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Cross-country skiing, Falun World Cup 2022. Federico Pellegrino seeks the feat in the alternate sprint


After touching Finland and Norway, the Cross-Country Skiing World Cup concludes its end-of-season “Nordic tour” in Sweden . Over the weekend the maximum circuit will in fact be on stage in Falun , a symbolic location of the discipline, because, in addition to having already hosted four World Championships (1954, 1974, 1993, 2015), it is also about to obtain the organization of the 2027 edition, being the only candidate for this appointment.

In the men’s field, not much remains up for grabs. The Norwegian Johannes Høsflot Klæbo has already mathematically won both the absolute and the sprint World Cup . In theory, the Scandinavian could also conquer the specialty of distance races, where, however, the Finnish Iivo Niskanen has a 54-point advantage. Finally, the trophy dedicated to the under23 will be the prerogative of the Swedish William Poromaa .

The news is represented by the mixed tests scheduled for Sunday. This is not an absolute novelty for cross-country skiing, which had already played mixed relays between the end of the 90s and the beginning of the 21st century, then abandoning the experiment. The fact that the discipline was a forerunner of this kind of competitions, but then set them aside for over twenty years, accumulating delay compared to the rest of the winter sports scene, is the perfect photograph of the ignorance of management that for more than three decades brought cross-country skiing to where it is now. The mixed trials will be preceded by a sprint in classic technique and by a 15 km skating time trial , which will be respectively the 73rd and 74th first level men’s individual competition to be held in Falun.

Cross-country skiing, Klæbo risks losing the Sprint Cup in Falun, where there will be “one last dance” for Therese Johaug

The sprint made its appearance in Falun only in recent times, i.e. in 2014, but from that moment on it became a permanent presence in the program of the stage. So far seven tout-court have been disputed, four alternating and three in skating step.
The absolute master of this format is the Norwegian Johannes Høsflot Klæbo , who imposed himself 3 times, both in skating (2018, 2019) and in classic (2021). The other three alternating successes went to the Swedish Teodor Peterson (2014), the Norwegian Petter Northug (gold world champion 2015) and his compatriot Pål Golberg (2020).
The only free technique statement that Klæbo escaped was instead the prerogative of Federico Pellegrino , winner in 2017. The blue also came second, always in his favorite skating step, also in 2018.

It is amazing to see how, despite the enormous Falun tradition, this stage was the scene of only four 15km against the skating time trial! The first of them was held in 2000 , when the victory went to the German naturalized Spanish Johan Mühlegg , who was followed across the finish line by the Finnish Jari Isometsä and the Italian Pietro Piller Cottrer .
In 2015 the race was part of the World Cup program. The gold medal was awarded to the Swedish Johan Olsson , the silver medal by the French Maurice Manificat and the bronze by the Norwegian Anders Gløersen.
Then in 2019 there was the triumph of the Russian Alexander Bolshunov , who was right by the Norwegians Martin Johnsrud Sundby and Didrik Tønseth.
Bolshunov was able to repeat himself in 2021 , again ahead of two Norwegians, namely Simen Hegstad Krüger and Sjur Røthe.

In general it is interesting to note how Italy , despite the many podiums collected, managed to win only once out of seventy-two competitions. Merit, in fact, of the aforementioned Pellegrino in the sprint a skating of 2017. Instead in the distance races between the Azzurri in activity there are also two top-three by Francesco De Fabiani , arrived in as many 15 km, albeit mass start and not against the time trial . The Alpine from Gressoney-Saint-Jean ranked second in the 2016 one (played in free technique) and third in the 2018 one (alternating).
In the past, the most important result collected by the blue movement is represented by the bronze medal of Silvio Fauner in the 15 km pursuit of the 1993 World Cup. It should be noted that no Italian has ever obtained more than two podiums on the snows of Falun. So for Pellegrino and De Fabiani there will be an opportunity to create something new.