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Cross-country skiing: Richard Jouve adorns himself with gold in the classic sprint for the return of the World Cup in France

The public of the resort of Les Rousses, in the Jura mountains, was completely won over to his cause. On Saturday January 28, Richard Jouve rewarded him in the most beautiful way by winning the classic sprint, for the return of the cross-country skiing World Cup in France after six years of absence.

The native of Briançon (Hautes-Alpes) even offered himself the luxury of being ahead of the star of the discipline on the finish line: the Norwegian Johannes Klaebo. The Olympic champion of the specialty at the Beijing 2022 Games and current leader of the general classification of the World Cup finishes second at 9/100e. His compatriot Paal Golberg completes the podium at 91/100e French.

Jouve, 28, won his fourth victory on the world circuit, his third individual and the second of the winter, after his success in Beitostolen (Norway), in December 2022, already in the classic sprint, but in the absence of Klaebo .

Four French people passed the qualifications

Big favorite at the start, the Norwegian had set the best qualifying time for this event which takes place in two stages. Cross-country skiers first set off individually on a 1.3 km course. The top thirty qualify for the rest of the competition. Four French people had passed this milestone and validated their ticket for the quarterfinals: Lucas Chanavat (3e), Richard Jouve (6e), Jules Chappaz (15e) and Renaud Jay (19e).

The participants are then divided into five groups of six: the two fastest of each continue the adventure, and two other cross-country skiers are fished out on the basis of their time. A mechanism that is repeated until the final, where the six survivors compete. Jules Chappaz and Renaud Jay stumbled in the quarters. Lucas Chanavat, he stopped in half.

Small crystal globe of the sprint in 2022

Richard Jouve was part of the French quartet of bronze medalists in the 4 × 10 km relay at the Beijing Games last winter. Four years earlier, he had already won a first bronze medal in the team sprint.

In 2022, he had above all entered the history of tricolor cross-country skiing by becoming the first Frenchman to win a small crystal globe, which rewards the best cross-country skier in the World Cup in a specialty – that of sprint.

The victory of this Saturday is in any case a good omen at a little less than a month from the holding of the world championships in Planica in Slovenia (from February 22 to March 5).

The world

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