FIS World Cup Dresden, Germany 6 x 1.6 k Freestyle Team Sprint
The first World Cup team sprint of the season was run amidst drizzle and the Dresden, Germany city-scape as the women raced a total of six 1.6-kilometer laps.
Round and round on the looping course, the pace was a mix of tactically subdued speeds with sustained bursts of energy to break the pack.
After all the speed changes and exchanges with one athlete tagging off to the next, it came down to a 1.11 second difference between first place Sweden I and the three closet teams chasing from behind that ended in a photo finish.
Sweden I’s Stina Nilsson and Maja Dahlqvist won in a time of 24:02.5 minutes. Sweden II’s Ida Ingemarsdotter and Jonna Sundling placed second (+1.11), and Norway I, with Eide Mari and Maiken Caspersen Falla in third (+1.11).
U.S. I, featuring Julia Kern and Sophie Caldwell placed fourth (+1.11) after the photo finish was reviewed.
The U.S. entered a second team, consisting of Ida Sargent and Hannah Halvorsen. That duo contested the first semi-final, the same semi as U.S. I, but did not advance after placing fourth (+5.44). The top-three teams from each semi advance to the final, along with the next four fastest teams which are the combined “lucky losers”. Today, the second semi was the faster of the two. The four lucky loser team advancing to the final all originated from the second semi.
Sargent and Halvorsen ended up 11th overall.
No Canadian team was entered in the race.
In the men’s 6 x 1.6 k skate team sprint race, Norway I and Norway II took the top two podium spots.
In a lunge at the line, Norway I’s Erik Valnes and Sindre Bjørnestad Skar won the final in 22:38.72 minutes. Pål Golberg and Eirik Brandsdal of Norway II placed second (+0.75) and Russia I’s Artem Maltsev and Gleb Retivykh third (+0.80).
Canada’s Bob Thompson and Len Valjas placed seventh (+2.46) in the first semi-final and did not advance to the final. It was the same fate for the only U.S. team entered in the men’s team sprint. Andy Newell and Erik Bjornsen placed 10th (+3.66) in the second semi, and failed to make the finals.
Canada placed 15th in the final standings, the U.S. 19th.
IBU World Cup Oberhof, Germany 4 x 6 k / 4 x 7.5 k Relay
In the women’s 4 x 6 k relay, Russia placed first in a time of 1:18:46.4 hours. Evgeniya Pavlova, Margarita Vasileva, Larisa Kuklina, and Ekaterina Yurlova-Percht made up the team that used eight spares on their way to the win.
Germany placed second (+33.5) with two penalty loops and 10 spare rounds. Karolin Horchler, Franziska Hildebrand, Franziska Preuss, and Denise Hermann comprised Germany’s second place team that had two penalties while using 10 spares. The Czech Republic’s Lucie Charvatova, Veronika Vitkova, Marketa Davidova, and Eva Puskarcikova placed third (+36.7) with 1 penalty loop and six spares.
The top spot for the podium came down to the final leg, when Yurlova-Percht pulled out the win when Hermann skied two penalty loops. The Russian used three spares but escaped with no penalties to take the lead out of the shooting range on the final ski loop.
Susan Dunklee, Clare Egan, Joanne Reid, and Emily Dreissigacker all represented the U.S. and placed 12th (+5:35.8) while skiing five penalty loops and using 16 spares.
Canada’s Sarah Beaudry, Emma Lunder, Megan Bankes, and Rosanna Crawford finished in 13th (+5:58.8) with four penalty loops and 15 spares.
Russian also claimed the men’s relay, winning in a time of 1:20:54.3 hours. The winning team of Maxim Tsvetkov, Evgeniy Garanichev, Dmitry Malyshko, and Alexander Loginov skied no penalty laps and used six spares on their way to victory.
Antonin Guigonnat, Simon Desthieux, Quentin Fillon Maillet, and Martin Fourcade raced for France. The French team placed second (+1:01.1) while skiing a single penalty lap and using eight spares.
Austria’s Tobias Eberhard, Simon Eder, Dominik Landertinger and Julian Eberhard placed third (+2:18.6) with one penalty lap and using seven spares.
Canada’s Scott Gow, Christian Gow, Jules Burnotte, and Brendan Green and the U.S. team of Leif Nordgren, Sean Doherty, Travis Cooper, and Max Durtschi were eventually lapped. Neither team was given an official finishing time.
Canada was ranked 18th in the final standings, the U.S. 19th.
For both relays today, the snowy weather and tough course conditions made for a strenuous day of shooting and skiing.