Three-time Olympic champion Alexander Bolshunov flew past the podium in two starting races at the Russian Cup. In women, on the second day, Veronika Stepanova flashed. She was harshly criticized by Elena Vyalbe before the season for being too media-friendly. Sport talks about the first results of the new life of Russian skiing without international competitions.
A New Talent Emerges
So far, fears that cross-country skiing in Russia will be boring are not confirmed. The start of the season at the Top of Thea turned out to be fiery. Of course, the lack of broadcast of the competition is a shame and disgrace. This just needs to be sorted out in the near future.
After all, a new star in men's skiing has lit up in Russia. We are talking about the 18-year-old talent of Savelia Korostelev. First, he won the sprint at the first stage of the Russian Cup, and then became the third in the race from a separate start. A fantastic success for a person who is just starting out in big-time sports. How much I want to see him at the World Cup in the fight against the Norwegians.Artem Maltsev proved to be great in the cut-up, winning the start with one gate. Artem was “rolled” past the Olympic gold when Sergei Ustyugov was put in the baton. Maltsev did not lose heart in the off-season, he left for Yuri Borodavko's group and this is the result. The second, by the way, in the cutting was Evgeny Belov. At the end of last season, he was expelled from the main team.
What happened to the “King of Skis”
Looks like the best skier in the world is in trouble. Bolshunov missed the race in Khanty-Mansiysk due to a minor injury, but he did not have any global health problems. However, in the sprint final, Sasha broke his stick and finished sixth. In the cutting, he was simply weaker than his competitors and remained below the line of winners. Bolshunov lost more than 30 seconds to Maltsev, which, of course, is a lot for a rider of this level. Yes, and the gap between Belov and Korostelev turned out to be significant.It is clear that it is too early to sound the alarm. Sasha has not yet found the best form, and the injury certainly affects. The more interesting it will be to watch other races in the season. If they show us, of course.
Stepanova answered Vyalba
In the women's section, the intrigue came down to the confrontation between two Olympic champions – Natalia Nepryaeva and Veronika Stepanova. The reigning World Cup winner won the sprint and finished second in the time trial. Veronica, on the contrary, first lost to Natalia, but took revenge in the five-kilometer race.
With such results, Stepanova responded to the criticism of the head of the Russian Ski Racing Federation (FLGR) Elena Vyalbe. She reproached the young athlete for not paying enough attention to training and only going on television shows. In a recent interview with Sport24, Vyalbe said she didn't want to say anything about Veronica.
"I won't even discuss it. That's how I don't want to talk about Guberniev, and about Veronika Stepanova. I am happy to talk about other athletes. We have a lot of worthy guys and girls,” said Vyalbe. networks and sports related matters. In the first races of the Cup of Russia, Veronika runs on the same level with the best skier in the world last season, Nepryaeva.
The main result of the past starts is that Russian skiing definitely does not die. Competition within a country benefits everyone. I really want the problems with broadcasts to be finally resolved, because such battles of stars are unforgivable to ignore.