What's happening this week in the world of Nordic combined, biathlon and cross-country skiing?

The week of 13 December sees World Cup events contested in three mainstays of the Winter Olympic programme - biathlon, Nordic combined and cross-country.

By Ockert de Villiers
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

The 2021/22 World Cup season in Nordic combined, biathlon and cross-country skiing continue this week (13 December) as the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 nears (the Games officially open on 4 February 2022).

Here's a look ahead to the events this week, as well as a brief recap of the current season standings in all three sports.

Nordic combined World Cup

Where: Ramsau am Dachstein, Austria

When: 16-19 December

Events: Nordic combined (men and women)

The series moves to Ramsau, where the first women’s World Cup was held last year. The women’s competition will be held over an Individual Gundersen event with a 5km cross-country race culminating in the final on Friday.

Gyda Westvold Hansen remains unbeaten in this season’s World Cup, and it will take a special effort to stop her from making it five out of five. She leads a Norwegian top three enjoying a 150-point lead over Ida Mari Hagen with Marte Leinan Lund in third place.

Current World Cup standings

Overall women (after 4 of 9 events)

1. Gyda Westvold Hansen (NOR) – 400 points

2. Ida Marie Hagen (NOR) – 250 points

3. Marte Leinan Lund (NOR) – 200 points

The men’s World Cup will have back-to-back competitions where they will be competing over two Individual Gundersen events.

The men’s series is an equally one-sided affair with Jarl Magnus Riiber topping the overall rankings boasting six victories out of seven events. Germany’s Terence Weber is the only other athlete to claim the top step of the podium this season.

Riiber further strengthened his hold on World Cup rankings with a fifth consecutive victory in Otepaa over the weekend.

Current World Cup standings:

Overall men (after 7 of 24 events)

1. Jarl Magnus Riiber (NOR) – 500 points

2. Johannes Lamparter (AUT) – 341 points

3. Terence Weber (GER) – 261 points

Biathlon World Cup

Where: Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, France

When: 16-19 December

Events: sprint, pursuit, mass start (men and women)

If last weekend’s racing in Austria is anything to go by, the Biathlon World Cup in Annecy-Le Grand Bornand is set for some exciting action. 

Germany’s Johannes Kuehn and Hanna Sola of Belarus earned their first World Cup victories in Hochfilzen in the sprint events. 

Sola had quite the breakthrough weekend in the women’s competition, stepping onto the podium in both the sprint and the pursuit. The world bronze medallist won a 7.5km sprint by 46.8 seconds, courtesy of flawless shooting in prone and standing positions.

Olympic silver medallist Marte Olsbu Roeiseland of Norway secured the yellow bib winning the 10km pursuit for her fourth podium of the season. Sola claimed the silver medal to move into second place behind Roeiseland on the overall rankings.

Current World Cup standings:

Overall women (after 6 of 22 events)

1. Marte Olsbu Roeiseland (NOR) – 276 points

2. Hanna Sola (BLR) – 238 points 

3. Dzinara Alimbekava (BLR) – 237 points

Kuehn produced a superb final loop for a career-first World Cup win in the men’s 10km sprint event, with Sweden’s Martin Ponsiluoma finishing second and Belarus’ Anton Smolski earning his first podium place.

Sebastian Samuelsson still tops the overall rankings thanks to a second podium finish of the season, winning bronze in the 12.5km pursuit in Hochfilzen. 

The Frenchman Emilien Jacquelin is breathing down his neck on the rankings and will be looking to pounce on home snow along with compatriots Quentin Fillon Maillet and Simon Desthieux.

Current World Cup standings:

Overall men (after 6 of 22 events)

1. Sebastian Samuelsson (SWE) – 250 points

2. Emilien Jacquelin (FRA) – 243 points 

3. Vetle Christiansen (NOR) – 225 points

Cross-Country World Cup

Cross-Country World Cup

Where: Dresden, Germany

When: 18-19 December

Events: Sprints (men and women), team sprint (men and women)

The Dresden leg of the Cross-Country World Cup will be an all-out sprint event that favours the on-fire Maja Dahlqvist of Sweden.

Dahlqvist has won four consecutive individual women's sprint events in the World Cup – including three this season. The 27-year-old could become the second woman after Marit Bjorgen to win five successive individual sprint events in the World Cup. Switzerland's Nadine Faehndrich, ranked second in the women's sprint standings, will be looking to break Dahlqvist's stranglehold on the sprint events.

Current World Cup standings:

Overall women (after 8 of 32 events)

1. Frida Karlsson (SWE) – 400 points

2. Therese Johaug (NOR) – 375 points

3. Maja Dahlqvist (SWE) – 339 points

Sprint (after 3 of 12 events)

1. Maja Dahlqvist (SWE) – 332 points

2. Nadine Faehndrich (SUI) – 156 points

3. Anamarija Lampic (SLO) – 142 points

Overall men’s leader in the sprint event, Norway’s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, will not be racing in Dresden, opening the door for someone else to take the spoils.

Dresden may well be a Russian affair with Sergey Ustiugov looking to upgrade his silver from Davos last weekend while Alexander Terentev already has one win behind his name on the opening leg of the World Cup season in Ruka.

Current World Cup standings

Overall men (after 8 of 32 events)
1. Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR) – 476 points

2. Sergey Ustiugov (RUS) – 315 points
3. Alexander Bolshunov (RUS) – 267 points

Sprint men (after 3 of 12 events)
1. Johannes Hoesflot Kalebo (NOR) – 320 points

2. Richard Jouve (FRA) – 193 points

3. Alexander Terentev (RUS) – 177 points

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