Kasper Fosser aims for a second world championship title in Davos

Kasper Fosser (NOR) had a phenomenal finish in last year’s World Cup season where he won both individual races in Italy and thus secured his first overall World Cup victory with almost 100 points.

Heading into this year’s World Cup final in Switzerland, Fosser’s lead isn’t quite as big – but there’s still a 42-point advantage ahead of the Davos Klosters races this weekend .

Kasper Fosser won the overall World Cup standings last year ahead of Matthias Kyburz and Daniel Hubmann (both SUI). Photo: JTF/William Hollowell

Fosser and the rest of the orienteering elite have something special coming up for them: a relay on Saturday, middle distance on Sunday and long distance on Monday – all taking place between 1,500 and 2,000 meters above sea level in the Swiss Alps.

In other words: Difficult orienteering on steep slopes, where the physical abilities of the athletes to run in the mountains will be put to the test.

form returns
Kasper Fosser’s specific preparations for the World Cup final – and next year’s World Orienteering Championships in Flims Laax – began in August, when he attended training camp for the Norwegian national team in Switzerland.

– So I kind of know how it’s going to be, and I think it’s going to be tough terrain for everyone with steep climbs and slopes – steeper than what we’re used to in Norway. But hopefully it will be nice, fast terrain and fun orienteering, says Fosser.

The 23-year-old Norwegian has had a great start to the international season, where he won the individual sprint in Borås, Sweden in May after returning from injury.

In June he won the world sprint championship race in Denmark and in August he finished fourth in the EOC long distance and was also part of the Norwegian relay team that won gold.

– There was quite a bit of time to change the training and adapt at least to the physical part. I have been able to train very well since the EOC and I feel that my form is coming back after being less good in the forest this year. But it takes a lot of preparation to be as good as the Swiss on this type of terrain. So every hour on cards in Switzerland is worth a lot, says Kasper Fosser.

Fosser en route to the trade after the second leg of the EOC relay, which he won with Magne Dæhli and Eskil Kinneberg in August. Photo: FOI / Donatas Lazauskas

‘Good luck’ defending the World Cup title
In the World Cup standings, Kasper Fosser has 222 points after the first four races. Sweden’s EOC long-distance champion Martin Regborn is second with 180 points, and his compatriot Gustav Bergman is third with 173 points so far.

Sprint distance specialist Tim Robertson (NZL) is fourth (160) points, and the highest ranked “Swiss” is Matthias Kyburz in fifth with 157 points. Unfortunately, he injured his foot and pulled out of the Davos races to recuperate. Fosser’s fellow Norwegian Eskil Kinneberg has 151 points and completes the top six.

Asked about his chances of repeating the overall World Cup victory, Fosser replied:

– I think I have a good chance. Especially now that Matthias Kyburz is not on the starting line because he would be hard to beat there. I calculated that if he wins both distances this weekend, which I think is possible, I should be second and third. Now I have a bit more headroom so I don’t need to do perfect races, but I need to do two very consistent races.

fight for seconds
But that doesn’t mean Kasper Fosser will use defensive tactics when he leaves the start at Davos Höhwald on Sunday and Monday.

– No matter where I am in the general classification, I always want to be in the lead in the individual races as well. So I will fight for every second in the forest.

With Matthias Kyburz out of the equation, it’s not easy for Kasper Fosser to pick the biggest favorite to win the two individual races.

– It’s hard to say. I have never participated in international forestry races in Switzerland. But I think the Swiss will be good, as they always are in Switzerland. The Swedes showed great form in Estonia, and even though it’s completely different, I think they will be tough to beat. I hope I’m the one they should be watching, but we’ll see, Kasper Fosser said with a smile on his face.

Follow Kasper Fosser and the rest of the orienteering elite this weekend on IOF LIVE Web-TV with English commentary. 15 EUR for all races – 6 EUR for one.

Go to IOF LIVE

The competitions will be broadcast in Sweden, Norway, Finland, France and Switzerland. Find the details here:

Program (local time is CEST – UTC +2):

Saturday October 1
Relay
Web-TV 11:50 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
First start 12.00/14.00 Men/Women

Sunday October 2
Midway
First start 9:20/9:50 Women/Men
Web-TV: 11.35 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Monday, October 3
Long distance
First start 9:15/9:40 Women/Men
Web-TV: 1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Dino J. Dotson