It’s not just Frozen Thunder: international racing also kicked off in Europe over the weekend. Finland kicked things off in Vuokatti with Finnish Cup races.
In Saturday’s sprints, Anne Kyllönen bested Andrea Julin in the final. Hanna Varjus was relegated to last in the final for interference, leaving Ann-Mary Ähtävä in third.
“It’s good exercise, I got to go four times around the track at a hard pace for skiing,” Kyllönen told Kestävyys Urheilu. The World Cup veteran finished as high up as fifth in the Sprint Cup standings back in 2013, but has evolved into a stronger all-around skier recently, ranking tenth in the overall World Cup last season.
22-year-old Julin has had a few World Cup starts but is still seeking her first trip to the sprint quarterfinals.
In the men’s sprint, Matias Strandvall edged Ristomatti Hakola in the final ahead of Lauri Vuorinen. World Cup regulars Toni Ketelä, Anssi Pentsinen, and Christoffer Lindvall rounded out the final. Strandvall, a perennial top-10 threat in World Cup sprints, and Hakola battled the whole way, pulling away from the field early on. But Strandvall dropped Hakola on the final climb to ski to the finish with a clear win. “Ristomatti tried to strike at the very beginning…. I struck when the time was ripe,” Strandvall said.
On muuten mielenkiintoiset kauden ekat viestit huomenna! Muistakaahan siirtää kellot ni virittäydytte viestien pariin just eikä melkeen oikeeseen aikaan 😊 #kaudenekaviesti #schiihto (Kuva: Arja Korhonen)
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In Sunday’s relays – 3 x 4 k for women and 3 x 6 k for men – more stars came out, like Riita-Liisa Roponen, Laura Mononen, Ville Nousiainen, and Martti Jylhä.
In Switzerland, the saved-snow loop in Davos opened on Saturday with sprint races amongst the country’s elite skiers. Jöri Kindschi topped the men’s field over Roman Furger and Dario Cologna, all of the Swiss National team. Tatiana Stiffler of Schweizerischer Akademischer Skiclub (SAS) was the top woman, beating out Delphine Claudel of France and Rahel Imobersdorf, also of SAS.
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The loop is four kilometers and has attracted the likes of German biathlete Laura Dahlmeier.
✳ Schneesuche erfolgreich ✅ Na was meint ihr wo wir gerade sind❓ #backonskis #langlaufen #wirlebenwinter #livewithoutlimits #fischerski #oneway A photo posted by Laura_Dahlmeier (@laura_dahlmeier) on
You can take a video tour of the “snowfarming” loop on the Davos Nordic Facebook page.