As part of the competition at the Tirvas ski complex, located in the heart of the Khibiny, there were also starts in the 1.5 km sprint and the individual freestyle race at distances of 5 and 10 km.
In the individual 10 km freestyle race among men, the best was Evgeny Kudryavtsev, who plays for St. Petersburg. Aleksey Shemyakin, representing the Arkhangelsk region, finished second. The third was Valery Ponomarev from St. Petersburg. Svetlana Zaborskaya from the Arkhangelsk region was the fastest to overcome the women’s five-kilometer freestyle distance. The second to finish was Olga Tsareva, representing the Republic of Komi. In third place is Anna Neustroeva from the Murmansk region.
Vitaly Zhenikhov, who plays for St. Petersburg, won the sprint in the classic style among men, Viktor Semenov took the second place in the discipline, and Ilya Tikhonenko took the third place. Both athletes represent Tatarstan. Muscovite Natalya Matveeva was the first among women to finish, the second and third places were taken respectively by Milena Gabusheva and Olga Tsareva from Komi.
Olga Tsareva from the Komi Republic was the first to reach the finish line in the women’s individual 10 km classic style race. In second place is Anastasia Vlasova from the Murmansk region. Third place went to Olga Vokueva, who played for the Komi Republic.
The men’s 15 km classic style race ended with the victory of Nikita Egorov from St. Petersburg. The second in this discipline was Alexey Shemyakin, representing the Arkhangelsk region. The third is Viktor Semenov from Tatarstan.
The winners and prize-winners of the competition, together with medals, received cash prizes ranging from 100,000 (for the winner) to 50,000 (for prize-winners) rubles. According to tradition, the coaches who brought up the owners of the “gold” also received their prize money.
But the innovation of the Khibiny race in 2022 was that the podium of winners in third place did not end. Next to the first three, their places were occupied by athletes who came to the finish line fourth, fifth and sixth – they were also waiting for cash certificates. The size of the prize fund, which was provided by the partners of the competition – the PhosAgro company and the administration of the city of Kirovsk, made it possible to expand the list of awardees.
For PhosAgro, support for cross-country skiing is not the only component of the “sports” part of the social investment portfolio. The company makes a significant contribution to the development of the infrastructure of the local municipal ski complex “Tirvas”, which every year accepts more and more athletes. And this is not surprising – it is here that ideal conditions for “rolling in” – the first trainings in the professional season – are created before anyone else in the country.
– PhosAgro and colleagues from the Gornyak sports complex have done a great job this year. During the three summer months, we jointly made the Tirvas pistes almost three times as long. Thanks to this, we see that Kirovsk is becoming a center of attraction for amateurs and professionals of skiing – the number of participants in the Khibiny Race this year is unprecedentedly high. PhosAgro will continue to develop Tirvas to attract as many skiers as possible,” said Valery Fedorov, Deputy CEO of PhosAgro, Vice President of the Russian Ski Racing Federation.
However, the participants of the Khibiny Race did not compete on the new tracks. They are only used for training. Their sports debut will take place in the second half of January, when Kirovsk will host the championship of the northwestern federal district.
“Tirvas” becomes more interesting
– This is my first time in Kirovsk and I really like it! It was very beautiful to ride, – skier Sofya Borina from Moscow shares her impressions. – We have been here for two weeks already – we arrived at the “roll-in”. Thanks to the organizers, ideal conditions for training were created, and the track was also perfectly prepared for the race. It is heavy here – the first two kilometers are ascent, but then only the descent part. Psychologically, it is easier – at first you endure, and then you leave with patience. Cool track! We will definitely come again!
However, unlike those who saw the Tirvas tracks for the first time, its regulars manage not only to re-evaluate the beauty of the Khibiny, but also the innovations that change the face of the ski complex from year to year.
– I have been skiing since the age of 12, now I am 25. Since 2014, I have been coming to Kirovsk to train every year, and I take part in the Khibiny Race for the second time, – says the owner of the Khibiny Race gold medal in individual freestyle starts at a distance 10 km Evgeny Kudryavtsev, playing for St. Petersburg. “The conditions for both training and competition are excellent here. This year some loops have been added, the circle has become longer, now it is a pleasure to ride.
The fact that Tirvas is moving in the right direction is also said by experts – guests of honor of the Khibiny Race, world-famous athletes.
– “Tirvas” becomes even more interesting, better for both athletes and coaches, – four-time Olympic champion Nikolai Zimyatov shares his impressions. “More and more athletes come here every year, and they like it here. And this is natural. There are not many ski centers in Russia, and they are usually located quite far from the capital cities. Kirovsk has significant advantages in this regard – it is easy to get to and has good living conditions. Well, as for the snow, here the Khibiny is beyond competition – it falls early here and lies for a very long time.
“Kirovsk is an amazing city”
Not only cross-country skiers come to Kirovsk. Another magnet for lovers of adrenaline, snow and vivid emotions is the Bolshoy Vudyavr ski resort, the northern slope of which is located within the city. Last season, over 268 thousand guests visited here, which was a record for the resort. It is still unknown how many of them there will be in the new season, but the fact that BigWood was the first to open in Russia and the last to close suggests that more than one hundred thousand ski and snowboard lovers will be able to enjoy the Khibiny slopes.
– My family and I come to Kirovsk every year. As a rule, at the beginning of the season and even in the spring, when the polar day begins, – says Ilya Pukhov from St. Petersburg. – This year we were pleasantly surprised, almost shocked that the season opened so early – already on November 4th. We did not think for a long time – we took tickets, and here we are. Three days on the BigWood passed like one, and we were lucky with the weather! Today we decided to look at the finals of ski races. Amazing atmosphere! It was as if we were in the midst of the Winter Olympics in the front rows of the stands!
Surprisingly, among the fans of the “Khibiny race” there are those for whom winter Kirovsk has become a real discovery. Previously, he beckoned them only in the summer.
– It was my first time in Khibiny in winter, last year we came in summer, went hiking in the mountains. Now I have never regretted that I came, – says Daria Savicheva from Arkhangelsk. – We have slush and dullness at home, but here it is real winter, with frost. I have not mastered skiing yet, but yesterday I climbed to the top of Aikuaivenchorr, visited the Plateau restaurant. Today I decided to cheer for my fellow countrymen at the Khibiny Race. By the way, they are great – they show excellent results! In general, it’s great here! Kirovsk is an amazing city, there is always something to do here.