Cross Country World Champs start tomorrow, Thursday 2/25 in Obertsdorf, Germany. Conditions so far this week have been warm, sunny, and slushy, and races are being moved earlier in the day to try and keep conditions stable. No spectators at the venue, but all the big players are in attendance.
Thursday 2/25 at 5:30am EST: Classic Sprint
Men: Impossible to look past the Norwegians with Johannes Klaebo and Erik Valnes as favorites, especially for a classic sprint. Oskar Svensson from Sweden comes in hot with two sprint wins this season, and Federico Pellegrino from Italy is always a threat. The Russians have World Cup leader (by far) Alexander Bolshunov, sprint star Gleb Retivykh, and Sergey Ustiugov who looked strong in Ulricehamn after early season COVID. The French are also strong with Lucas Chanavat and Richard Jouve.
For the US, I'm interested to see how JC Schoonmaker and Ben Ogden do in their first senior worlds, along with Logan Hanneman and Kevin Bolger. Logan and Kevin have pretty early start numbers in qualification, which should be helpful if conditions deteriorate.
Women: We could very well see a Swedish podium sweep- it has already happened on the World Cup. Linn Svahn from Sweden is likely the favorite, but Anamarija Lampic from Slovenia won the sprint overall last year and has been skiing very well this year as well. Nadine Faehndrich has had a great season for Switzerland, and the Norwegians will certainly be strong with the Wengs and defending world champ Maiken Caspersen Falla. Top Russian is likely Natalia Nepryaeva, but I believe she is recovering from a wrist injury.
The US is starting a very strong group with Jessie Diggins (overall world cup leader), Sophie Caldwell, Julia Kern, and Rosie Brennan (3rd in overall world cup).
1. Linn Svahn
2. Anamarija Lampic
3. Jonna Sundling
Where to watch: https://fasterskier.com/...world-championships/
Start lists and results: https://www.fis-ski.com/...&seasoncode=2021