Like several World Cup athletes, Russian national team skier Anastasia Rygalina resorts to long-distance racing as a part of her preparation for the Olympics in Beijing next month.
As more and more international competitions are cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, several World Cup athletes are now entering long-distance events in order to race at all. This weekend, Rygalina of the Russian national team is signed up for the Visma Ski Classics event La Venosta Time Trial in Italy.
Last weekend, Sergey Ustiugov, also a part of the 2022 Russian Olympic team, raced both the Visma Ski Classics events in the Dolomites. On Saturday, he won the 30-kilometer skate edition of the Pustertaler Ski Marathon. On Sunday, Ustiugov won the 42-kilometer skate version of the Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge.
Yesterday, the FIS World Cup events in Planica, Slovenia, were cancelled due to a dramatic increase in Covid-19 infections in Slovenia. Last week, the FIS World Cup in Les Rousses, France, scheduled for January 14 to 16, was cancelled. The French races were also cancelled due to the pandemic situation.
However, the Olympics will be held according to schedule. The Beijing organizing committee and the International Olympics Committee announced last week that the 2022 Olympics will not be postponed or cancelled.