Oberstdorf is hosting the Nordic World Ski Championships next year ©FIS

In the glorious Bavarian Alps, Oberstdorf is preparing for skiathlon and sprint disciplines in the International Ski Federation (FIS) Cross-Country World Cup.

Starting tomorrow, the event is also doubling as a test for the courses and installations for the Nordic World Ski Championships 2021.

In the women's competition, Norway's Therese Johaug is by far and away the dominant force - she will be seeking an eighth World Cup skiathlon win in Germany, equaling Marit Bjørgen's all-time record.

Johaug has recorded 12 World Cup victories already this season and is well clear in the overall standings.

She is currently on 1,409 points, well ahead of compatriot Heidi Weng on 952, with Russia's Natalya Nepryayeva in third (939).

In the men's skiathlon, Alexander Bolshunov is the points leader in the overall World Cup (1,281) and distance (654) standings.

The Russian won both World Cup events in Nové Mesto, Czech Republic, last weekend - the 15 kilometres freestyle and 15km pursuit classic style.

The last skier to win three consecutive individual World Cup events was Johannes Høsflot Klæbo of Norway in December 2017.

Therese Johaug has the record books in her sights ©Getty Images
Therese Johaug has the record books in her sights ©Getty Images

Klæbo is a considerable 159 points behind Bolshunov in the overall standings, and third in the distance standings.

Third in overall standings is Russian Sergey Ustiugov, returning to competition after missing last weekend in Czech Republic as he became a father.

The women's sprint competition is fiercely competitive, with Slovenia's Anamarija Lampič on top of the standings (275), having won two individual sprints this World Cup season.

With six of the 14 events completed, the Swedish duo of Linn Svahn (240) and Jonna Sundling (238) are hot on her heels.

Frenchman Lucas Chanavat is slightly more dominant in the men's sprint, with a 52-point lead over Klæbo.

Russian Gleb Retivykh will be desperate to make a move this weekend, sitting 96 points behind Chanavat.

The men's 30km skiathlon and women's 15km skiathlon take place tomorrow.