Thursday, February 12, 2009


World Cup racing resumes this weekend with the first-ever visit by the tour to Valdidentro, Italy, one of those crappy mountain towns with nothing going for it besides eye-popping scenery, charming villages, delicious food, and very little oxygen. Why the place is "Valdidentro" rather than "Val di Dentro," like "Val di Fiemme," I have no idea. Couldn't pay the tax on the spaces, maybe?

Anyhow, the racing is off center by one day: the sprints - freestyle - are on Friday, and the distance races - 10/15km individual-start classic - are on Saturday. Sunday, everybody packs up and heads to Liberec, where the FIS World Ski Championships start on the Wednesday, February 18. Even alleged Russian dopers are skiing there!

Given the proximity to Worlds, the Valdidentro races are important tune-ups, but not so critical that some big names can't skip them. Virpi Kuitunen's opting out of the freestyle sprint, for instance. My picks:

women's freestyle sprint
1. Arianna Follis.
2. Justyna Kowalczyk
3. Aino-Kaisa Saarinen

men's freestyle sprint
1. Ola Vigen Hattestad
2. Bjorn Lind
3. Fabio Pasini


Josh C said...

Is it not FIS policy, such as the IOC, that any athletes testing high hemoglobin levels are excluded from competition for up to a week? Even if this had occured at the end of the season why was this not dicolsed more. Moreover, why has nothing seemingly been released by FIS as to the guilt or innocence of the accused, as this happened near 11 months ago?