FIS Cross-Country World Cup presented by Viessmann. Day 1
On February 1, the FIS Cross-Country World Cup Stage started at the "Laura" Cross-Country Ski & Biathlon Center in Sochi, Russia. It is one of the three international Test Events carried out simultaneously by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee at the Olympic venues in the Mountain and Coastal Clusters. The pre-Olympic ski week is the first international competition of this level at the "Laura" Center, which will host the 2014 Olympic tournaments in cross-country skiing and biathlon.
The organization and staging of the Test Event that will last till February 3 is attended by about 60 representatives of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, who will be in "Olympic mode" in order to test all the features and services at the venue.
On the first day of competition, Individual Free Sprint races took place among ladies and men.
In the ladies’ event, Kikkan Randall (USA) clinched the first place after finishing second in qualification and passing confidently the quarterfinal and semi-final stages. Aurore Jean of France came second and Celine Brun-Lie of Norway finished third.
The men’s sprint was dominated by the two Olympic champions – Petter Northug of Norway and Dario Cologna of Switzerland. In the final race Northug used all his fast finish skills to secure the first place. Cologna came second and David Hofer (ITA) got the bronze.
On February 2, the two skiathlon races among ladies (7.5km classic / 7.5km free) and men (15km classic / 15km free) will continue the program of the World Cup Stage in Sochi.
Quotes of the day
Kikkan Randall (USA): "When I first got here, I thought to myself that this is what I always imagine an Olympic course to be like, before I ever got to one. This course has a very Olympic feel to it, similar to the Vancouver [2010 Olympic] course. It also has a long stretch before the finish, and the finish line in the full view of the tribunes. I think there is going to be a lot of drama here next year."
Petter Northug (NOR): "I like the flat final stretch of the course, which allows you to speed up and it is easier to pass other people. I think this length in a speed course is good for all racers. Also, on a course like this I find that it is almost easier for me to go from the semi-final to the final, than it is from the qualifying round to the quarterfinal, because other people get tired."
Daria Gaiazova (CAN): "Next year during the Olympics, a course such as this will be particularly interesting from the spectators' point of view. It has a lot of turns and one needs to ride very technically, pay a lot of attention to the course and the technique. This is always very interesting to watch."
For more information contact: Xenia Reizhevskaya, Sochi 2014 Head of Press Office, +7 925 999 2551
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