Alexander Bolshunov, In Photos

…in sprint finale at the first stage of the FIS World Cup in Ruka Alexander Bolshunov has shown to the whole skiing world that grit pays off. When Johannes Klaebo, thinking he has un assailable lead, has slowed down to look around, Bolshunov kept on working – and won.

The first race of the season has proven that the commentators have been all correct so far: two 22 year olds ( Bolshunov is still , technically 21) , the Norwegian and the Russian, are in the league of their own and will dominate the upcoming season.

The Daily Skier has followed Bolshunov through his summer and autumn training camps – and here are our observations, illustrated:

defining quality of Bolshunov: whatever he runs, he absolutely runs to win it, be it the Olympic Games or a test race ahead of the season.
when he does not win – like in Muonio earlier this month, where he was beaten by Erik Valnes – there is no smile to be shared.
More often than not you see Bolshunov trying to catch his breath after the race finish – on the ground. Give-it-all kind of guy
…the same is true about training – that’s Alexander after some particularly grueling interval session
Bolshunov excels in classic style diagonal stride where his technique is one of the most efficient among elite athletes ..
..he worked on his doublepoling quite a bit…
…and, naturally, on ‘Klaebo uphill step” too
Here are the people who play important role in Bolshunov’s success : his best friends and teammates Alexei Chervotkin ( front) and Denis Spitsov
his coach Yuri Borodavko ( in red )
his Rossignol racing manager Simon Caprini
and, of course, his long-term girlfriend and fellow Team Russia skier, Anna Zherebyateva
The new season holds all the promise for the young Russian. Will he shine at the end of it?
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