RacingWorld CupFinal Sprint of the Year Kicks Off World Cup Final

FasterSkier FasterSkierMarch 16, 2010

Stockholm, Sweden – The World Cup Finals begins in Stockholm with the last sprint competition of the year.

Only the top-40 skiers in the world (by World Cup points) and Continental Cup leaders are permitted to start the World Cup Finals.

This rule has an impact of the composition of the field, though the main difference we see is the inclusion of more distance skiers in the sprint competition – as they must race this event to continue the rest of the World Cup Finals.

Additionally, since the sprint is part of the Finals, only half points are awarded.

The overall Sprint Cup winners have been decided, Justyna Kowalczyk (POL), and Emil Joensson (SWE), but the rest of the podium is very much up in the air.  Andy Newell (USA) is 4th, just 17 points out of seconds behind Alexei Petukhov (RUS) and Petter Northug (NOR).

Marit Bjoergen (NOR) is 3rd in the women’s standings, but is just five points behind Petra Majdic (SLO), who is out for the season with an injury.  With a maximum of 50 points available, Aino Kaisa Saarinen (FIN) in 4th will not be able to climb into the top-3.

Andy Newell and Brian Gregg will start for the US men, and Kikkan Randall for the women.

Daria Gaiazova represents the Canadian women and Ivan Babikov, Devon Kershaw, Alex Harvey and Graham Nishikawa race for the Canadian men.

Predictions

Men

1.  Emil Joensson (SWE)

2.  Petter Northug (NOR)

3.  Oystein Pettersen (NOR)

4.  Andy Newell (USA)

5.  Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR)

6.  Niklay Chebotko (KAZ)

17.  Devon Kershaw (CAN)

23.  Alex Harvey (CAN)

43.  Ivan Babikov (CAN)

49.  Graham Nishikawa (CAN)

53.  Brian Gregg (USA)

Women

1. Marit Bjoergen (NOR)

2. Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)

3. Hannah Falk (SWE)

4. Alena Prochazkova (SVK)

5. Magdalena Pajala (SWE)

6. Katerina Smutna (AUT)

11.  Kikkan Randall (USA)

16.  Daria Gaiazova (CAN)

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