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World’s best biathletes compete at Solider Hollow this weekend

Kaisa Bosek USA at the shooting range during the Biathlon Single Mixed Relay at Les Tuffes Nordic Centre in France. The Winter Youth Olympic Games, Lausanne, Switzerland, Sunday 12 January 2020.
Simon Bruty for OIS
The world's best biathletes will be in Utah this weekend for the BMW IBU World Cup.

It’s been five years since Solider Hollow last hosted a World Cup biathlon competition. Here's more on what to expect this weekend.

The new snow should make for great race conditions this weekend, when the Biathlon World Cup returns to Utah. Luke Bodensteiner, the general manager of the Solider Hollow Nordic Center, says there’s still a lot of work to be done and all of the television and media trucks need to be set up over the next few days.

Bodensteiner says Solider Hollow has hosted plenty of national championships as well as the Pan American mountain bike races, but the World Cup is the biggest event that will run in terms of scope besides the Olympics itself.

“We have a huge TV production. We're prepared for a lot of spectators,” Bodensteiner said. “We think we'll have 2,000 to 3,000 people per day coming,” he said. “We have a great VIP setup and a new Nordic center that we just completed, which will have a grand opening on Thursday. That is an incredible new building that we've renovated and expanded.”

There are six events – two each day. On Friday, the men open the event with the 4 x 7.5 km relay at 12:25 p.m. That’ll be followed by the women’s 7.5 km sprint at 3 p.m.

On Saturday, the women open the day with the 4 x 6 km relay at 12:25 p.m. and then men race the 10km sprint at 3 p.m. On the final day, Sunday, the competition begins at 10 a.m. with the women’s 10 km pursuit followed by the men’s 12.5 km pursuit at 11:50 a.m.

They have a number of different formats, individual races and a relay,” he said. “So, they ski multiple laps in each race and come through the shooting range, take some shots, run a penalty loop if they miss some shots, and then back at it. And the longest trail we use is 3.3 kilometers.”

He says you’ll be able to see the entirety of the course from where you’re sitting, whether it’s inside the Nordic center, the VIP or premium seating section or general admission, which is free. Parking is also free and conveniently located next to the course.

He expects the biggest crowds on Saturday. There will be live music after the races on both Saturday and Sunday. He suggests arriving by noon on Friday and Saturday and before 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.

For more information, visit this link.

Bodensteiner says people can ski during the event on other trails and ski up to the course to watch the competition trailside. If conditions allow, he says skiing will be open through the first weekend of April and tubing will end March 23.