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Russia’s best cross-country skier proves his class

The top man of the Russian cross-country skiing team Nikita Krukov has triumphed at the prestigious “Krasnogorskaya Lyzhnya”, which is one of the most important events before the Winter Olympics.

“Krasnogorskaya Lyzhnya” is a traditional competition in cross-country skiing, taking place annually just outside Moscow. It is one of the last training stages before the Winter Games.

This year, the race celebrates its 40th birthday. Almost every year the weather brings surprises: and this year it was raining nearly all day. Nevertheless, all the skiers praised the organizers for producing an ideal skiing track.

Aleksandr Panzhinskiy and Mikhail Devyatyarov were battling for the final place in Canada in sprint skiing. And Panzhinskiy won, finishing second after Nikita Krukov.

As for the women, the competition in the Russian national team is so high that even today’s sprint winner, Alena Sidko, is not guaranteed a place in the Olympic squad.

“It’s been a long time since I was in a sprint final, and at last I got to the final and won. It's a month and a half ahead of Vancouver, and we hope to be in top form in time for the Games,” Alena Sidko said.

National team coach Yury Borodavko is optimistic about Russia’s chances of success in Canada:

“I think we have good prospects in Vancouver. In every discipline we have skiers that show their worth, and we hope they perform well. Everything will depend on the last stage of our preparation and the mental approach of the skiers. The Olympic Games is a very special event – it often happens that it is not the favorites who win, but the athletes who train hard and have the most desire to win,” he said.

The Russian national team for the Games will be announced after the Tour de Ski, which starts on January 12.