JAN 25, 2021
One might read the official results list of the 30k skiathlon in Lahti like this: “Barely missed the podium!” What is not noted, though: Atomic superstar Simen Hegstad Krueger had practically grabbed a podium spot – up to that infamous “Lahti Curve” shortly before the finish, where the double Olympic champion unfortunately crashed. Taking 4th place, despite this mishap, is quite an accomplishment; especially since it was the first race in a long time in which the entire world elite including Norway was finally back at the start. Besides, for the first time Simen officially raced on the new Atomic performance model Redster S9 Gen-S, which he had only used in secret so far ...
“Our most promising athletes for the World Championships have all demonstrated that they’re in good shape. The fact that the world elite was back in Lahti cannot be underestimated. The same thing goes for Falun next week, then we’ll know who will be fighting medals on Atomic,” says Nordic Race Manager Peter Landl in an assessment of the current situation.
SIMEN HEGSTAD KRUEGER: ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE
Norge super star Simen Hegstad Krueger has a ticket for the Nordic Ski World Championships for sure. After his 4th place in the 30k Lahti skiathlon (15k classic + 15k freestyle) – despite crashing and losing time in the final curve – anything is possible! In the 4x7.5k event Simen skied the anchor leg and won the relay race with his Norwegian teammates. By the way: For the first time he was able to officially show up with Atomic’s new performance model: Redster S9 Gen-S. So far he had used his race rocket “undercover” only, even when scoring two 2nd places in the World Cup. Evgenij Belov finished 14th in the skiathlon, the Russian relay team was disqualified for unsportsmanlike behavior by one of his teammates – too bad about Evgenij's strong performance.
The Redster Cross-Country women also demonstrated that they are continuing to build up fitness in view of the World Championships – Anne Kjersti Kalvaa finished 10th in the 15k skiathlon (7.5k classic + 7.5k freestyle) and has a good chance of being nominated for the World Champs. The Weng twins Tiril and Lotta are set for Oberstdorf – Tiril was part of the victorious Norwegian 4x5k relay team in Lahti, however, the skiathlon (places 14 and 15) did not go according to plan for the two sisters.
CONSISTENCY KING FABIAN ON THE PODIUM AGAIN
It's impressive how Atomic Combined athlete Fabian Riessle maintains the pace throughout the season. In Lahti he was world class again – 2nd in the team sprint and 5th in the individual event. He, too, has every reason to be optimistic about the World Championships on home turf, in Oberstdorf.
STRONG AGAIN! WHAT DOES SAM EDER STILL HAVE IN STORE?
Two 8th places in both the 20k and the mass start event in Antholz. Atomic biathlete Simon Eder once again proved that routine should never be underestimated, even though he had two misses on the shooting range – something that happens to him more seldom than to any other biathlete in the world. Without those misses he would probably have made it onto the podium this time. Sam is currently stepping up his skiing performance from week to week. Atomic teammate Benjamin Weger continues being in good shape, too.
ATOMIC ALL IN: ERMIL WINS IN TOBLACH-CORTINA
Cross-country, Nordic Combined, Biathlon – rounded out by another Atomic success story from the world of long distance racing: Redster athlete Ermil Vokuev won the 38k competition in Toblach-Cortina that formed part of the “Visma Ski Classics”.