In fact, it is likely that only 11 of the top 30 in the World Cup as a whole will start in one of the most historic races of the season.
– Five miles on Holmenkollen six days after 50 kilometers on Planica, in my opinion, is “muck”. It’s impossible to do. That’s not possible. And to start 16 days with nine races with 50 km in March in Holmenkollen, six days after 50 km in Planica at the end of WC, Federico Pellegrino told NRK.
Italy is number three in the World Cup overall, beaten only by Johannes Høsflot Klæbo and Pål Golberg. He has taken three long distance podiums this season. Never before had he been more complete as a cross-country runner. Six days after 10th place in the five-mile WC, however, it was not possible to walk the same distance at Holmenkollen.
Pellegrino realized that when NRK met him before the World Cup:
– Let’s see if all the athletes want to go. If someone is going to run the five miles in WC and Holmenkollen, I don’t think the runner will be running the mixed team sprint and mixed relay, as we saw in January. So some things don’t develop very well.
Pellegrino emphasized that he was speaking for himself:
– I want to go to all the races, because I love to compete and I train to be the best in every race, but I can’t. I’m not that strong.
Shook his head
Even the second best foreigners don’t start in Oslo. Calle Halfvarsson and William Poromaa are fourth and third in Planica and seventh and ninth in the World Cup. The former is gearing up for a sprint in Drammen on Tuesday, while Poromaa catches a cold.
Pellegrino believes it’s hard enough to walk the five-mile WC, but it will be even more difficult when the next WC is in Oslo.
– Norway has a national quota, where they field seven or eight athletes who have never competed in a 50-kilometer race the week before, ready to fight tooth and nail. “It’s not easy, and my body can’t do it,” said Pellegrino.
Italy coach, Marcus Cramer, was very critical of the calendar display. He stands with only one man and one woman in Holmenkollen. Neither of them walked five or three miles on Planica. He shook his head at the FIS schematic.
Neither Finland’s Iivo Niskanen nor Perttu Hyvärinen will be seen in Oslo:
– All athletes love the slopes in Norway and Holmenkollen is the most legendary, but I have to admit I wasn’t ready for Planica, Hyvärinen told NRK.
At least 19 of the top 30 at the World Cup will not be seen starting at Holmenkollen. Some of them focus mainly on sprints, like Lucas Chanavat and Edvin Anger.
Musgrave: – It’s relaxing
As well as Pellegrino and Swede, American Ben Ogden and Czech Michal Novak confirmed to NRK they were top of the race. The two battled for the top ten overall at the World Cup.
Friedrich Moch (12) and Andrew Musgrave (13) were the best-placed foreign players at the World Cup to take part.
– For me, the Oslo Five Mile is the highlight of the year. I don’t understand why other people don’t like it. This is the toughest race we have run all year, Musgrave told NRK.
The Briton understands sprinters prioritize the Drammen but believes Pellegrino’s argument makes no sense.
– But you should be able to recover in six days after running five miles, it’s not that difficult. There are three weekends left, so you should be able to travel quite a bit during those days. It’s a little slack.
Musgrave fell ill during a WC and placed well behind on the medal at five thousand. He doesn’t believe his body is fit, but it’s never been relevant to canceling this weekend’s race.
– I’m not in good shape, but there are so many Norwegians who want to go but never get the chance. Then I almost had to take it.
The calendar should suit everyone
FIS race director Michal Lamplot had this to say to NRK:
– People seem to forget that cross-country skiing is not alone. We came to Oslo with two other disciplines in jump and mix. The Oslo weekend is very important for this discipline and should fit into their calendar as well. Another thing that influenced us when we got to Oslo was that there was a biathlon the following week. It’s very complicated, says Lamplot – and continues:
– Ideally, the gap between them will be longer and in the future we will work with the Norwegian Ski Association and other national associations to find the best date at Holmenkollen, as it is one of our iconic events.
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