Scandinavia dominates the sprints
A trio of Swedes in the women's race and a Norwegian podium in the men's race: The sprints in the classic technique were dominated by athletes from the far north. In front of 1,500 fans, Linn Svahn finished ahead of Frida Karlsson and Jonna Sundling in the LOTTO Thüringen ARENA am Rennsteig. Erik Valnes won the men's race, followed by Ansgar Evensen and Even Northug in second and third place.
Laura Gimmler sent out a clear message for the DSV team. After her coronavirus infection in December and an early withdrawal from the Tour de Ski, she was delighted to finish fifth at the Coop FIS Cross-Country World Cup 2024 in Oberhof. „I'm incredibly happy. I have had a tough few weeks and still can't believe how things have turned out“, said the 30-year-old. For the athlete from Oberstdorf, it was „a huge motivation to race with the Swedes. And I've seen that there's not so much missing.“
Local hero Victoria Carl missed out on the finals and finished twelfth. „It was a really good race for me. I made it past the quarter-finals in a classic sprint for the first time. The fact that everyone was there gave me a boost“, said the athlet from Zella-Mehlis. The best male athlete of the German team was Jan Stölben in 20th place.
Tomorrow, Saturday (20 January 2024), the Coop FIS Cross-Country World Cup 2024 will continue with the men's mass start (10.25 am) and the women's mass start (1.30 pm) over 20 kilometers in the classic technique. On Sunday, the relays conclude the winter sports event in the Thuringian Forest.