World Cup final round this weekend

Posted on | October 1, 2013 | Category: News

The fourth and final round of the World Cup takes place this weekend in and around Baden, Switzerland. There are two races, a Middle distance finishing in the town and the World Cup Final, a Sprint in the old town with its parks and castle which will be televised live on Swiss TV.

The most intense competition of the weekend seems likely to be between Tove Alexandersson, Sweden, and Simone Niggli running on home ground. Alexandersson leads Niggli in the World Cup standings by 51 points going into the final round, but the double points awarded for the Sprint mean that this deficit can readily be overcome. There is a large points gap down to third-placed Swede Annika Billstam, with Tatyana Riabkina (Russia), Ida Bobach (Denmark) and Lina Strand (Sweden) holding the next three places. This will be Simone Niggli’s last competition at top level. The 23-fold World Champion has stated on her website that she will end her career after this season.

Switzerland holds the first three places and has four athletes in the top six in the current standings, with Matthias Kyburz at the top with a big lead over Daniel Hubmann and Fabian Hertner. Sweden’s Gustav Bergman and Jerker Lysell are in fourth and fifth places respectively, and Matthias Merz is sixth.

Challenging terrain is promised for the two races. Tüüfelschäller, ‘Cellar of the Devil’, is a large evenly sloped hillside south of the town covered in open deciduous forest, with complex rocky areas which will provide a strong technical as well as physical challenge for Saturday’s Middle distance race. Courses of 6.2 km with 290 m climb (men) and 5.1 km / 210 m (women) will give winning times of around 35 minutes. The last part of the courses will be in the southern part of the old town.

The Sprint on Sunday will be in hilly urban terrain in the central part of Baden with almost no traffic but plenty of people and an intense competition atmosphere. Here the winning times will be about 14 minutes.

As a curtain-raiser to the weekend, a mixed sprint relay (2 women, 2 men running in the order W-M-W-M) will be held in Baden on Friday. This will give teams more experience of this type of competition prior to its inclusion in the World Championships programme in Italy next year.

Reports and leading results from the World Cup races will be posted on this website, and further information can be found on the race website


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