Season's review - Evelina Crüsell's breakout year

From injury struggles straight into breakthrough – Evelina Crüsell's season has gone from strength to strength throughout the season. Norran has compiled the highlights from the rising star's winter – with two Junior World Championship gold medals at the forefront.

Evelina Crüsell won the sprint in Sollefteå, which gave her an insurmountable lead.

Evelina Crüsell won the sprint in Sollefteå, which gave her an insurmountable lead.

Foto: Johan Axelsson

Engelska2024-04-08 15:45

World Cup debut

Evelina Crüsell debuted in the World Cup at home in Gällivare.

She competed in one race, the 10-kilometer freestyle, and finished in 36th place.

Bauhaus Cup

Two weeks after her World Cup debut, it was time for the Bauhaus Cup, the national junior championship. She achieved promising third places in her first two events, but it was the 10km classic race where she truly shone, dominating the field and winning by a convincing margin of one minute and twenty seconds.

Junior World 

On January 26, Evelina Crüsell's inclusion in the team for the Junior World Championships in Planica, Slovenia, was announced. However, the championship began with some challenges for Crüsell. A broken pole hampered her performance in the sprint, and a fall during the 20km freestyle race resulted in a fourth-place finish. Yet, her determination shone through in the following events.

Crüsell delivered a phenomenal performance in the 10km classic race, securing both her first-ever Junior World Championship gold medal and Sweden's first gold of the competition.

Two days later, Crüsell once again displayed remarkable strength, anchoring Sweden to another gold medal victory. The mixed relay team was already in a good position and had secured a medal by the time Crüsell took on the final leg. With a powerful display, she closed the gap on Norway, surged ahead, and ultimately clinched the gold medal for Sweden.

Bauhaus Cup

In January, when the second round of the Bauhaus Cup was held in Falun, it was a cold weekend. One of the races was cancelled due to bad weather, but a third place in the sprint and a win - again - in the 10 km crowned the weekend.

Alvar Myhlback and Evelina Crüsell celebrate together after winning gold in the ten-kilometer classic style at the Junior World Championships in February.

Junior Swedish

Evelina Crüsell's form continued, and she won the gold medal in the 15 km mass start with a lead of 37 seconds.

An eighth place finish in the sprint and a rest day later, she was ready for the podium again. After crushing the field for another gold in the five-kilometer race, she entered the final stretch behind Nea Seiger and Ella Burman only to dramatically lead the team to a silver medal in the relay.

World Cup

Further successes in the Bauhaus Cup and the rest of the season gave her another chance at the World Cup in Falun. Together with Elin Henriksson she got to represent Sweden in the national team and started in one race. It was a difficult day for her and she finished in 50th place.

Senior Swedish

Even though she's in her final year as a junior competitor, that didn't hold her back. She competed against senior athletes during the Swedish Championships week in Luleå and Boden, achieving impressive results.

In the 10-kilometer classic race at the Junior World Championships, she secured a commendable tenth place, finishing two minutes behind the winner, Jonna Sundling. In the sprint event, she claimed a strong twelfth place after advancing to the semifinals.

During the demanding 30-kilometer race, she impressively kept pace with the eventual champion, Ebba Anderson, for several kilometers before letting go. Ultimately, she crossed the finish line in a remarkable eighth place. This accomplishment makes her only the second athlete born in the 2000s to finish the race, with only Märta Rosenberg, born in 2002, being ahead of her.

Bauhaus Cup

The Bauhaus Cup was set to come down to the final weekend, and Evelina Crüsell was in the driver's seat. Leading up to the competitions in Sollefteå, the 20-year-old held a narrow lead in the overall standings. She sat just three points ahead of second-placed Elin Näslund and four ahead of third-placed Erica Lavén. This meant every point earned during the final weekend would be crucial.

Things started brightly for the Skellefteå skier. After a cautious opening to the classic three-kilometer race, she unleashed a powerful finish, crossing the line a dominant 20 seconds ahead of Näslund. This victory not only widened the gap in the overall standings but also gave her a psychological advantage heading into Sunday's pursuit race.

Skellefteå's great skiing talent can look back on a truly sensational season.

Her dominance continued. Saturday's sprint was another win for her, and on Sunday's ten-kilometer classic race, she displayed complete superiority, finishing a staggering 111 seconds ahead of the runner-up. These triumphs in the final Bauhaus Cup competition secured her a decisive victory in the overall cup standings.