Wadsworth.
In addition to staying sharp for the Olympics, Newell is currently ranked third in the Sprint World Cup and 19th in the overall.