The FIS Cross-Country World Cup is starting at the "Laura" Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center in Sochi. It will be one of the three international Test Events carried out simultaneously by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee at the Olympic venues in the Mountain and Coastal Clusters. The pre-Olympic ski week will be the first international competition of this level at the "Laura" Center, which will host the 2014 Olympic tournaments in cross-country skiing and biathlon.
The organization and staging of the Test Event will be attended by about 70 representatives of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, who will be in “Olympic mode” in order to test all the features and services at the venue.
The competition will be attended by the cream of international skiing, including: the current World Cup leader and 2013 winner of the prestigious Tour de Ski, Alexander Legkov from Russia; Olympic champions and World Cup winners Petter Northug and Marit Bjoergen from Norway; Dario Cologna from Switzerland; Justyna Kowalczyk from Poland; and many others. The pre-Olympic week in Sochi will see athletes drawn from a total of 26 countries.
After the teams' arrival on 27 January, they will conduct a series of training sessions from 28 to 31 January. The competition program days on 1-3 February include individual and team competition sprint starts as well as classic and freestyle pursuit skiathlon.
Gian Franco Kasper, president of the International Ski Federation (FIS) marked:
"After several years of planning, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Team will now have a final opportunity to test the new facilities at the highest level, and to continue to refine their processes and further train the staff. For the world’s best Cross-Country athletes this will be the only opportunity to experience the Olympic venues in competition shape before the 2014 Games in just a year’s time."
Notes to the Editor
The "Laura" Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center is unique in that it includes two separate stadia, each with its own start and finish zones, two separate track systems for skiing and biathlon, a shooting area and warm-up zones.
The center is located on the crest and slopes of the Psekhako Mountain Ridge, 5-10 km north-east of Krasnaya Polyana village. Laura is a fast-flowing mountain river with many waterfalls, which begins on the southern slopes of the Assar ridge within the Caucasus reserve.