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These Four Norwegian Skiers Risk Missing The World Cup Premiere

Four of the Norwegian men’s national team’s skiers must deliver at Beitostølen to go to the World Cup opening on the last weekend in November.

Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold/Bildbyrån

Sjur Røthe (NOR) during the men’s 50km classic race at the Oslo World Cup 2022.

Norway has a quota of six skiers for the World Cup opening in Ruka, Finland, on November 26 to 29. In addition, the World Cup’s overall winner and the Scandinavian Cup’s winner from the previous season have a free place in the first period of the World Cup, i.e., until the Tour de Ski. 

Johannes Høsflot Klæbo won the World Cup in 2022, while Mattis Stenshagen won the Scandinavian Cup. 

The World Cup opening in Ruka starts with a sprint, followed by two distance races. For the distance races, 10-kilometer individual start and 20-kilometer pursuit start, five of the six places in practice have already been awarded: Pål Golberg, Erik Valnes, Simen Hegstad Krüger, Hans Christer Holund, and Martin Løwstrøm Nyenget, according to VG

However, head coach Eirik Myhr Nossum and the national team management will not comment. 

Thus, there is only one place left for the opening weekend in Finland. 

Who gets the place will be decided after the national season opener at Beitostølen on November 18 to 20. Emil Iversen, Sjur Røthe, Harald Østberg Amundsen, and Didrik Tønseth must work hard to secure a place in Ruka’s squad. 

In terms of experience, there are also several recruits and regional team athletes as well as elite skiers from various private teams in the season-opening fighting for a place in the World Cup team. 

Increasingly Tougher 

After the World Cup opening in Ruka, two World Cup rounds follow in Norway. First, there will be three races at Lillehammer on the first weekend in December, then three at the new World Cup stage at Beitostølen from December 9 to 11.

At the Norwegian World Cup stages, Norway has extra places, the so-called national quota, but FIS has cut back on the number of places in the national quota. 

“Previously, Norway had 20 places we could manage as we wanted for World Cup races in Norway. We now have 12 places, of which up to five have been ‘earmarked.’ Two will be awarded to U23 skiers, and the leader of the Norwegian Cup, Scandinavian Cup, and World Cup are entitled to a place. Then we have a total of seven places, and 13 permanent national team skiers on the elite teams are fighting for them. Then there aren’t many opportunities to let promising youngsters try out,” says the elite team’s head coach Eirik Myhr Nossum to Langrenn.com during a national team meeting earlier this autumn. 

Also read: Cross-Country Skiing Changes And World Cup Calendar For The 2022/2023 Season

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