Snow Just in Time for IBU Cup 2
|08.12.2011, Ridnaun / Luis Mahlknecht/ IBU Inf. Dept|
|Individual and Sprints in Ridnaun|
|A 2.5K loop was prepared with artificial snow in Ridnaun, Italy that many athletes used for training in the last few days. However, snow arrived last night just in time for the IBU Cup 2 this weekend, creating a picture perfect scene at the top of this scenic valley.|
Hoping to Make it to the World Cup
The first IBU Cup of the season was held in Östersund because winter came late in Scandinavia as well as here, therefore the start list was full of World Cups competitors. Now, at IBU Cup 2, the “second division” athletes take over with many of them hoping for a promotion up to the World Cup.
The individual and sprint competitions on Saturday and Sunday will not be boring as there will be a number for strong athletes competing. While the individual is a perfect opportunity for strong shooters to finish high in the result lists, the sprint will offer an opportunity to the blazing fast skiers.
The French IBU Cup team will make their first appearance here as the entire A-team started in Östersund. Ludwig Ehrhart, already strong last year, is expected to fight for a podium spot again, especially in the individual as Jean Pierre Amat’s athletes are traditionally strong on the shooting range. Germany’s Benedikt Doll who sprinted onto the podium in Östersund will also compete again. His German team is one of the powerhouses on the IBU Cup, just like the World Cup circuit. The Italian team with Pietro Dutto, Daniel Taschler or Alexia Runggaldier also want to perform well in front of the home crowd.
Of course, the ever-deep Russian team has to be considered, as well as the fast Norwegians where a string of athletes can climb onto the podium on any given day. The same goes for the Ukrainians with several athletes hoping for a start in next week’s E.ON IBU World Cup Biathlon in Hochfilzen. A switch of athletes will be easy for all, now that IBU Cup 3 in Obertilliach is going to be so close to the third World Cup of the season.
First, everyone has to perform at their best here in Ridnaun. The new stadium, the site of the IBU OECH last February, is ready and the tracks are in good condition. After the new snow, these tracks do not wind through brown grass but through a backdrop of the fantastically wintery Alps.
The women will start at 10 am and the men at 2 pm on both Saturday and Sunday.