DEC 08, 2019
Second World Cup stop for the Atomic Nordic Team: Evgenij Below just started into the season in Lillehammer, underperforming in the Skiathlon and winning the Relay race with team RUSSIA II the following day – with a strong individual performance. Simen Hegstad Krueger, having recovered from an infection the previous week, returned with a strong skiing performance and an 11th place in the Skiathlon. In the Nordic Combined competition Fabian Rießle once again proved to be the best Redster athlete, with a 3rd and a 4th place. The Atomic Biathlon athletes also delivered in Oestersund: Benjamin Weger reached a top result coming in 5th in the individual 20k race, while Simon Eder was more than happy about his 12th place, having had a difficult time this past fall.
The qualifying pressure is enormous in the Russian Cross-Country team: with 20 athletes in four training groups every result counts. Bearing that in mind, Redster star Evgenij Belov’s start into the season with a 29th place in the Skiathlon in Lillehammer was disappointing and way short of his potential. “Lillehammer is the toughest race in the World Cup. Overpowering takes its toll, that’s what happened to Evgenij in his first race, unfortunately,“ states Atomic Nordic Manager Peter Landl. But his disappointment only lasted 24 hours. In the Relay race the Cross-Country star made up for the setback, contributing to RUSSIA II’s win with a strong individual performance. “We’re now hoping to see him in the team in Davos, too,“ says Landl. Simen Hegstad Krueger’s 11th place in the Skiathlon with a strong Classic performance and his 4th place in the Relay were satisfying results for the double Olympic champion who had to depart early from Ruka in the previous week due to an infection. Lillehammer was also a successful home match for young Norwegian Redster athlete Anne Kjersti Kalvaa – place 12 in the Skiathlon confirmed her strong performances of the previous race weekend. She’s already in Davos now preparing for the upcoming competitions.
FABIAN AND THOMAS TOP IN THE NORDIC COMBINED
Atomic Combined athlete Fabian Rießle’s performance is improving rapidly with his first podium (3rd) and a 4th place in Lillehammer. Redster youngster Thomas Jöbstl convinces with his consistency and returns home with two top tens results (8th and 10th). Franz-Josef Rehrl (11th and 13th) didn’t quite get up to speed this time, having suffered from a mild form of flu. “He’ll easily catch up until the home World Cup in Ramsau,“ Nordic Race Manager Peter Landl is convinced.
SILVER LINING FOR SAM: 12TH IN OESTERSUND
Strong performance by the Atomic biathletes in Oestersund: Benjamin Weger finished 5th in the 20k race while Simon Eder’s 12th place might even be rated higher from a subjective point of view. “This result was extremely important for Sam: given that he had to stop training for two months this fall due to health issues, his 12th place on the second race weekend is a silver lining. Simon wants to be back in top form by February for the Biathlon World Championships,“ Peter Landl reveals.