Tag Archive | "feature"

Andy Shields and Annika Hicks Win Haywood NorAm Western Canadians

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January 22, 2018 (Red Deer, AB) – A chilly start to the day in Red Deer, but the temperatures climbed to close to zero, as racing action unfolded with classic mass starts. The men raced a 15k and the lead group included 9 skiers after the first of 4 laps. Lappe’s Andy Shields, Canmore’s Russell Kennedy, Scott Hill of Barrie XC and Jesse Cockney set out on the final lap together.

Senior Men's podium [P] CCCOn the last lap Jesse Cockney faded back a bit off the front, and Andy Shields skied to a comfortable 9 second victory over Russell Kennedy. Scott Hill was another 4 seconds back in 3rd.

Junior men's podium [P] CCCIn the Jr. Men’s event Black Jack’s Remi Drolet was a fraction of a second short of 6th overall, and captured the Junior win by a minute over Canmore’s Sam Hendry. Strathcona’s Tallon Noble was 3rd.

Senior Women's podium [P] CCCThe women’s race got off to a bit of a rough start, as skiers battled for position. There was also 4 athletes contesting 3 podium positions over the last lap. Annika Hicks of Canmore came through with the win by 2.5 seconds over Olivia Bouffard-Nesbit of Fondeurs Laurentides and 24 seconds over Foothills Nordic’s Zina Kocher.

Junior women's podium [P] CCCKaia Andal of Caledonia Nordic won the Jr Women’s race by a large 1 and 1/2 minute margin over Rocky Mountain Racer’s Sara McLean. Clair Littlefair of Yellowknife was 3rd. Andal was 5th overall in Open Women, just ahead of Black Jack’s Molly Miller, a Jr. Girl who finished 6th in the open women’s race.

Results

Poltoranin Claims Record World Cup Win in Men’s 15K CL at Planica

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January 21, 2018 (Planica, Slovenia) – Kazakhstan’s Alexey Poltoranin was unstoppable in the men’s 15 km classic taking the win over Norway’s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo in second at 13.2 second back. Sweden’s Calle Halfvarsson claimed the final podium spto in third at 42.8 behind.

Men's podium [P] Nordic Focus“I am really happy to win. This is a good course for me and I had very good skis and want to say thank you to my service team,” said the winner,” said Poltoranin who earned his 7th career victory in the 15 km classic tying the record of legendary Swede, Gunde Svan.

Devon Kershaw [P] Nordic FocusThe USA’s Scott Patterson was the top North American in 43rd followed by Canada’s Devon Kershaw in 44th. American Ben Lustgarten was 46th, Tyler Kornfield (USA) was 57th, Bob Thompson (Can) finished 64th, and Dominique Moncion-Groulx (Can) was 70. Andy Newell (USA) did not finish while Julien Locke (Can) did not start.

Diggins 10th in 10K CL at Planica as Parmokoski Takes 1st World Cup Victory – Patterson Strong 20th

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January 21, 2018 (Planica, Slovenia) – The USA’s Jessie Diggins finished 10th while teammate Caitlin Patterson was a strong 20th as  Finland’s Krista Parmakoski took home her first World Cup win with a victory in the women’s 10 km classic in Planica, Slovenia.

Jessica Diggins (USA) [P] NordicFocusParmakoski was trailing Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla by one second at the 6.9 km mark, but at the finish she surged to a 3.6-second margin of victory. In third place was Norway’s Heidi Weng, the overall World Cup leader at 33.5 seconds behind.

Krista Parmakoski [P] Nordic Focus“We had a training camp here in the summer and when I saw the competition tracks here I said to my coach that I will have a good race in Planica this winter. It has happened and it feels great to finally have my first win. I wanted to get faster as the race went and when I saw that I was battling with Charlotte I really pushed hard over the final kilometer,” said Parmakoski at the finish.

Women's podium [P] Nordic FocusThe USA’s Kikkan Randall finished 23rd, followed by Sophie Caldwell in 31st and Liz Stephen in 35th. No Canadians competed. Patterson from Anchorage just swept all four titles at the L.L.Bean U.S. Cross Country Championships.

“I’m very happy with the result today, it was a great way to start my 2018 World Cup season. It was beautiful conditions for classic skiing today, firm tracks, slightly icy breaking down into a little bit of sugar snow later on. The course involves lots of long gradual striding climbs, as well as a few fast and twisty downhills, and it was a really fun one to race. My skis were excellent, the US service team and my personal tech Nick Brown nailed the skis, they were fast with great kick,” Patterson told Trax.

Caitlin Patterson [P] Nordic Focus“I started fast but smoothly, knowing that the long climbs would build fatigue. Throughout the race I worked the transitions well, but also for the long striding hills, I made sure to relax into them and ski efficiently so that I did not burn unnecessary energy.  By skiing with those intentions, my pacing turned out just about right, not saving much for the end but still able to push all the way to the line.

“Every course is tough in one way or another, when you’re racing against the best in the world! The gradual climbs of this course were quite different from most other courses I’ve raced recently, which have tended towards more double-poling flats and punchy short climbs. Striding for minutes on end is certainly not easy, and it was challenging to keep pushing the pace while managing the building fatigue.

“My fitness and overall race feelings are quite good right now. That said, I see room for improvement, and I plan to keep building into this season and racing my way into even better form.

“The goal here on the World Cup, is to prove to myself and the rest of the world that I belong here on this circuit, that I can compete with the best. So I’ll be looking to build from today’s 20th place result with other strong finishes. I know I can use each racing experience to learn how to ski faster, and while that doesn’t mean that the results will always improve, I’m hoping to see an upward trend in performance and consistency. But I’m also going to enjoy the experience of racing here on the World Cup, enjoy the festive spirit of competitive ski racing and the time spent travelling the world with a talented group of fellow athletes,” she concluded.

Kikkan Randall [P] Nordic FocusWe caught up with Randall as well who was happy with her race as well. “Today featured some of the best classic racing conditions I’ve seen all season, firm and fast tracks and easy to find good kick.  The course here in Planica was tough but fun to race.  Lots of gradual striding which we hardly get to do anymore.  And the scenery in the background was hard to beat anywhere!

“This was a solid race for me as my first distance start in over a month.  I’ve been battling the stress reaction and tendonitis in my left foot since Davos and I just got back to classic skiing this week.  I still have some lingering pain in my foot but we’ve got it under control enough to race again.  10k classic individual start is one of the toughest race formats for me usually so I’m pretty happy to be solidly in the top 30 today and just a few seconds out of the top 20.

It was really hard to sit out yesterday’s classic sprint but I needed to test out my foot and we felt a distance race would be a safer test. I’m looking forward to a couple skate races next weekend in Seefeld to continue sharpening for the Olympics.

I was definitely motivated by my teammates strong results yesterday and really happy to see Caitlin Patterson have a strong race today for 20th!  It’s not easy to come right over to Europe after all that racing at US Nationals!  And of course, Jessie continues to be on fire.  Look out world!

The World Cup now heads to Austria for a pre-World Championships visit to Seefeld prior to the Olympic Games.

Results here.

 

Burke 22nd in Men’s 15km Mass Start as Fourcade and Domracheva Take Last IBU WCup before Olympics

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January 21, 2018 (Antholz, Italy) – Snowy conditions saw the USA’s Tim Burke finish 22nd in the men’s 15km Mass Start with four penalties at 1:43.8 behind winner Martin Fourcade who had two missed targets with a time of 40:18.6.

Tim Burke [P] Nordic FocusNorway’s Tarjei Boe landed second on the podium also with two penalties at 2.8 seconds back. Boe’s teammate, Erland Bjoentegaard, notched his first-ever world cup podium taking third, also with two penalties at 5.1 seconds behind Fourcade.

None of the 30 competitors clean all 20 targets, and only two hit 19 of 20. Burke was among a group of 11 that cleaned on the opening prone shooting stage but suffered two misses in the second prone stage and one more at each of the standing stages.

Men's podium [P] Nordic Focus“The conditions on the range were pretty tricky today with strong wind gusts,” said Burke. “I made the right adjustments on the first prone stage but underestimated the wind on the second stage and missed accordingly. It snowed a lot overnight but the groomers did a good job with the track and conditions were good for the race.”

“I felt a bit tired during the race today but that was to be expected with three races in three days at altitude,” he added. “Now I am looking forward to a few recovery days and then starting my final preparations for the Olympics.”

In the women’s 10km Mass Start, Darya Domracheva staged another of her classic comebacks, cleaning the last standing stage to move from 10th position to first place, winning the snowy Antholz race in 40:23.9.

Her only penalty of the day came in the first prone stage when she fell to 19th position, then steadily moved up to finish 11.9 seconds ahead of second place Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia, with three penalties. Fast finishing Kaisa Mäkäräinen of Finland, with four penalties, took third at 16.2 seconds back. No North Americans competed.

Results here.

Cassius Klaebo Dominates Men’s 1.6km CL Sprint at Planica World Cup – USA’s Hamilton 19th

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January 20, 2018 (Planica, Slovenia) – Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR) was unstoppable on his way to victory in the men’s 1.6km CL Sprint in Planica with teammate Emil Iverson in second followed by Sweden’s Teodor Peterson in third at  8.14 seconds back.

Johannes Hoesflot KlaeboThe USA’s Simi Hamilton qualified 16th but was eliminated in his 1/4 final placing 4th to end up 19th on the day. His teammate Andy Newell qualified 23rd and met the same fate in his 1/4 final to finish 20th.

Logan Hanneman (USA) was 35th, Tyler Kornfield (USA) placed 38th, Benjamin Lustgarten (USA) finished 59th, Canadian Julien Locke was 62nd, BobThompson was 66th and Antoine Briand finished 70th.

Men's podium (l-r) Iversen, Klaebo, Peterson [P] Nordic FocusKlaebo leads the Sprint Cup and is now leading the overall World Cup as well taking over the leader’s bib from Martin Johnsrud Sundby (Nor). “I had a lot of fun out there today. It was great to see so many people along the course and the stadium. I really liked the course with the long uphill sections,” said Klaebo.

The USA’s Hamilton was happy with his race but hoped for more. “I was happy with today’s race. I wasn’t exactly sure how my body would respond in a classic sprint since the only other time I’ve classic sprinted this year was in Ruka when I was battling illness at the beginning of the season. The course was incredibly hard and long, so I was really happy to be able to put together a decent qualifier. Even though classic races are undoubtedly my weakness, I was still confident going into the day because I know my fitness is quite good right now and I’ve been healthy for the last 6 weeks.

Simi Hamilton [P] Nordic Focus“The skiing was great. The tracks held up really well and it was firm and fast. The downhill corners were a little sketchy because they got progressively icier throughout the day, but as long as you either rode the berm, slid on the ice, or found tacky snow on the outside of the berm, they were fine. It was a pretty unique course because it was so long and there was basically no recovery, but the hardest part about it I think was the 90 second climb that came about half way in. We don’t really see climbs that long on the World Cup, but its always great to race on a course that is pretty different from everything else we race on. My skis were awesome and our techs did an incredible job handing us skis that had great kick and were super fast.

“I knew from the qualifier that I was skiing the long climb really well, so in my quarter final I focused on skiing that climb as fast and smooth as I could to pick off a couple people. I thought I executed that well, but I didn’t have enough gas for the last 200 meters to finish in the top 2. My finish was not that great, but I’ve always really struggled with long double pole finishes when the body is totally flooded with lactate, so that really didn’t come as a surprise. Still, I focused on finishing as hard as I possibly could. All and all, a good day and I’m really looking forward to getting back onto the skate skis for next weekend’s races in Seefeld,” said Hamilton.

Andrew Newell [P] Nordic FocusHis teammate Newell was also looking for a better day in the tracks. “I was hoping for more out there today so a little bit disappointed with the final result. It was beautiful classic conditions out there and pretty straight forward waxing which made for really fun skiing. The course had a little bit of a different feel because it basically just had one really long climb from the low point to the high point. and of course so fast ice corners to keep things interesting. especially in qualification I felt semi out of control and scrubbed some speed. The courses actually skied a bit better in the heats I thought once they had less traffic.

In the heats I again chose heat one with the same strategy I’ve been using. Chose first heat and shoot for a final/podium rather than a top 15 etc. Not sure if thats the right call… hard to tell sometimes. I skied the majority of the heat on the tails of Kleabo until the top of the climb he and Niskenen got a small gap. In the end it wasn’t fast enough.

Although this wasn’t the pre Olympic result I was looking for I still have a few weeks to fine tune classic skiing and fitness and think about what I need to do to have a top performance in Pyeonchang,” he concluded.

Qualifications here.
Results here.

Biathlon Canada Announces 2018 Olympic Team

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January 17, 2018 – The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Biathlon Canada officially announced the ten athletes and two coaches nominated to represent Team Canada in biathlon at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

2018 Biathlon Team Olympic [P]

Canada secured ten spots based on performances during the 2016-17 IBU World Cup season. Biathletes were selected to positions based on their performances in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 IBU World Cup seasons.

Scott Gow [P] Nordic FocusThe biathletes nominated are:

– Sarah Beaudry – Prince George, BC
– Rosanna Crawford – Canmore, AB
– Macx Davies – Canmore, AB
– Christian Gow – Calgary, AB
– Scott Gow – Calgary, AB
– Brendan Green – Hay River, NT
– Emma Lunder – Vernon, BC
– Julia Ransom – Kelowna, BC
– Nathan Smith – Calgary, AB
– Megan Tandy – Prince George, BC

Macx Davies [P] Nordic FocusThe team will be coached by National Team Head Coach Matthias Ahrens, and National Team Women’s Coach/High-Performance Director Roddy Ward. Technical staff include Head Ski Tech Raphael Grosset (France), and ski techs Pavel Stolba (Czech Republic), Andrzej Lesnick (Poland) and Martin Struna (Canmore, AB).

Rosanna Crawford [P] Nordic FocusTwo-time Olympian Rosanna Crawford is the veteran of the women’s team. She has been on superb form lately, with third and fourth-place finishes at World Cup #5 this past weekend in Ruhpolding, Germany. Crawford joined forces with Julia Ransom, Megan Tandy and Emma Lunder, for an eighth-place finish in the relay at the Olympic test event. Sarah Beaudry, Crawford, Lunder, and Ransom have all experienced personal-best finishes on the World Cup circuit this season.

Team Canada with their medals (l-r) Brendan Green, Scott Gow, Nathan Smith, Christian Gow. [P] NordicFocusThe men’s team includes a mix of experienced and first-time Olympians. In 2016, two-time Olympian Brendan Green and Sochi 2014 team member Nathan Smith joined with the up-and coming Gow brothers to make history by capturing bronze for Canada’s first ever relay medal at the IBU World Championships. The year before, Smith had become the first Canadian male biathlete to win a world championship medal, earning silver in the 10km sprint. He is also the second Canadian man to stand on a World Cup biathlon podium, winning gold in a 12.5km pursuit.

Nathan Smith (CAN) [P] Nordic FocusOver the past two seasons, the Gow brothers have climbed the IBU rankings, scoring personal-best results. Smith missed most of 2016-17 due to illness but emerged strong enough to compete at the Olympic test event.

Megan Tandy (CAN) [P] Nordic FocusThe team will take part in a training camp in Canmore, Alberta until February 2 before making their way to PyeongChang.

Canada has won a total of three medals in biathlon at the Olympic Winter Games, the most recent coming at Lillehammer 1994. At Sochi 2014, Team Canada biathletes achieved best-ever Olympic results in seven of the 11 events.

Biathlon will take place February 10-23 (Days 1-14) at the Alpensia Biathlon Centre.

Interview with Rosanna Crawford on her Milestone First Podium and 20/20

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January 14, 2018 (Ruhpolding, GER) – We caught up with Canadian biathlete, Rosanna Crawford, following her milestone career-first podium taking 3rd in the women’s 15km individual and her first 20/20 on the range.

Rosanna Crawford [P] Nordic FocusCrawford tells us which one means more to her and the lead up to her record day in the sport at Ruhpolding, one of the mecca’s of biathlon, where 25-30,000 screaming fans are on hand to urge you on, but also add immense pressure as well.

Women's podium (l-r) Makarainen 2nd, Wierer 1st, Crawford 3rd [P] Nordic FocusThe national teamer since 2006 talks about her family ties and sister Chandra (Olympic gold medalist from Torino) her “rock”, the sad loss of her brother Jordan this past spring and the importance of the bonds at home and with her boyfriend of 8 years, Brendan Green, also on the national team, to help get her to the start line.

(l-r) Ward, Crawford, Lunder, Ransom, Beaudry [P] Nordic FocusHer coaches Matthias Ahrens and Roddy Ward along with her teammates create a true “biathlon family” that is essential for such milestone days as Crawford had in Ruhpolding…read more on her record day here.

USA’s Caldwell 3rd on the Podium in Women’s Sprint FR at Dresden World Cup

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January 13, 2018 (Dresden, GER) – The USA’s Sophie Caldwell charged through a traffic jam of Swedes to finish third in a photo-finish at the women’s 1.2km FR city sprint in the historic city of Dresden, Germany along the banks of the Elbe river.

Sophie Caldwell [P] Nordic FocusSweden’s Hanna Falk took control early in the final and held on for the win – it was her first World Cup victory in eight years. Her teammate Maja Dahlqvist claimed second for her first ever World Cup podium.

Women's podium [P] Nordic Focus“I was really happy with today. It was a course unlike any we’ve ever skied before being the flattest and shortest race I’ve ever done,” Caldwell told Trax. “It was important to get in a good position from the beginning and I did a decent job of that in my quarter final and semi final, but got off to a bit of a slow start in the final. I tried to stay patient and make moves where I could.”

One of shortest and flattest sprint courses ever, the Dresden track was an all out sprint from start to finish. Stina Nilsson (SWE), the overall sprint World Cup leader, fell in the final just ahead of Caldwell who got around Nilsson safely and joined the leaders.

“The crash happened right in front of me, but I managed to avoid it and then put in a big push to maintain contact with the leaders. My energy felt good all day and I’m looking forward to some team sprinting tomorrow,” added Caldwell. The podium moved Caldwell into third in the FIS World Cup sprint rankings.

Kikkan Randall [P] Nordic FocusSargent qualified 14th but did not advance past her quarter final.  “The course is completely flat and it was really fast today.  I normally like hilly courses so I tried to think of it as a challenge and mix it up with something different. I was happy with my qualification. In my quarterfinal I got a fast start and led most of it but skied the icy finish lanes poorly and lost places there. I’m happy with my shape and looking forward to racing the team sprint tomorrow,” said Sargent.

Triple Sprint Cup globe winner, Kikkan Randall, qualified 34th and did not advance to the heats. “Course was fun and set up nice and fast. Fun to race next to the river. Coming off the last month at altitude and not so much fast skating, I wasn’t quite on point today.  My body felt good and my foot was not a factor, just need to get the feeling of skiing fast again. Looking forward to a fun team sprint tomorrow,” shared Randall.

Qualifications here.
Results here.

Harvey Takes Record Bronze at Tour de Ski as 1st Canuck on Final Podium – Historic 4th Win for Cologna

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January 07, 2018 (Val di Fiemme, Italy) – Alex Harvey became the first Canadian to finish on the final podium at cross-country skiing’s famed Tour de Ski realizing a long-term goal of the Canadian team. The 29-year-old Harvey finished third overall after his second-straight bronze-medal performance in the final weekend of the Tour de Ski in Val di Fiemme, Italy.

Alex Harvey [P] Nordic Focus“I think on paper this may not be as big as winning World Championships, but for me in terms of satisfaction, this is the number one achievement in my career,” said Harvey, who posted the sixth fastest time up the final climb. “To be steady throughout 10 days of skiing, and never really have a bad day, that gives me huge satisfaction.”

Men's final podium [P] Nordic FocusHarvey secured the final spot on the overall podium after finishing Sunday’s final, and most punishing stage of all in the epic seven-race journey through Europe, in third with a time of 30:22.7.

Switzerland’s Dario Cologna was crowned the King of cross-country skiing, winning a historic fourth overall Tour title after taking the final stage with a time of 28:52.1. Cologna tied Justyna Kowalczyk (Pol) as the only four-time winners of the Tour.

Dario Cologna [P] Nordic FocusNorway’s Martin Sundby and Harvey battled it out over the final 500 metres for second spot with Sundby holding on to the silver also claiming the Fastest Time of the Day as he moved up from sixth overall at the start of the day.

“You don’t get on the podium for the Tour overall without a strong team behind you. The wax techs work so hard and know that we cannot afford a bad day with the skis. The physio and massage therapists are critical for recovery, and the coaches make it all seamless the second you walk out the door. This is huge for our entire team.”

Harvey’s best Tour finish was fifth in 2016. Canada’s Devon Kershaw was fourth at the 2012 Tour de Ski.

Alex Harvey battling [P] Nordic Focus“This is just a great feeling. It is a podium for the entire Canadian Team,” said Harvey. “Devon (Kershaw), Lenny (Valjas), Ivan (Babikov) and I have all had great success on the Tour over the years, but we have always come up short in the overall. I always left the Tour with a little disappointment because we were good, but not quite good enough. One of us had always came up just a bit short. I’m happy we finally got it done.”

Starting the final stage in third place after Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov pulled out of the event with injury, the 29-year old Harvey went head-to-head with the most daunting stage of all – a nine kilometre skate-ski pursuit with the final three kilometres straight up Alpe Cermis, an alpine ski hill that boasts a 28 per cent hill grade.

Historic 4th victory for Cologna [P] NordicFocusHarvey was forced to skip the final stage of the Tour for four straight years due to circulation issues in his legs that prevented him from climbing the hill. Surgery to cure the issue resulted in him continuing to chase history.

“It means so much to me to perform on this climb because of my legs in the past. The hill is so important if you want to be on the podium. I have never been good here. I kept working at getting better and today it finally clicked,” said Harvey, who added that the final hill also helps improves his overall skiing.

“It is relentless and there is nowhere to stop. Whenever you feel the burn in your legs it only gets worse. You have to pace it well in the first one-third and ski within yourself. You hit that first pitch and it is game on and you fall into whatever day you are having. There is nowhere to recover, and being tough mentally is not enough to be on podium. You have to have the legs.”

Harvey found his legs on Sunday.

Starting eight seconds back of Alexey Poltoranin, of Kazakhstan, and 83 seconds behind Tour leader Dario Cologna, he wasted no time hunting down Poltoranin on the flats, catching him at the four kilometre mark before the world’s best threw tactics out the window – forcing man against hill.

With four skiers battling for second spot at the eight kilometre mark, the hard-nosed Canuck from Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que., hammered his way up the punishing ascent that has turned some of the fittest men in the world into boys.

“Getting to the top is total relief at first. You are in so much pain, and then when you start to catch your breath and the burn goes away you are feeling so accomplished regardless if you are third or 19th. You’ve climbed a mountain you are not supposed to be cross-country skiing on,” said Harvey. “But to have gone through the whole Tour and you get to the top – it means a lot,” said Harvey.

“I was following Sundby and it was really, really hard. I tried to go with him. We were beside each other for a bit, he looked at me and then he went again. That was a good sign. Normally I’m so dead over the top I can’t think of accelerating, but I was able to try it today,” said Harvey. “It was my best day ever on the hill. Previous years I was slower and it felt harder, but today I felt I had a little more to give.”

Emptying the tank and sprawled out on the ground at the finish line, Harvey celebrated the historic finish on the Tour, and the 26th World Cup podium of his unprecedented career. Nine of them have come on the prestigious Tour de Ski.

The 12th annual Tour de Ski consisted of six races over the last nine days. One race was cancelled in Oberstdorf, Germany due to a winter storm. The ultimate test of physical and mental fitness, the world’s best Nordic athletes hit the start line for races in Switzerland, Germany and Italy.

Results here.
Final Standings here.

USA’s Diggins Claims Historic Bronze as First American on Women’s Final Podium at Tour de Ski

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January 07, 2018 (Val di Fiemme, Italy) – In a display of true grit, Jessie Diggins bridged a 10-second gap to overtake Krista Parmakoski of Finland on the flanks of Alpe Cermis to become the first American to finish on the final podium in the Tour de Ski, taking third. Sadie Bjornsen capped a stellar nine days on the Tour finishing ninth – the first time two Americans have cracked the top 10.

Jessie Diggins with TdS trophy [P] Nordic Focus“What a day,” Diggins said. “I’m so happy with this Tour de Ski, and so proud of our team for all the hard work our techs and coaches have put into each and every race, and so proud of my teammates for racing so hard. That’s one grueling race series.”

Heidi Weng of Norway, on the heels of a strong classic race a day earlier, overtook her teammate Ingvild Flugstad Østberg on the steep upper section of Alpe Cermis to claim her second straight Tour de Ski title by 48.5 seconds. Diggins was two minutes, 23 seconds back and put 34 seconds on Parmakoski.

Women's final podium [P] NordicFocusIt was a day of many storylines for the American women, who just eight years ago weren’t even competing in the Tour de Ski. It was a best-ever individual finish with Diggins’ podium, besting the mark of fifth set by both Diggins in 2017 and Liz Stephen in 2015. Bjornsen’s career-best Tour in ninth put two Americans into the top 10, matching Norway and Finland. Stephen put in the fifth fastest time to climb all the way up to 16th. It was also a career-best finish for Rosie Brennan in 24th.

In Saturday’s classic mass start, Diggins had dropped one spot in the Tour rankings and was starting 10 seconds back from Parmakoski. On the opening flats, Diggins kept an even pace maintaining the gap distance and keeping the Finn in her sights. As they neared the start of the climb, Diggins began to close the gap quickly coming even with Parmakoski as they began the ascent of Alpe Cermis.

Diggins passes Parmakoski [P]Ahead of them, Weng was doing the same with her teammate Østberg, skiing side by side up the alpine ski area slopes. As they reached the steepest portion, Weng attacked and starting building a gap as Østberg dropped back. As Diggins approached a similar spot, she, too attacked and starting building seconds on Parmakoski. As she wound her way around the switchbacks she continued to build. And when she hit the straighter sections near the top she built more and more margin to solidify her podium position.

“I caught Krista maybe a third of the way on the flats and we traded leads, working together to go faster,” Diggins said. “My strategy was just to keep the tempo high, keep my body upright and leaning into the climb, and just keep moving. But on the flat sections where we were weaving around gates, I noticed I was starting to pull away just a little bit, so I would push extra hard each turn and just keep my tempo up, and that’s how I gradually pulled away.”

Sadie Bjornsen on final climb [P] Nordic FocusBjornsen had planned to chase down Anastasia Sedova just ahead of her and then climb together with Sedova and Nathalie von Siebenthal of Switzerland. But the two took off quickly on the wall and Bjornsen skied to the finish on her own, defending her top-10 ranking.

“Wow, it feels incredible to finish that tour,” said Bjornsen, who is having a strong and consistent season, scoring her first ever top 10 in a major stage race. “It feels so good to accomplish the goal I set for myself before the season started! The Tour is such a tough event because you are racing day after day, and you have those amazing, and disappointing races throughout the event. But you just have to stay positive and keep fighting for every second.”

Tour skiing is challenging – not just from the arduous physical exertion, but the mental toll. “This tour feels like I had more swings than normal, but my highs were higher than normal so I am happy! I hope to come back one day and fight for the podium like Jessie did this year. She is a true inspiration and makes me believe it can be possible. The feeling of achievement as I cross the line in that final hill climb is like no other feeling in the world. It feels like I have conquered the world.”

Rosie Brennan [P] Reese BrownBrennan is also having a strong season and wrapped up the Tour with the 16th fastest stage time.

“This was a tough tour for me and certainly not what I had hoped for, but I managed to bookend it well,” said Brennan, who did record her best Tour ever. “I am really happy with my opening sprint and with my climb today, the rest was a challenge.”

As arduous as it is up Alpe Cermis, Brennan looked forward to the hill climb finale. “It is a very nerve-racking race because you just never know what is going to happen out there,” she said. “But I love climbing and I love the feeling of reaching the top.”

Her strong climb came a day after a blood sugar crash left her a bit unsure of herself going into the final stage. “I felt so much better and am really happy with the way I skied today,” she said. “Now, it is time to rest and absorb all the intensity we have had during the Tour.”

Liz Stephen [P] Nordic Focus“The Tour de Ski has been a great way for me to race into shape for the season,” said Stephen.  “I feel that it has worked that way again this year, as my body seems to be feeling better and better each race. This year’s result in the climb was not what I was gunning for but for where I am at this season, I have to be satisfied with today’s result.”

There was a great sense of pride permeating the entire U.S. Ski Team as athletes gathered at the team’s wax truck after the race.

“I’m proud of our team, and honestly every person that finished this event,” said Bjornsen. “It’s a tough one, but one of the more rewarding feelings I believe you can find.”

As one of the Team’s longtime Tour leaders, Stephen takes pride in where the Team has come. “I am extremely proud of Jessie, as she had her work cut out for her today to get an overall podium and that is something that I know she has wanted to achieve,” she said. “So it was amazing to watch her stand up there today.

“Sadie skied an incredibly strong Tour too, and I really could not be more proud of the team we had standing on the top of the mountain today. When I retire one of these years in the near future, I will miss these Tour de Ski moments, with our tight little team and the small Tour de Ski World Cup field. It is in these intimate moments with people I care about that are what makes sport so important in my life.”

The Tour de Ski marked the final distance events in the Olympic selection period. Diggins, Bjornsen and Sophie Caldwell (Peru, Vt.) had already qualified via a top eight World Cup finish in an Olympic discipline. Qualifying for the Olympic Team via a top 50 distance World Cup ranking are Kikkan Randall (Anchorage), Brennan and Stephen. It will be the fifth Olympics for Randall, third for Stephen and first for Brennan.

The World Cup tour now heads to Dresden, Germany for a freestyle sprint and team sprint next weekend. Diggins and Bjornsen will sit it out to rest.

Results here.
Final Standings here.
Winner of the Day (fastest times)

 

 

France and Sweden Take IBU World Cup Relay Victories in Oberhof – Canadian Men 10th and Women 14th

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January 07, 2018 (Oberhof, GER) – The Canadian men’s 4×7.5km relay squad finished 10th behind Sweden, the surprise winners amidst extremely heavy fog, as they triumphed with one penalty and nine spare rounds.

Sweden [P] Nordic FocusSecond went to Italy with two penalties and eleven spares at 45.1 seconds back while Norway finished in third with three penalties and three spares at 1:27.9 behind.

Canada’s Christian Gow, Scott Gow, Brendan Green and Carsen Campbell suffered six penalties with 20 spares finishing 6:23.1  behind. The USA did not enter a squad.

France [P] Nordic FocusIn the women’s 4x6km Relay France took the win in foggy, windy and snowy conditions with one penalty and ten spares upsetting Germany who were the favourites but settled for second, with two spares and thirteen spares at 32.4 seconds back. Surprising Sweden finished third, with eight spares at 48.2 seconds back.

Canada [P] NordicFocusCanada’s Sarah Beaudry, Julia Ransom, Megan Tandy and Emma Lunder finished 14th with two penalties with 13 spares at 6:37.5 behind.

Men’s results here.
Women’s results here

Harvey 3rd in Men’s 15km CL Mst for 1st Podium this Season & 4th Overall on Penultimate Stage of TdS

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January 06, 2018 (Val di Fiemme, Italy) – Canadian Alex Harvey, 29, stormed to his first podium of the season claiming a brilliant bronze in the men’s 15km CL mass start race won by Alexey Poltoranin on Stage 6, the penultimate stage of the Tour de Ski in Val di Fiemme, Italy.

Men's podium [P] Nordic FocusIn the final straight away sprint to the finish Russia’s Andrey Larkov was on Poltoranin’s heels to claim second with Harvey taking third for his eighth career podium on the Tour.

“This was a good result, especially in classic. It is my first podium in classic-skiing since the World Championships in 2015, and to do it on a really hard course here is really good,” said Harvey.

The Canuck was at the front of a large pack for the first 10km and then broke away with a group of five in the fifth of six laps. In the final 2.5-kilometre loop, the lone Canadian in the field was in a group of four left at the front to battle it out for the podium.

Alex Harvey [P] Nordic Focus“I knew some guys were struggling so I was really trying to lead the pace today. I was feeling good and I took my responsibility because I really wanted to make it hard and keep the speed high in the front for some of those guys struggling,” explained Harvey.

Harvey leading with 2.5km to go [P] Nordic Focus“I was taking my pulls at the front. It was hard on me today, but I knew it was hard on everybody else. When we had a bit of a break, I wanted to make sure we kept going. Dario (Cologna) and I did a lot of the work. He was fourth in the sprint finish so maybe we used up a bit of energy but we were able to separate ourselves (from some of the top guys in the overall).”

The finish [P]The King and Queen of cross-country skiing will be determined on Sunday in a nine-kilometre skate-ski pursuit race with the final 425-metres straight up Alpe Cermis – an alpine ski hill. Harvey remains in fourth place heading into the final stage. His best finish on the prestigious Nordic skiing event came in 2016 when he was fifth.

Harvey 3rd - Poltoranin wins [P]“The goal tomorrow will be to not work too much on the flats, but keep at it,” added Harvey. “I don’t want to save my energy as much as I can for the climb, and not get caught by the guys behind me. It’s not my best event but the guys around me are all in the same boat. We have very good support staff around me. We are a small but efficient team and I think that is a competitive advantage that we have. I just need recover well and be ready for tomorrow.”

Full results here.
Overall standings here.

Diggins 4th in Women’s 10km CL Mst & Slips to 4th Overall at Tour de Ski – Weng Strikes to Defend Title

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January 06, 2018 (Val di Fiemme, Italy) – American Jessie Diggins claimed a valiant 4th in the women’s 10km classic mass start and is now fourth overall as Norway’s Heidi Weng put in a dominant performance to close the gap to Tour leader, Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg, to a mere 1.8 seconds with one stage remaining.

Jessica Diggins (USA) [P] NordicFocusFinland’s Krista Parmakoski took second behind Weng while Austria’s Teresa Stadlober in third earned her first ever World Cup podium. Diggins crossed the line in 4th for her second best classic race with Oestberg 5th.

Diggins’ teammate Sadie Bjornsen was 10th followed by Liz Stephen in 24th with Rosie Brennan in the points in 30th. Bjornsen dropped another spot to 8th overall while Stephen moved up to 21st and Brennan also advanced to 26th.

Women's podium [P] NordicFocus“I was really happy with my race today! It was so much fun to be in the lead pack for so long in a classic race and to be feeling this good after so much racing in the tour! My skis were also amazing – I have to give props to our techs for working so hard throughout this entire tour and getting up to the venue hours ahead of the race over and over again to help us out,” said Diggins.

“In today’s race I tried to stay near the front and out of trouble. With my luck I just wanted to avoid crashes or broken poles! I faded slightly in that last lap and could’t go with Krista and Teresa but it was so fun to see exactly where the podium was since it’s mass start and see where I can improve a little bit for the next time. Always learning and taking notes!

“In the overall tour, I’m really happy with my placing. To be starting 10 seconds behind Krista is awesome and I’ve been racing better than any other year, for sure. It’s fun to feel strong in sprint and distance, classic and skate, and my goal for years has been to become a true all-rounder. It’s fun to finally be getting there! Unfortunately, I’m not a natural-born climber, but I know how to suffer, I know how to be a fighter, and I’m going to go give that climb everything I’ve got left. And in the end, that’s all you can do,” she concluded.

Sadie Bjornsen [P] Nordic FocusFor Bjornsen it was one of those days where she found herself wanting a bit more. “After falling in the last race, I was determine to make up some time that I had lost in my overall tour position. I have been feeling really great on my classic skis, and felt like I had some power left in my legs this morning, so my goal was to just go with the leaders as long as possible.

“Unfortunately, I had a bit of a tough start, and made some tactical errors that left me pretty far back in the pack on the first lap. Then, once I was finally finding position again, I got trampled over, and fell. Once again, I fought my way back to the front after getting stuck behind some traffic, but just burned a few too many jets getting yo-yo’d around today.

“At this stage in the tour, when things go great, you can convince yourself you are invincible. When you get rattled a bit, it takes an extra amount of mental power to fight back to where you want, and I think that is what got me today. My race today still puts me in a place to fight for top 10 in the overall, which is super exciting.

“Considering the swings of this TdS, I am thrilled to be fighting for top 10. I have never done that in a Tour event, so it is a good goal for me when I am pushing myself up that mountain tomorrow with every last bit of energy I have,” Bjornsen told Trax.

Full results here.
Overall standings here.

Burke 14th in Men’s 12.5km Pursuit at IBU World Cup in Oberhof – Ransom 37th as Fourcade and Kuzmina Win

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January 06, 2018 (Oberhof, GER) – American Tim Burke raced to 14th in the men’s 12.5km Pursuit on Saturday with three penalties at 29.5 seconds behind winner Martin Fourcade of France.

Tim Burke [P] Nordic FocusFourcade, with a single penalty on his first shot of the day, took the victory in 30:49.5. Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway, with three penalties, finished second, 6.3 seconds back, while his brother Tarjei placed third with clean shooting, 30.9 seconds behind Fourcade.

Christian Gow was the top Canadian in 21st with one penalty followed by his brother Scott in 50th with six missed targets. Fellow Canuck, Brendan Green, finished 54th with three penalties.

Men's podium [P] Nordic Focus“Overall, it was another solid race for me, but I would sure love to have that second prone stage back,” said Burke. “I felt in control but just missed. That’s how biathlon goes sometimes. I felt good on the ski course again and was able to push on the last loop, which I will take as a good sign for the next races.”

In the women’s 10km Pursuit Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia led from wire-to-wire despite two penalties to take another victory and the leader’s Yellow Bib.

Women's podium [P] Nordic FocusItaly’s Dorothea Wierer shot clean to claim 2nd up from 16th at 1:04.4 back while Vita Semerenko of Ukraine also cleaned to claim third at 1:10.2 behind from her 22nd start position.

Canada’s Julia Ransom finished 37th with three penalties at 3:54 behind followed by Megan Tandy in 42nd with one penalty at 4:31 back. Fellow Canuck Sarah Beaudry was 51st with three missed shots at 5:36 behind the winner.

Men’s results here.
Women’s results here.

Caitlin Patterson Wins Women’s Sprint FR for 2nd Title & Reese Hanneman Takes Men’s Crown at U.S. XC Ski Nationals

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January 05, 2018 (Anchorage, Alaska) – Caitlin Patterson (Craftsbury GRP) continued her domination of the 2018 L.L.Bean U.S. Cross Country Championships on Friday at Kincaid Park, winning her second National title in two races – this time in the freestyle sprint.

Caitlin Patterson [P] Michael Dinneen PhotographyMeanwhile it was once again the Hanneman Brothers Sprint Show – Reese Hanneman has now won three National sprint titles, two freestyle and one classic, while Logan Hanneman won the 2017 SuperTour Finals freestyle sprint in Fairbanks. This year, Reese who took the Nationals crown while Logan clocked the fastest qualifying time. That means Reese boasts another National title while Logan nets invaluable Olympic Winter Games points that could boost his chances at a coveted roster spot.

Patterson is making her own strong case to squeeze onto a very crowded and very talented women’s national team after crushing her first two 2018 Nationals races. After winning Wednesday’s 10K freestyle by nearly 20 seconds, she won Friday’s final by more than three seconds.

Sprint races are chaotic, unpredictable and often decided by a matter of centimeters as numerous racers lunge at the finish line. Not for Patterson, who cruised across the finish line with a strong, steady rhythm, a smile on her face, and five other finalists far behind her. This was Patterson’s fourth National title and a flexing of her freestyle skills.

“I wasn’t going to let up,” Patterson said with a smile.

Women's podium [P] Michael Dinneen PhotographyIn the finals, Patterson covered the 1.4K sprint course in 3 minutes and 20.93 seconds. Finnish skier Jasmi Joensuu (University of Denver) was second at 3:24.49, followed by the Czech Republic’s Petra Hyncicova (University of Colorado) at 3:25.12. Kaitlynn Miller (Craftsbury GRP) was fourth overall and the second fastest American at 3:25.28, followed by American Hannah Halvorsen (APU) at 3:28.59. Halvorsen had a special day as the only Junior skier to race in the finals.

After Wednesday’s 10K win, Patterson said she spent her Thursday hydrating, eating right and taking a 75-minute classic ski around her old stomping grounds of Kincaid Park. She is a South Anchorage High School grad and former member of the local Alaska Winter Stars ski program who now lives in Vermont.

Patterson admitted that she isn’t the strongest sprinter, but also professed her confidence as a freestyle skier. She had plenty of confidence and momentum heading into Friday after sweeping Wednesday’s freestyle distance races with her brother, Scott, who won the men’s 15K. Scott, also not the strongest sprinter, didn’t make it out of the quarterfinals on Friday.

“I know I can be a great skate skier, but I am very surprised by this win,” Caitlin said. “(Scott’s) going to have to work on this finishing sprint. I’ll rub it in.”

Reese Hanneman [P] Michael Dinneen PhotographyThe sibling storyline in the men’s freestyle sprint featured the Hannemans, originally from Fairbanks. In the opening qualifying round Friday, in which skiers start in 15-second intervals, Logan threw down the fastest time on the 1.6K course by nearly half a second at 3:07.40. That scored him the maximum Olympic Winter Games points for the event, one of the many factors taken into consideration when determining the national team.

Nothing else is promised from there, however, as skiers then compete in six-person heats. Logan was eliminated in the semifinals while Reese kept putting the hammer down all the way through a finals shootout.

[P] Michael Dinneen PhotographyAfter climbing the small final hill and taking a tight corner into the stadium’s finish area, Reese pulled away from Kevin Bolger (Sun Valley) as they raced to the line. Hanneman clocked a 3:11.33, edging Bulger’s 3:11.41. APU’s Tyler Kornfield finished third in 3:12.21. Junior skier and 17-year-old Gus Schumacher of Anchorage continued to impress by advancing into the semifinals two days after his sixth place overall finish in the 10K men’s freestyle.

“On that last corner, all six of us were close,” Bolger said. “Reese picked a really great line and I tucked in behind him. It came down to the last few meters and he just skied really well.”

So well, Hanneman was beaming after the finish. He seemingly got a hug or a photo request from everyone in the packed stadium. He soaked up every second.

“It’s a dream to be able to win a national championship at home in front of all these people who I know and who have supported me and came out to cheer,” Hanneman said. “And the Hannemans are three in a row, so that’s kinda cool to be able to continue that.”

Men's podium [P] Michael Dinneen PhotographyIt was a practically perfect day for sprint racing at Kincaid Park – temperatures in the teens; no wind, a rarity here; mostly sunny and bluebird skies, with an occasional ice fog appearance; and a fast-and-firm, technical-and-fast trail.

“It was awesome skiing, beautiful conditions,” Reese Hanneman said. “Everybody dreams about skiing on the snow out there today.”

Friday’s sprints featured four rounds of racing – all skiers compete in the qualifier, hitting the course in intervals. The top 30 skiers advance to the quarterfinals – five heats each featuring six racers. The top two finishers in each heat advance to the semifinals, as do the two fastest quarterfinal finishers that didn’t land a top two finish (called “Lucky Losers”). The top two finishers in each of the two six-person semifinals heats advance along with two more Lucky Losers, filling out the six-person final.

This week’s races will crown National champions and also be used as part of the selection process for Olympic berths and to determine roster spots on the FIS Junior World Championship, U23 Championship and U18 Scandinavian Cup teams. While primary selection for the 2018 Olympic Cross Country Team comes from World Cup races, some final spots can be determined from Nationals results. Olympic team nominations will be announced the week of January 23.

Women’s results here.
Men’s results here.

Dahria Beatty and Julien Locke Win Haywood NorAm Sprint CL at Mont-Saint-Anne PQ

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January 05, 2018 (Mont-Ste-Anne, Que.) – Top qualifier, Dahria Beatty (Whitehorse Ski Club), won the Open Women’s 1.35km Sprint CL final with Maya MacIsaac-Jones (Rocky Mountain Racers) second and Katherine Stewart-Jones (Nakkertok Nordique) third at the newly upgraded settings in Centre de ski fond Mont-Saint-Anne.

Women's podium [P] CCCIn the men’s 1.35km CL Sprint it was Black Jack’s Julien Locke taking the Men’s final over top qualifier Russell Kennedy (Canmore Nordic) in second followed by Bob Thompson (Team Hardwood/NTDC TBay) in third.

Qualifications here
Results here

 

Men's podium [P] CCC

Sad News – Legendary Wendall “Chummy” Broomhall Passes Away

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January 02, 2018 (South Paris, ME) – The US cross-country ski community was sad to learn that legendary Wendall “Chummy” Broomhall, 98, of Rumford, Maine, had passed away on Dec. 30 at the Maine Veterans Home in South Paris. Chummy was an athlete, a pioneer and a builder of the sport for over 70 years and was a key player at the both the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley and 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid.

Chummy Broomhall [P] Chisholm Ski ClubHis immense contributions include the development of the Black Mountain Ski Area in Rumford as a long-standing member of the Chisholm Ski Club, as well as advancing the sport across the United States and in Europe. Cross-country skiing was his passion and he was a member of the National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, the Maine Ski Hall of Fame and the Maine Sports Hall of Fame. Chummy will be sorely missed by so many that he touched or were influenced by his great passion.

[P] Broomhall Family CollectionWendall “Chummy” Broomhall was born Dec. 3, 1919, in Mexico, Maine. He was the son of Ethel and Arthur Broomhall and one of 15 siblings, although several died at birth or of childhood diseases. Family was everything to him and he showed that in his actions throughout life.

Chummy was an avid XC skier after learning the sport from a worker on his father’s farm. He won many high school and national races with his brother, Charles “Slim” Broomhall, as a competitor in those events. Both Chummy and Charles trained in Europe in 1940 for the Olympics, but the Olympics were canceled due to World War II.

[P] Broomhall Family CollectionChummy did many odd jobs as a young man to help his large family, but he eventually became a Hood milkman, delivering milk to the Wilton area before and after WWII. When the company would not give him a leave of absence to work on the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley, Calif., he started a logging business with his brother, Cy, and ran the operation himself until he retired over 35 years ago.

During WWII, Chummy served in the 10th Mountain Division, 87th Regiment, Company A, 1st Battalion-Detachment 2662, which trained the British and Italian troops in mountain warfare. Although he spent time in the Aleutian Islands and Africa, most of his combat time was in Italy. Chummy was very proud of his military service and often wondered how he made it home safely. Chummy epitomized the traits of what is called “The Greatest Generation.”

[P] Broomhall Family CollectionThe greatest gift the 10th Mountain Division gave him was the chance to meet the love of his life, a beautiful Finnish farm girl, Lempi Torkko Broomhall. While he was training in the Upper Peninsula, Mich., in 1943, the weather turned brutally cold so he was sent to a camp outside Wausau, Wis., where Lempi was a college student. A month after Chummy returned from the war in October 1945, he went to Lempi’s home town of Ashland, Wis., where they were married on Nov. 17, 1945. Their chance meeting and two years of letter writing led to a wonderful 60-year marriage, three children, six grandchildren and an amazing partnership before she passed away on May 8, 2006.

[P] Broomhall Family CollectionChummy has been a prominent member of the Chisholm Ski Club since 1936. Last winter, as the club’s longest living member, he was at the lodge signing books (“A Century on Skis”) about the club’s history. Chisholm Ski Club consists of volunteers who ran the early Winter Carnivals in Rumford, supported and built cross country trails, Alpine trails, ski jumps and installed lifts in the Rumford area — first at Scotty’s Mountain and later at Black Mountain. Chummy rallied his volunteers and made sure they were fed by volunteers in Muriel’s Kitchen at the mountain. With a twinkle in his eye and his dimpled smile, he will be remembered for telling his volunteers, “Your check is in the mail!” Chummy was influential in spearheading the development of Black Mountain Ski Area in Rumford where many local and national cross-country races have been held. Everyone who has raced in Rumford remembers High School Hill and the sea of “red coat” volunteers!

[P] Broomhall Family CollectionChummy competed on two Olympic teams (1948 and 1952) as a special cross-country racer. He continued his Olympic involvement after leaving competition. He served as technical adviser and chief of race for the Nordic events at the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley with his close friend, Al Merrill, from Andover serving as chief of course. Al and Chummy switched jobs for the 1980 Olympics, where Al was chief of race and Chummy was chief of course for the Nordic events. During the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Chummy served as an honorary volunteer at age 82. He was the No. 1 fan of his granddaughter Reagan Carey’s Women’s Olympic Ice Hockey Team, and was watching from afar when her team won a silver medal in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Chummy has been given many awards and accolades for his contributions to the sport of cross-country skiing and to his community. He saw the need to develop skiers at a young age and provided many youngsters in this community with the equipment and coaching they needed to become competitive skiers. He is a member of the National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, the Maine Ski Hall of Fame and the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.

[P] Broomhall Family CollectionOver the past 70-plus years, Chummy has tirelessly dedicated himself to the development and advancement of cross-country skiing not only in Rumford, but also in the United States and Europe. Cross-country skiing was his passion and was part of the reason he had such a long and wonderful life. Chummy frequently would say, “Cross-country skiing has given me so much, I felt the need to give back.” Chummy has lived his life with integrity, hard work, humility, a strong sense of purpose and a dedication to cross-country skiing and to his extensive Broomhall-Torkko family.

Chummy was predeceased by his loving wife, Lempi; brothers, Victor, William (Cy), Charles (Slim) and Robert (Bob); sisters, Margaret (Peggy) Robbins, Ruth Scammon and Irene Gordon. He is survived by his children, Wendy (Dennis) Carey of Atlanta, Ga., Vicki Broomhall Amoroso and her partner, Bruce Maybury, of Rumford, Scott (JoAnn) Broomhall of Rumford; grandchildren, Ryan Carey of Washington, D.C., Reagan Carey of Colorado Springs, Col., Heidi Broomhall of Rumford, Andrew Broomhall of Portland, Shane Amoroso and wife, Amy, of Peru, and Rory Amoroso of Rumford; step-great-granddaughter, Bryce Parent; step-great-great-granddaughter, Payton Tyler; his brothers, Erlon (Bucky) and wife, Frances, of Shaftsbury, Vt., Raymond (Judy) of Mexico, Philip (Butch) and companion, Teresa, of Rumford; and a sister, Ethelyne Wight of Wesley Chapel, Fla.; and many nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to extend a special thank you to the Maine Veterans Home for the wonderful care and attention they gave Chummy since he moved there in May of 2016. A very special thank you to the staff who cared for him on a daily basis, especially his night nurse Bonnie, his “little girl,” Chloe, and his buddy, Eric. Also, a special thanks to Pat Parr, MVH activities director, who always took the time to include him in activities and went out of her way to make sure he could see Reagan’s hockey games on television when possible.

Friends and relatives are invited to sign the online guestbook and share memories with the family at www.meaderandson.com.

SkiTrax joins the ski community in sending condolences to Chummy’s family and friends and thanks him for his incredible contributions and legacy for the sport. Obituary courtesy of the Sun Journal and Meader & Son Funeral Home.

Diggins 1st Podium this Season in Women’s 10km FR Pursuit @ Tour de Ski and 3rd Overall – Oestberg Leads

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January 01, 2018 (Lenzerheide, Switzerland) – American Jessie Diggins skied to her first podium this season in the women’s 10km FR Pursuit race at round three of the Tour de Ski making it three straight podiums for Team USA.

Jessie Diggins [P] Nordic FocusNorway’s Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg won again over teammate Heidi Weng in second and heads into the first rest day of the Tour with a 32-second margin in the overall standings. Diggins holds onto third.

Women's podium [P] Nordic FocusDiggins’ teammate Sadie Bjornsen is having a great Tour as well but dropped from fourth to fifth today. Fellow American Sophie Caldwell was 18th, Liz Stephen was 28th, Rosie Brennan was 33rd and Ida Sargent is 55th.

“I’ve been really patient this year and believed in my plan, and this Tour I’ve finally been feeling those sharper race feelings again which is so much fun,” shared Diggins. “Today my plan was to go out hard and ski a gutsy race, and try to put some time into the girls behind me.

Jessie Diggins [P] Nordic Focus“It’s sometimes hard to be skiing alone but I actually loved it because I could just put my head down, hammer, and do my thing! It’s really fun to be in podium position right now in the Tour, but my plan as always is to just take it one day at a time and focus on each stage separately. If I can give my best effort each day, hopefully it all adds up well.”

Sadie Bjornsen [P] Nordic FocusBjornsen admitted it was a bit terrifying to start fourth. “It was my goal to try to catch Jessie, and ski with her and I got darned close. Then I was on a solo mission and needed to really push hard to stay ahead of the group behind me,” said Bjornsen. “I managed to stay ahead until literally the last downhill, and got passed by Krista [Parmakoski], so lost one place, but I left the day pretty satisfied.”

Liz Stephen [P] Nordic FocusLooks like the new US wax truck is paying dividends. “I was really proud of our wax tech team because the past two races have been extremely tricky waxing conditions with varying snow all over the course,” added Diggins. “It was hard to pick skis but my technician (Jason) Cork was so calm and collected and got me through the pre-race testing.”

Tour leader, Ingvild Oestberg (NOR) [P] Nordic FocusThe Tour now takes a short one-day break with athletes traveling to Oberstdorf, Germany for a classic sprint on Wednesday. “I’m really looking forward to a day off, and then some classic sprinting,” said Bjornsen.

Results here.
Standings here.

USA’s Bjornsen Takes Career-first Distance Podium in Women’s 10km CL @ Tour de Ski – Diggins 7th, Randall DNS

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December 31, 2017 (Lenzerheide, Switzerland) – The USA’s Sadie Bjornsen landed third on the podium in the women’s 10km CL on Stage 2 for the American camp’s second podium in a row at the Tour de Ski, and a career-first distance podium for the Winthrop, WA, skier. It also marked Bjornsen’s third podium this season.

Women's podium [P] Nordic Focus“Wow, what a dream day,” said Bjornsen. “It’s has been a huge goal of mine to be on the distance podium. At the 6km mark I was told by coach Matt Whitcomb that I was in 2nd. Suddenly there was a fire under my butt and I gave everything I had in the last 2.5 km.”

Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg continued her winning ways in Lenzerheide taking the win over her teammate Heidi Weng in second to lead the Tour by 32.8 seconds.

It was a career-first podium for Bjornsen at the Tour de Ski as she led four US women into the points including Jessie Diggins who finished strong in seventh, Sophie Caldwell, on the podium in the opening Sprint FR, placing 21st, Liz Stephen was 28th and Ida Sargent was 30th.

Sadie Bjornsen [P] Nordic Focus“I decided before the race I was just going to get scrappy and make it work and never give up,” Bjornsen added. “I had an awesome talk with my wax tech, JP, right before the start of the race, where he told me the most important thing that day was to trust what I do well, and never give up. Massive thanks to the team for great skis and congrats to our entire team for a collection of awesome races!”

Diggins echoed Bjornsen on the challenges of the classic track. “Today was such a weird and tricky day with the snow being totally different in different sections of the track,” said Diggins. “But I had no doubt that Sadie would crush it – she’s such a classic skiing machine and I couldn’t be prouder of her! She’s on fire!”

On the downside veteran Kikkan Randall did not start. “I am making some progress with my foot injury and I didn’t want to set myself back with a classic race today.  Classic seems to aggravate the injury more.  It was a tough decision but the Olympics are my big goal and I still have time to get my foot healthy if I am smart over the next couple weeks.  I am looking forward to sharpening for the sprints in Dresden in two weeks,” shared Randall.

The US squad now has three women in the top seven in the Tour de Ski standings – a first in Tour history. Diggins held onto fourth, Bjornsen moved up to fifth and Caldwell sits 7th overall. Next up is the 10km FR Pursuit.

Results here.
Standings here.

Canada’s Harvey 20th as Cologna Triumphs at Home in Men’s 15K CL on Stg 2 @Tour de Ski – Kershaw OUT

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December 31, 2017 (Lenzerheide, Sui) – Canada’s Alex Harvey finished 20th in the men’s 15km individual start CL on Stage 2 as local hero, Dario Cologna, won for the first time at home giving Swiss fans even more to cheer about as the former Tour de Ski overall winner claimed his 23rd World Cup victory.

Alex Harvey [P] Nordic FocusCologna edged out Kazakhstan’s Alexey Poltoranin by a mere 0.6 seconds with Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway at 13.1 seconds behind. This was Cologna’s first World Cup victory since Rybinsk, Russia in January 2015.

Dario Cologna [P]Warm weather and changing snow conditions made for a challenging day as Harvey dropped two spots in the overall standings and now sits 9th overall. “It was just a bad day. The 15km classic is my weakest event, but I was still expecting something better today,” said Harvey. “I just have to forget about today and focus on tomorrow.”

The USA’s Erik Bjornsen finished 27th in the points followed by teammates Simi Hamilton in 58th, Andy Newell in 71st and Patrick Caldwell in 75th. Harvey’s teammate Devon Kershaw, the only other Canuck at this year’s Tour, was forced to withdraw after coming down with illness this weekend.

Men's podium [P] Nordic Focus“It has been a long time since I won the race last time and it is great to finally win in Switzerland. I thought I could do it in Davos but my first victory came in Lenzerheide,” said Cologna. “The fans were amazing. I showed already yesterday that I am in shape. I did not want to start too fast but I was never too far away from the lead. I was able to pace it well. I had also amazing skis.”

For Harvey, 29, it’s all part of racing. “The beginning was good, but later I just didn’t ski well and struggled. I didn’t blow up or explode. I was just bleeding time the whole way,” said Harvey. “It is a really hard course with a bit of altitude and I think I lost most of my time on the climbing sections. I’m still in a really good group so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov finished in 10th place today at 37.1 seconds behind Cologna but continues to lead the Tour.

Results here.
Standings here.

LAST CALL for the Masters World Cup 2018 – Register Until Jan. 6

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December 31, 2017 (Minneapolis, MN) – As we close in on 2017, we are also shortly closing in on the last week to register for the 2018 Masters World Cup. Held in Minneapolis, MN this international ski championship is being hosted in a major metropolitan city for the first time ever.

Held in Klosters in 2017 and headed to Norway in 2019, this is the first time the Masters World Cup is being held in the United States in a decade. Snowmakers at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis have been working day and night for over a month to build out one of the longest manmade trail systems in North America.

“Every investment we’ve made in snowmaking infrastructure over the last several years has brought us to this point. With the resilience of manmade snow plus the cold temps we’ve been getting, Minneapolis is more than ready to host this competition,” said Mike Erickson of the Loppet Foundation.

Between snowmaking and the natural snowfall we’ve been getting, the Loppet Foundation’s trails crew have now opened almost all of trails in Theodore Wirth Park. They are now looking forward to hitting their goal of 17 kilometers by the end of next week.

U.S. Biathlon Announces Teams for 2018 Youth/Junior Worlds, IBU Junior Cup 3 & Junior Open European Championships

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December 31, 2017 (New Gloucester, Maine) — The U.S. Biathlon International Competition Committee is pleased to announce the Youth (U19) and Junior (U21) Biathlon World Championship Team, as well as the team for the IBU Junior Cup #3 and the IBU Junior Open European Championships.

Youth Men's relay at 2017 YJ Worlds [P]More than 50 athletes competed on Thursday and Friday at the U.S. Junior/Youth World Championship Trials in Coleraine, Minn. Men’s and women’s sprint races were held both days, but due to frigid forecasts for Saturday and Sunday, the trials were cut short and the teams were named on Saturday. For full trials results, CLICK HERE.

Qualifying for the IBU Youth and Junior Biathlon World Championships taking place Feb. 26-March 4 in Otepaa, Estronia, are the following athletes:

Female Junior World Championship Team
– Chloe Levins – pre qualified from last season and IBU Cup Team
– Amanda Kautzer
– Lucy Hochshartner
– Nina Armstrong

Female Youth World Championship Team
– Helen Wilson
– Grace Gilliland
– Lexie Madigan
– Emma Stertz

Male Junior World Championship Team
– Cody Johnson
– Jake Pearson
– Tim Cunningham
– Cam Christiansen

Male Youth World Championship Team
– Vasek Cervenka
– Garrett Beckrich
– Eli Nielsen
– Maxime Germain

The following athletes have qualified for the Junior IBU Cup #3 to be held Jan. 25-27 in Duszniki Zdroj, Poland, as well as the IBU Junior Open European Championships taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 4 in Pokljuka, Slovenia:

Female Junior IBU Cup #3 and Junior Open European Championship
– Chloe Levins – pre-qualified
– Amada Kautzer
– Helen Wilson
– Lexie Madigan

Male Junior IBU Cup #3 and Junior Open European Championship
– Vasek Cerenka
– Cody Johnson
– Garrett Beckrich
– Eli Nielsen

U.S. Biathlon and the International Competition Committee would like to thank Minnesota Biathlon for hosting the Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships Team Trials, and congratulate all the athletes who competed, wishing them good luck in the New Year.

Bryan Fletcher Wins Nordic Combined US Olympic Team Trials

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December 30, 2017 (Park City, Utah) – USA Nordic athlete Bryan Fletcher skied from behind today to become the first person named to the 2018 US Olympic Nordic Combined team. Fletcher is now the first US Ski and Snowboard athlete to confirm his Olympic berth in PyeongChang.

Warm temperatures and changing winds created a challenging start to the day for the nine American athletes vying for the win. Fletcher, team veteran, was favored going into the day, but tricky conditions landed him in fifth place after the jumping.

Bryan Fletcher [P] Romina EggertBen Loomis (Eau Claire, WI) continued his hot start to the season, winning the competitive round of jumping with a jump of 92.5 meters, and giving himself a comfortable 56 second lead over his brother, Adam Loomis (Eau Claire, WI). Ben Berend (Steamboat Springs, CO) was third following the jumping.

“Ben Loomis has been consistent and jumping well over the last couple of weeks,” said USA Nordic Head Coach Martin Bayer. “He proved that he could do it when the pressure was on, which was good to see.”

“Everyone did well today, but I gotta give it to Adam,” Bayer added. “He was the biggest surprise for me; It was good to see him back in the fight.”

And a fight it was. The Loomis brothers had done their job on the jump hill, but there was more than one Fletcher with winning on their mind. Bryan’s younger brother Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) was also within striking distance. As one of the fastest skiers on the World Cup circuit, Taylor was still a threat starting two minutes back.

Strategy is always important in racing, but in a winner-take-all event such as the Olympic Trials, it’s more important than ever. For the Fletcher brothers, a deficit after the jumping meant a last minute change of plans.

“I had a vision of myself going into the race in first or second,” said Bryan. “Starting nearly a minute and a half behind Ben [Loomis] was a bit of a surprise and I really had to rethink my strategy.”

Bryan worked his way up the field and, after a few laps, found himself in second. Adam Loomis skied a strong race, unrelenting and unwilling to let his older teammate ski away.

Taylor Fletcher was strong for the first three laps, gaining time on the leaders initially, but was unable to completely close the gap. “I just didn’t have it in my legs today,” said Taylor.

Halfway through the fourth lap, Bryan and Adam had caught up to Ben. They were three teammates, two brothers, all chasing a single ticket. Not wanting to waste any time playing games, Bryan decided early in the last lap he had to make his move.

“Both Ben and Adam can sprint really well,” said Bryan. “I decided I had to make my move as far out as I could, which was the bottom of the hill, and just try to climb my way to the win.”

The move worked; one and a half kilometers from the finish, Bryan began to pull away. It was a hard fight and neither Loomis was willing to concede, giving chase all the way to the end.

“It feels awesome,” said Bryan, after the race was over. “I had some nerves coming into the day. To have the win and my spot solidified is a huge relief. Now I can focus on the training and the process going into the games in order to perform my best.”

This will be Bryan’s second Olympic team, having represented Team USA in Sochi in 2014.

“Everyone had a good strategy in the race today, especially the top three guys,” said Bayer. “Bryan is obviously skiing strong and having a good season, but it was a great day for the guys on the podium, hands down.”

Following the weekend, the team will make its way back over to Europe. While one spot has been claimed, there are still three more spots waiting to be filled on the Nordic Combined team. The selection period will continue through January 22, after which team selections will be decided based on international results on the World Cup and Continental Cup circuits.

Podium:
1. Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO)
2. Adam Loomis (Eau Claire, WI)
3. Ben Loomis (Eau Claire, WI)

USA Nordic is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to promote and develop the Nordic disciplines of Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined in the United States; assist U.S. athletes to achieve sustained competitive excellence in Olympic, World Championship and other international competitions in the disciplines; and to promote the highest standards of sportsmanship, equality, fair play, and good will between individuals of all nations through competition in our sports. For more information, contact info@usanordic.org.

Canada’s Harvey 7th in Men’s Sprint FR at Tour de Ski Opener – Ustiugov in Charge

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December 30, 2017 (Lenzerheide, SUI) – Canadian star, Alex Harvey, was 7th on the day just missing the final by a boot toe in the men’s 1.5km Sprint FR as defending champ Sergey Ustiugov (Rus), also the top qualifier, won the opening stage of the Tour de Ski. Italy’s Federico Pellegrino skied to second place, while Lucas Chanavat of France, took the final step on the podium.

Alex Harvey [P] Nordic Focus“It’s a really good start. It is always important to get some bonus points in the first stage,” said Harvey. “If I look at the overall there was maybe only a couple of contenders ahead of me. The other guys were all pure sprinters. I got a lot of bonus time on those guys so it was a good start and my best sprint finish of the season.”

Men's podium [P] Nordic FocusAmericans Simi Hamilton (15th), Andy Newell (20th) and Eric Bjornsen (25th) also made the heats but were eliminated in the 1/4 finals. This is Newell’s eighth Tour de Ski. Canada’s Devon Kershaw, one of two skiers (Jean Marc Gaillard, FRA) to have raced in all previous 11 editions of the Tour was 86th in preparation for Sunday’s 15km classic-ski race on Stage 2.

Devon Kershaw [P] Nordic FocusHarvey handily won his opening quarter-final and was on pace in his semi. Trying to conserve energy for the second climb he found himself in an all-out battle with two French skiers, Chanavat and Richard Jouve. Chanavat skied away as Harvey and Jouve battled to the line with the Frenchman edging out the Canuck to make the final.

“We had really good skis and I didn’t want to be in the lead on the first downhill,” added Harvey. “I had a lot of speed coming into the finishing stretch and was reeling in the French skier in, but it was too little too late.”

Simi Hamilton P] Nordic FocusHamilton wanted more but is happy to be healthy. “It wasn’t the start to the Tour I was hoping for, but I’m still happy about my result. I missed a big chunk of training when I was really sick at the start of period 1 but recovered and felt good. It was tough to get through traffic… still it was a great day for Team USA with Sophie on the podium.”

Andy Newell [P] Nordic Focus“Amazing day for Sophie,” said Newell. “I’m not particularly happy with my result but know that the body is feeling strong and fit. I chose the first heat with Ustinov knowing that It would be a tough 1/4, but my best chance to podium. It’s one of the strategies I’ve been using this year – go big or go home – still I’m positive I can do much better.”

Qualifications here.
Results here.

USA’s Sophie Caldwell Takes Career-best 2nd in Women’s Sprint FR Opener at Tour de Ski

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December 30, 2017 (Lenzerheide, SUI) – American Sophie Caldwell lit up the scoreboard at the opening round of the Tour de Ski in Switzerland  landing second on the final podium in the women’s Sprint FR as local star, Laurien Van Der Graaf thrilled the home crowd winning her first ever World Cup event.

Women's podium [P] Nordic FocusCaldwell’s teammate Jessie Diggins also made the final but broke a pole mid-race ending up fifth as five US skiers made the heats. Sadie Bjornsen  ended up 14th, Rosie Brennan raced to 15th and Ida Sargent was 20th. No Canadian women are racing. The finish was Caldwell’s best-ever freestyle sprint result. She has the distinction as well of winning the USA’s first classic sprint World Cup.

“I was really happy with my race today. I love this course and I was psyched to have some good feelings today,” said Caldwell who qualified third just behind Diggins. “It’s a tricky course because it’s at altitude, so pacing is important. I’m hoping to carry this momentum through the next few races of Tour.”

Diggins exchanges pole in the women's final [P]Diggins who qualified second suffered two broken poles but never gave up. “I was really proud of how I skied today. I raced with guts and never, never, never gave up, and my fitness is definitely there and ready for a good Tour. It feels good to feel strong, and not tired! Wow!

Caldwell and Brennan in their 1/4 final [P]“In the quarterfinal, I was coming around the corner and someone kicked the tip of my pole just as I’d planted all my weight on my poles to turn the corner, so it shattered. Eli came running with a really amazing javelin throw of a spare pole, (I mean, you should go watch, it was epic) but I was already too far down the track and I knew I needed to stay closer to the pack if I was going to have a chance,” shared Diggins. “I stayed calm, knowing that I felt amazing and I still had a chance to make it out of the heat if I could get another pole quickly. After rounding the corner and skiing another 50 meters one-poled Matt came running with a tall spare pole and I was able to just put the hammer down and get back into it.

Caldwell won her quarterfinal and was second in her semi – her strategy was to ski smoothly from start to finish, saving some pop for the finishing stretch. In the final she was in the mix from the start but Van Der Graaf was on fire at the end.

“I got a little tired in the final stretch, but was thrilled with second place,” added Caldwell. “This result definitely gives me a boost of confidence going forward. It was also really fun to ski some heats with Jessie as we train with each other all summer and fall. I’m very impressed with her result, especially since she broke two poles. Our techs did an incredible job with skis and my tech and I chose a pair that felt like they were climbing really well.”

Sophie Caldwell [P] Nordic FocusBjornsen is ready for more. “Congrats to Soph on one seriously beautiful race! It wasn’t quite the day I was dreaming of. I got pretty boxed in when I was finally starting to get some good momentum at the end of the heat. With the new snow, it made for some tactical skiing, which I have never been the best at. Today leaves me with some extra fight for day 2, and another good sprint day to come,” said Bjornsen.

Brennan also welcomes more opportunities. “I worked hard on my sprinting all summer in hopes of being able to be more competitive in Tour events so I am thrilled to have a strong result to back my summer training. Christmas break is always challenging because it’s not all that long and it’s a hard balance of rest and training. I managed to stay healthy over the holidays so I think this result lets me know I did a good job with  my training and my fitness is still good. The Tour is long though and a lot can happen so I’m doing my best to take it day by day and put my best foot forward. A good start gives me a lot of confidence so I am looking forward to the coming days.”

Randall was hoping for more and needs to work through a rough start to the Tour. “Great to see the girls in the final. Sophie skied a strong and smart race.  I had a feeling this was going to be a good race for her. Bummer that Jessie broke a pole going into the 2nd lap because she had been skiing well all day.  Not a great one for me. Foot didn’t bother me during the race but my body felt a little flat. The last few weeks of non-traditional training may have just left me out of race tune. Will be working hard over the next couple weeks to get it back,” said Randall.

Qualifications here.
Results here.

FIS Tour de Ski 2017/18 Facts and Stats – Kowalczyk Rules but Canada’s Kershaw is a Standout

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December 29, 2017 – All the statistics and fun facts you need to know before the start of the 12th edition of the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Le Gruyere AOP that kicks off Dec. 30 in Lenzerheide, SUI and runs until Jan. 7 at Val di Fiemme, Italy.

Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)...Queen of the Tour de Ski [P] Nordic FocusLADIES

  • This will be the 12th edition of the Tour de Ski. The previous 11 have been won by six different athletes from four different countries.
  • Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) is on a record four Tour de Ski victories. Therese Johaug (NOR) and Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) both won on two occasions. Charlotte Kalla (SWE), Marit Bjørgen (NOR) and Heidi Weng (NOR) all triumphed once.
  • Only Charlotte Kalla in 2007/08, Virpi Kuitunen in 2008/09 and Justyna Kowalczyk in 2011/12 failed to win the overall World Cup title in the same season.
  • The last four editions of the Tour de Ski have all been won by Norwegian athletes: Johaug (2013/14, 2015/16), Bjørgen (2014/15) and Weng (2016/17).
  • Last season’s winner Heidi Weng could become the second athlete to record back-to-back Tour de Ski victories after Kowalczyk, who won four in a row between 2010 and 2013.
  • Norway have recorded 16 overall top-three finishes in the Tour de Ski, at least 11 more than any other country (Finland 5).
  • Norway have claimed at least one overall podium spot in each of the last seven editions of the Tour de Ski. In 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16, they even swept the podium.
  • Stefanie Böhler (GER) is the only athlete to have appeared in all previous 11 editions of the Tour de Ski. Böhler’s best result came in 2014/15, when she finished in 11th place in the overall standings.
  • Only Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (73) has appeared in more Tour de Ski stages than Böhler (70). Kowalczyk is on 68 starts. Johaug follows with 67.
  • Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) is the only athlete to have recorded at least one top-three stage finish in each of the last five editions of the Tour de Ski.
  • Only Kowalczyk (4), Bjørgen (4) and Johaug (7) have won at least one stage in more different Tour de Ski editions than Østberg (3).
  • Kowalczyk has won a record 14 stages in history of the Tour de Ski. Johaug and Bjørgen follow with 11 stage wins each.
  • Bjørgen holds the record for most stage wins in a single edition of the Tour de Ski, as she won five in 2014/15.
  • Norway have claimed 110 of the 247 podium spots in Tour de Ski stages (45%), at least 77 more than any other country (Finland 33).
  • Norway is the only country to have recorded at least one top-three stage finish in all previous 11 editions of the Tour de Ski.
  • Norway’s tally of 31 stage wins is an all-time high in Tour de Ski history. Poland are next with 14 stage wins in the competition.
  • Norway have won at least one stage in 10 of the previous 11 editions of the Tour de Ski, only missing out on a stage win in 2007/08.
  • Last season, Stina Nilsson (SWE) failed to win the overall Tour de Ski (3rd) despite winning four stages. Only Bjørgen in 2011/12 (4) also recorded (at least) four stage wins in a non-winning campaign.
  • Kowalczyk was the last non-Norwegian athlete to record back-to-back Tour
    victories, as she won the 2008/09 World Cup Final and the 2009/10 Tour de Ski.

Devon Kershaw (CAN) [P] Nordic FocusMEN

  • This will be the 12th edition of the Tour de Ski. The previous 11 have seen seven different winners. Dario Cologna (SUI) has claimed a record three overall wins (2009, 2011, 2012). Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR) and Lukáš Bauer (CZE) are the only other athletes with multiple victories (2 each). Petter Northug (NOR), Alexander Legkov (RUS), Sergey Ustiugov (RUS) and Tobias Angerer (GER) all won on one occasion.
  • Eight of the 11 winners of the 3-Days Tour went on to win the overall World Cup that season.
  • Only Bauer in 2010, Legkov in 2013 and Ustiugov in 2017 failed to add the overall World Cup title to their Tour de Ski victory. All three finished in second place in the overall World Cup standings that season.
  • Athletes from Norway have claimed at least one overall podium spot in nine of the previous 11 editions of the Tour de Ski, with 2012/13 and 2007/08 as the only exceptions.
  • Last campaign, Ustiugov won the 2016/17 Tour de Ski to claim his first ever overall Tour victory (3-Days Tour, Tour de Ski, World Cup Final, Ski Tour Canada).
  • Ustiugov could become the second athlete to record back-to-back Tour de Ski wins after Cologna who triumphed in 2011 and 2012.
  • Ustiugov (1st in 2016/17, 3rd in 2015/16) and Sundby (2nd in 2016/17, 1st in 2015/16) are the only athletes to have reached the Tour de Ski overall podium in each of the last two editions.
  • Sundby won the 2015/16 Tour de Ski 3:15.7 ahead of runner-up Finn Hågen Krogh (NOR), the biggest winning margin ever in the Tour de Ski.
  • Devon Kershaw (CAN) and Jean Marc Gaillard (FRA) are the only two athletes to have appeared in all previous 11 editions of the Tour de Ski.
  • Kershaw’s best result came in 2012 when he just missed out on a podium spot, finishing in fourth place. Gaillard recorded his best result in 2010, when he finished in fifth position.
  • Only Northug (75) has appeared in more Tour de Ski stages than Gaillard (73) and Kershaw (73).
  • Last season, Ustiugov won five of the seven Tour de Ski stages (excl. overall), with a second place finish in the 15km classic (penultimate stage) and a 16th place in the 9km pursuit (last stage) as the only exceptions.
  • Ustiugov’s tally of five stage wins in 2016/17 is an all-time high for a single Tour de Ski edition. Sundby won four stages in 2015/16.
  • Only Northug (13) has won more Tour de Ski stages than Sundby (6) and Ustiugov (5).
  • Ustiugov’s five consecutive wins in the opening five stages of the 2016/17 Tour de Ski is the longest winning streak in history of the competition.
  • Norway’s next Tour de Ski stage win will be there 30th in the competition, an all-time high. Russia follow with 11 stage wins.
  • Norway and Russia are the only countries to have recorded at least one top-three stage finish in all previous 11 editions of the Tour de Ski.
  • Only Norway have won at least one stage in all previous 11 Tour de Ski editions.
  • Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (NOR) has won the last two Tours, the 2016/17 World Cup Final and this season’s 3-Days Tour.
  • Norwegian athletes have won 12 of the last 13 Tours (3-Days Tour, Tour de Ski, World Cup Final, Ski Tour Canada). Only Ustiugov avoided Norwegian success in this span (2013-2017), as he won last season’s Tour de Ski.
  • Maurice Manificat (FRA) leads the distance World Cup and is ranked second in the overall behind Klæbo. France’s best overall result in the Tour de Ski is a fourth-place finish by Manificat last year.
  • Manificat has won one Tour de Ski stage. He was the fastest in the pursuit in the last stage of last year. No Frenchman has won multiple Tour de Ski stages.
  • No athlete has ever won the first stage of the Tour de Ski, after being the fastest in the final pursuit the year before.
  • Alex Harvey (CAN) finished in seventh place in last season’s Tour de Ski and could become the first athlete from Canada to claim a podium spot in the competition.
  • Harvey, who claimed a second-place finish in the 2016/17 World Cup Final and finished in fourth place in this season’s 3-Days Tour, could become the first ever non-European Tour winner.

IOC Accused of Cowardly Response and Failing to Help Rodchenkov Against Russian Threats

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Rodchenkov [P]December 28, 2017 – Lawyer Jim Walden, representing Russian whistleblower Dr. Gregory Rodchenkov, issued a statement accusing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of “cowardice” in failing to address Russia’s campaign of retaliation against the former anti-doping official and director of a Moscow laboratory reports BBC and Inside the Games.

Rodchenkov provided essential evidence of the Russian state-sponsored doping programs leading to the IOC penalizing Russia and forcing its athletes to compete only under a neutral flag at the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. But, if the IOC fails to protect Rodchenkov and end Russia’s campaign to silence him, Walden suggested that Rodchenkov would stop giving evidence and sit on any additional information that could shine a light on the further scope of the Russian doping program.

There are dozens of appeals from Russian athletes who will soon appear in front of the Court of Arbitration for Sport to plead their individual cases relating to the doping scandal, and Rodchenkov’s testimony is key to the IOC’s case.

Walden has claimed that Rodchenkov has received death threats in addition to a prolonged campaign to discredit him, and that Russia is trying to force the United States to extradite him back to Russia where he would surely face torture and death. The IOC has denied Walden’s claims, but added that the organization does not have it within its powers to protect witnesses. Even President Vladimir Putin has waded in suggesting Rodchenkov may have been drugged by the FBI to coax a confession.

Read more on BBC here and Inside the Games here.

 

 

Canada’s Harvey 9th as Norway’s Klaebo Sets Record with 7th Win in Men’s 15km CL Pursuit at Toblach

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December 18, 2017 (Toblach, Italy) – Canadian Alex Harvey took home a strong 9th-place finish in the men’s 15km Classic pursuit race in Toblach, Italy on Sunday as Norway’s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo set a new benchmark with his record-setting 7th World Cup victory before the new year in a single season.

Alex Harvey [P] Nordic Focus

Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov finished in second place at 1.9 seconds back with Kazakhstan’s Alexey Poltoranin taking the final podium spot in third at 4.5 seconds behind. Klaebo now leads the overall World Cup standings by an impressive 328 points as he eclipsed fellow Norwegians, Petter Northug Jr and Martin Johnsrud Sundby who both had six victories prior to the new year.

Johannes Klaebo sets new record with 7th win [P] Nordic Focus

Harvey was skiing with a group of four for most of the first two kilometres, which expanded to an eight-pack by the midway section of the race. Tactically working his way in the pack, Harvey took his turns in the lead until the final two kilometres when Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov broke the front group, and only Norway’s Johannes Klaebo was able to respond.

Men's podium (l0r) Ustiugov 2nd, Poltoranin 3rd [P] Nordic Focus“These other countries are fighting for spots at the Olympics so they have to be on the podium every race. My goals are to be reaching my top gear by the Tour de Ski. Racing has been good training for that, and I’m exactly where I want to be at this time of the year,” said Harvey.

Devon Kershaw (CAN) [P] Nordic FocusThe top American as Erik Bjornsen in 26th at 1:43.1 behind Klaebo with Canadian Devon Kershaw in 33rd at 2:02.8 back. Scott Patterson (USA) was 39th, Patrick Caldwell (USA) was 44th, Noah Hoffman (USA) was 49th, Graeme Killick (Can) finished 50th, Russell Kennedy (Can) was 66th Knute Johnsgaard (Can) was 76th

“I have been a little bit better than last year at this time. I have a lot of confidence now knowing that I can be in the top-10 even when I’m not at my best,” added Harvey.

The World Cup now takes a holiday break until the Tour de Ski which kicks off in Lenzerheide, Switzerland on December 30.

Results here.
Standings here.

Diggins 7th and Bjornsen 9th in Women’s 10 km CL Pursuit at Toblach as Bjoergen Takes a Squeaker

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December 18, 2017 (Toblach, Italy) – Jessica Diggins (USA) claimed another strong result finishing 7th in the women’s 10 km CL Pursuit race in Toblach, Italy on Sunday followed closely by her teammate Sadie Bjornsen in 9th.

Jessie Diggins (#7) and Sadie Bjornsen (#9) [P] Nordic FocusMarit Bjoergen (Nor) edged out her teammate Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg by a mere 0.3 second. Heidi Weng made it a super close all-Norwegian podium in third at 0.8s behind.

Women's podium (l-r) Oestberg 2nd, Bjoergen 1st, Weng 3rd [P] Nordic FocusThe USA’s Rosie Brennan also landed in the points finishing 25th followed by Chelsea Holmes (USA) in 39th and Elizabeth Stephen (USA) in 48th. The top Canadian was Emily Nishikawa in 53rd.

Emily Nishikawa [P] Nordic Focus“Pursuit races are pretty fun – I love being in the hunt. I had an awesome pack of girls to ski with and everyone took turns pulling at the front so we were moving along at a good pace. I just love that feeling when everyone is still racing each other, but also working hard and taking their turn so that the pack is ripping along the course! The race felt like it flew by,” said Diggins. “Big shoutout to our techs for having given us great skis today. That was really important on a course with so much glide but also some crucial climbs.”

Bjornsen was also pleased with her top-10 result heading into the holiday break. “Exciting, and wild Day 2 of this weekend! It was a fun day of skiing, with a little different feeling than normal. It was kind of hard to feel strong and in control on that course, but I gave it my all, and was again happy with the finish.

“I can feel my brain needs some rest right now. Period 1 is an intense block, with a lot of travel, and a lot of excitement for me. I felt today that my mind and body were digging deep down for the final fumes in the tank… so I’m excited for some holiday time!

Great skis out there today, and super fun to ski with Jessie. I think we have some similar strengths, and also some opposite strengths, so we can almost work together both physically and mentally. Merry Christmas and thanks to everyone for following and cheering so far,” shared the Alaska skier.

Results here.
Standings here.

Dunklee 20th in IBU WCup Mass Start in France – Braisaz and Fourcade Triumph

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December 18, 2017 (Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, France) – The USA’s Susan Dunklee led the North American with a 20th-place finish on Sunday in the women’s 12.5km Mass Start at Annecy-Le Grand Bornand with three missed targets as Frenchwoman Justine Braisaz gave thousands of French fans reason to cheer with clean shooting and a career-first World Cup victory.

Susan Dunklee (USA) [P] Nordic FocusJustine Braisaz (FRA) [P] Nordic FocusIyna Kryuko of Belarus matched Braisaz on the shooting range to finish second at 11.2 seconds back for her first-ever World Cup podium. Laura Dahlmeier (Ger) was third at 19.9 seconds behind with two penalties. Emma Lunder was the lone Canadian in 28th at  2:21.4 behind with one penalty.

Emma Lunder [P] Nordic Focus“I’m happy to head into the break with some good results behind me. I’m very impressed with the amount of fans in such a small place,” said Dunklee. “I couldn’t hear any of my coaches in course because the roar of the crowd was so loud.”

Women's podium (l-r) Kryuko 2nd, Braisaz 1st, Dahlmeier 3rd [P] Nordic FocusIn the men’s 15k mass start held later in the day Martin Fourcade gave the partisan French crowd exactly what they wanted with a clean-shooting performance to take the victory in 36:30.3 and sweep the mass start competitions for France.

Men's podium (l-r) Boe 2nd, Fourcade 1st, Lesser 3rd [P] Nordic FocusSecond place went to sprint/pursuit double winner Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway, with two penalties at 3.9 seconds back. Erik Lesser of Germany finished third, also shooting clean, 6.2 seconds back.

Lowell Bailey [P] Nordic FocusThe USA’s Lowell Bailey finished 23rd with three penalties on the range while his teammate Sean Doherty was right behind in 24th with four missed targets. Canada’s Scott Gow finished 26th with five penalties.

The teams now have a couple weeks off for the holiday break before action resumes with the BMW IBU World Cup 4 in Oberhof, Germany, Jan. 4-7.–

 

Women’s results here.
Full results here.

Caitlin Gregg and Julien Locke Win Rossland Haywood NorAm Sprints on Day 2

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December 17, 2017 (Rossland, B.C.) – Saturday was a skate sprint day at the Rossland, Haywood NorAm. It was also a day of some big margins and small margins. In the morning qualifiers Hannah Mehain of Sovereign Lake set the fastest time in the Jr. Woman’s race by a 10 second margin. Then the small margins came into play.

Senior Women's podium [P] CCCIn Sr. Women Andrea Dupont of Rocky Mtn. Racers beat Caitlin Gregg by .87 seconds. In Jr. Men, Graham Ritchie of Big Thunder edged Skinouk’s Antoine Cyr by .14 seconds. The smallest margin in the qualifiers went to Bob Thompson of Team Hardwood by .06 seconds over local favourite Julien Locke in Sr. Men’s.

In the Jr. Women’s heats Hannah Mehain continued her dominance with a 4 second victory over Hannah Shields of Lappe. The bronze medal went to Benita Peiffer of Whistler who was just a little farther back.

Caitlin Gregg made it two wins in a row in the Sr. Women’s class, comfortably ahead of Andrea Dupont and then Zina Kocher of Foothills.

The Jr. Men’s race saw Antoine Cyr turn the tables on Graham Ritchie from the qualifiers by a .06 second margin and 2 seconds later Reed Godfrey of Canmore prevailed over Pierre Grall-Johnson by and even slimmer .04 second margin for 3rd place.

Senior Men's podium [P] CCCThe Sr. Men weren’t to be outdone when it came to slim margins. In a photo-finish  Julien Locke edged Lappe’s Evan Palmer-Charette by .01 seconds for the win, and .4 seconds later Julian Smith of Georgian Bay prevailed by .03 seconds ahead of Bob Thompson.

Some exciting and close finishes to keep the timers and finish crew busy.

Results here.

Canada’s Harvey Just Off the Podium in 4th in Men’s 15km FR at Toblach on Day One – USA’s Bjornsen 29th

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December 16, 2017 (Toblach, Italy) –  Canada’s Alex Harvey, 29, was just off the podium in 4th in the men’s 15km individual start skate-ski race in Toblach, Italy on Saturday as Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krueger won his career-first individual World Cup.

Alex Harvey [P] Nordic FocusIn second place was France’s Maurice Manificat the current red bib overall World Cup distance leader. Britain’s Andrew Musgrave finished third for his “first proper World Cup podium”. Krueger now sits second overall in the distance standings 53 points behind Manificat.

Men's 15km FR podium [P] Nordic FocusHarvey was just two seconds short of his first World Cup podium of the season. “It’s always bittersweet finishing in fourth. You always think about where you could have found a second here or there, but I did everything I could do today,” said the St-Férréol-les-Neiges, Que. native. “For this time of the year, I’m taking the positive from this for sure.”

Erik Bjornsen was the top American finishing 29th in the points. Devon Kershaw was the next best Canuck in 38th follow by the USA’s Noah Hoffman in 40th, Scott Patterson in 42nd, Graeme Killick (Can) in 49th, Patty Caldwell (USA) in 53rd, Russell Kennedy (Can) in 60th and Knute Johnsgaard in 85th.

Results here.

USA’s Dunklee 6th in IBU WCup Women’s 10km Pursuit at Annecy – Dahlmeier Wins, Canada’s Lunder 18th

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December 16, 2017 (Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, France) – American Susan Dunklee took home a 6th place result in the women’s 10km Pursuit on Saturday in Annecy-Le Grand Bornand at round three of the BMW IBU World Cup. Dunklee missed two targets but turned in a fast final lap to make the flower ceremony.

Dunklee at Flower ceremony [P] Nordic FocusLaura Dahlmeier of Germany captured her first win of the season winning the Pursuit with a single penalty at 14 seconds ahead of Thursday’s sprint winner Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia, who had four penalties. Third place went to Italy’s Lisa Vittozzi, also with one penalty at 31.8 seconds back.

Women's podium [P]“Today I just tried to be patient and save a little bit for that last loop,” added Dunklee. “The course is extremely narrow and there’s fresh snow from last night so the skied-in track in the middle is the fastest. I had particular points that I had in mind before the race where I’d try to make a move if I could.”

Emma Lunder (CAN) [P] Nordic FocusCanada’s Emma Lunder had a solid day finishing 18th with one penalty while her teammate Julia Ransom finished 27th suffering two penalties. Rosanna Crawford was a DNS.

Dunklee, Lunder and Ransom qualified for Sunday’s Mass Start. “The mass start is one of my favorites, so I can’t wait,” said Dunklee who won silver at the Worlds in the event. “I was a little demoralized after Hochfilzen as I had 20 percent shooting there. This is helping me get my confidence back.”

Results here.

USA’s Dunklee Shoots Clean for Top-10 Finish in Women’s Sprint at IBU World Cup 3 in France

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December 14, 2017 (Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, France) – Susan Dunklee delivered her best performance this season cleaning all 10 targets in the women’s sprint for a 10th-place finish as the BMW IBU World Cup 3 got underway in France.

Susan Dunklee (USA) [P] NordicFocusAnastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia claimed her second victory of the season, shooting clean and winning in 20:59.6 with a 33.9-second margin over Laura Dahlmeier of Germany, who also shot clean. Vita Semerenko of Ukraine was also perfect on the range finishing third at 41.4 seconds back.

Women's final podium (l-r) Dahlmeier 2nd, Kuzmina 1st, Semerenko 3rd [P] Nordic Focus“It feels great to put together a good performance on the range,” said Dunklee. “I had some moments of self-doubt after these past couple weeks that I had to work through. Conditions were challenging on course with deep slush and short steep pitches.”

Emma Lunder (CAN) [P] Nordic FocusEmma Lunder led the Canadians in 34th at 2:07.4 behind with one penalty with teammate Julia Ransom in 39th also with one missed target at 2:13.9 back. Rosanna Crawford (Can) was 60th, Megan Bankes (Can) finished 65th, Clare Egan placed 81st and Emily Dreissigacker was 88th. –

Full results here.

The Gatineau Loppet Celebrates 40th Anniversary

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December 14, 2017 (Gatineau, Que.) – High spirits marked the Gatineau Loppet Organizing Committee’s official launch of the festivities surrounding the 40th edition of the biggest international cross-country ski event in Canada. Thousands of local skiers, and visitors from some 20 countries around the world, will meet up in the Outaouais on February 16, 17 and 18, 2018 to hit the magnificent Gatineau Park trails and express their passion for cross-country skiing and winter sports.

Special projects for the 40th anniversary
For this 40th anniversary, the Gatineau Loppet Board of Directors agreed on a number of specific projects to mark the event in a fitting way.

Unique linear routes: The 2018 Gatineau Loppet program lineup will include three linear routes. The 51 km classic style (Saturday, February 17) and the brand new 51 km freestyle (Sunday, February 18) will be the main features at P17 in the La Pêche municipality. Those two routes will cut south through Gatineau Park amidst enchanting landscapes! However, freestyle skiers will ONLY have access to trail 36 on race day, Sunday, February 18 (this trail is normally reserved for classic style skiers). Another new feature this year is the 40 km linear fat bike race, from Chelsea to the Hautes-Plaines golf course (the meeting place for the fat bike races).

Recognition program: In collaboration with Nordik spa nature, the Gatineau Loppet is launching a whole new recognition program in addition to the Legend’s Path and the Veterans Club. That program will specifically recognize skiers who take part in two races a year (Saturday and Sunday). Doing that for three years will earn those skiers the title of Nordik skier, and entitle them, among other things, to a VIP evening at Nordik spa-nature. Additional details will follow in January.

Entertainment: As part of its efforts to enhance the experience, every year, the Gatineau Loppet rolls out the red carpet. The aim is to treat visitors from abroad to a Canadian experience, and to give local participants a festive and unmissable winter experience! Maple taffy on snow, festive refreshment stations all along the route, entertainment upon arrival, traditional music, true flavours of Canada, local beers, activities for the youngsters, hot chocolate…are sure to delight all participants.

School day: In order to help foster the next generation of cross-country skiers and expose young people as much as possible to winter’s delights, the Gatineau Loppet is launching a school activity for youth between 9 and 12 years of age on Friday, February 16. This wonderful new program will involve 250 youth in cross-country, snowshoe, foot races and other fun games to introduce them to the Gatineau Loppet as well as to discover other ways of moving and making the most of the great winter oudoors.

Something for Everyone
The Gatineau Loppet invites all winter sport fans, from beginners to experts, to take part in its 40th edition! With cross-country skiing, fat bike racing and snowshoeing over distances ranging between 2 km and 51 km…there is something for everyone over the race weekend. Saturday, February 17 will be dedicated to the classic style, with the 5 km (Physio Avantage Plus), 15 km (Auclair), 27 km (Otto’s BMW/SUBARU) and the 51 km linear (Swix) races. Fat bike races will be featured in collaboration with OMBA (Ottawa Mountain Bike Association), with 10 km, 20 km and 40 km (linear) starting from the municipality of Chelsea (40 km) and the Hautes-Plaines golf course. On Sunday, February 19, the Mini 2 km (Sport échange Outaouais) and the Carnaval Soleil Polaire, the 10 km (MEC), the 27 km (NCC) and the 51 km linear will be all about freestyle. There will also be 2 km, 5 km and 10 km snowshoe races, and the Gatineau Loppet will host the Canadian 10 km snowshoe championship.

Registration
Cross-country skiers can still take full advantage of the Gatineau Loppet at the discounted rate. Skiers can register online until Wednesday, February 14, but the discount ends at midnight, this coming sunday, december 17.

The Gatineau Loppet would like to thank its partners, Ville de Gatineau, Canada Economic Development, the Government of Quebec through Tourisme Québec, Tourisme Outaouais, which this year once again is featuring cross-country skiing front and centre in its winter campaign, the National Capital Commission and Gatineau Park, which has welcomed us for the past 39 years, the municipalities of Chelsea and La Pêche, Winterlude, the Centre local de développement des Collines-de-l’Outaouais, the Embassy of Sweden, Swix, Nordik Group, Hendrick Farm, Otto’s BMW and Subaru, Auclair, Fischer, MEC, Sport Échange Outaouais, Chelsea Pub, Biscotti, Xact Nutrition, Physio Avantage Plus, Crowne Plaza, Ramada Plaza Manoir du Casino and the many official suppliers, and corporate and media partners.

For additional information, check the Gatineau Loppet Web site here.

Emily Young Wins Back-to-Back Bronze Medals at Para-Nordic World Cup on Home Snow

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December 12, 2017 (Canmore, AB) – Canada’s Emily Young was on a hunting exploration at the Canmore Nordic Centre on Sunday afternoon. After venturing 7.5-kilometres skate-skiing through the tall pines at one of the world’s most challenging Nordic venues, the Vancouver native captured her prize – a bronze medal for the second-straight day in the women’s standing division at the season-opening Para-Nordic World Cup.

Emily Young [P] Justin Brisbane“This is my first year starting at the back, hunting people down,” said Young, who started second last based on her number-two ranking in the field. “It was really cool being out there, reeling people in. It was just like fishing out there.”

Young, 24, picked off 11 athletes to be exact on a glorious day in the Rocky Mountains, pushing her threshold to clock a third-place time of 21:01.7.

“I went out a little hot in the first lap, but the whole plan was to ‘just go’ from the gun. I knew I had put myself in the top-three after the first lap so I just kept fighting,” added Young. “I know I have the ability to go full out and hold on for 8 kilometres if I stop thinking, and ski, so that’s what I did today.”

The only two athletes Young couldn’t knock off were Neutral Para Athletes, Ekaterina Rumyantseva and Anna Milenina. Rumyantseva posted the time of the day at 19:44.1. Milenina skied to the silver medal at 20:07.5.

Young did manage to chase down two of her Canadian teammates, Natalie Wilkie and Brittany Hudak.

Competing in her first Para-Nordic World Cup races, the 16-year-old Wilkie, of Salmon Arm, B.C., finished just off the podium in fourth spot for the second straight day at 21:32.6.

Paralympian Hudak, of Prince Albert, Sask., was fifth with a time of 22:18.5.

“It was a lot of fun to race on home trails and have everyone cheering for Canada,” said Hudak. “The first races of the year are always kind of a mystery. You don’t know where you’re going to end up so it is nice to get everyone together again and get a better picture of where you are at. I felt good and hope to build on this.”

But the opening weekend of the first Para-Nordic World Cup for the Canadians belonged to Young. Growing up with a childhood goal to win a wrestling medal for Canada at the Olympic Games, Young’s focus switched to the Paralympic skiing following a training injury that caused nerve damage to her right arm.

Now building towards her Paralympic debut on the Nordic trails, Young is now comfortable mixing it up with the top skiers on the circuit.

“It wasn’t until last year that I finally felt like a competitor on the snow, and not just present being the caboose on the trails,” said Young. “I feel like the light bulb went on in Germany (World Championships last February), and my skill level now matches my drive. I feel I can actually compete and push now, and that is a lot of fun.”

Another Canadian pushing the pace in the men’s standing division is Mark Arendz, of Hartsville, P.E.I.

The 27-year-old put himself through a world of hurt in the first of four laps in the 10-kilometre skate-ski event, to boost him to a fourth-place time of 23:24.5.

“I started hard and tried to see if I could hold it. I maybe went a bit too hard in the first lap, but the last three were consistent so I’m happy with the results,” said Arendz, who is a biathlon specialist.

“Right now, is all about working out the bugs, making sure we mimic how I want to approach the race in March (Paralympics). At the end, I’ll look and see where I stack up, but I know my shape will be much different come March.”

Benjamin Daviet, of France, won the men’s standing race with a time of 22:14.1. Neutral Para Athletes, Rushan Minnegulov (22:40.9) and Aleksandr Pronkov (22:44.5) were second and third respectively.

The Para-Nordic World Cup continues on Tuesday in Canmore, Alta. with the cross-country skiing distance races before the biathlon competitions get underway on Thursday.

Complete results here.

Three More Russian XC Skiers Suspected of Doping – Kryukov, Bessmertnykh, Matveyeva in Hot Water

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December 12, 2017 (Moscow, Russia) – According to the Russian News Agency, TASS, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspects three more Russian cross-country skiers of anti-doping rules violations. Olympic gold medallist Nikita Kryukov along with Alexander Bessmertnykh and Natalia Matveyeva are “suspected of violating anti-doping regulations,” Sergey Kryanin, a vice president of the Russian Cross Country Ski Federation, told TASS – read more here.

IBU Executive Board Relegates the Russian Biathlon Union to Provisional Membership

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December 12, 2017 – Following the decision of the IOC to suspend the Russian NOC and create a path for a clean individual athlete to compete at the Pyoengchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, the IBU Executive Board decided today:

•    The IBU Executive Board accepts the decision of the IOC Executive Board dated 5 December 2017 and agreed to implement it in time.

•    The IBU Executive Board decided to reinstate the working group and add external expertise.

•    As a consequence of the substantial number of doping convictions in the recent past, the IOC verdicts against three Russian biathletes who were found guilty of an ADRV at the OWG 2014 and the substantial number of athletes still suspicious of having been part of, or profited from the Russian doping conspiracy, which caused great damage to the sport of biathlon and the reputation of  the IBU, and in order to encourage the RBU to become more active in the fight against doping, to assist in the discovery of any doping manipulations in Russia and to enforce strict compliance with the applicable anti-doping rules and policies,

the IBU Executive Board herewith relegates the RBU to provisional membership (Art. 16.12 Constitution) with the limited membership rights as set out in Art. 15 of the Constitution.

The IBU Executive Board will review restitution of the RBU to full membership at a later date but not before the end of the 2017/2018 competition season, subject to the following conditions:

(a)    the IOC has lifted the suspension of the ROC;

(b)    no adverse analytical findings or other anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs) of Russian biathletes committed after 1 January 2017 have been reported;

(c)    the RBU fully cooperates with any investigation of any alleged ADRVs in the context of, and the involvement of officials in, the alleged doping conspiracy that was described by the IP Report, Dr Rodchenkov’s affidavits and the IOC Disciplinary Commission (“Schmid Commission”) Report.

The IBU Executive Board may, at its sole discretion, decide to extend the provisional membership if it deems that the above conditions have not been met.

The IBU Executive Board is following the developments very closely and reserves the right to take further measures against the RBU or any individuals as a consequence of further results of the ongoing investigations.

USA’s Caitlin Patterson and Ian Torchia Win Haywood NorAm/US SuperTour 10/15km FR Races

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December 11, 2017 (Vernon, BC) – Day two of the Haywood NorAm & Sprints / USSA SuperTour saw sunny skies and a temperature hovering around -2 degree Celsius as skiers from around North America tackled the gruelling 5km ‘World Cup’ course. Open Men raced a distance of 15 km and Open Women 10 km.

Ian Torchia leading [P] Cindy PelletierThe day began with the Open Men’s race at 9:00 am.

The fastest Senior Man around the course today was Ian Torchia (Northern Michigan University) who finished with a time of 36:29.17, 19 seconds ahead of Jack Hegman (Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation) in 2nd. Rounding out the top three is Brian McKeever (Fast Trax Run & Ski), 22.6 seconds from Torchia. Brian Gregg (CXC Team) was the early leader with a first lap time of 11:49.8 but ultimately placed 15th, 1:09 off 1st.

Jack Hegman [P] Cindy PelletierThe Junior Men’s category is lead by Hunter Wonders (APU Nordic Ski Center) with a time of 37:25.9 followed by Sam Hendry (Canmore Nordic Ski Club) 32.6 seconds off the win and rounding out the top three is Aidan Kirkham (Nakkertok Nordic Ski Club), 1:18.7 from 1st position.

On the Senior Women’s side, the Americans proved to be a force to be reckoned following a podium sweep.

Yesterday’s silver medallist in the classic sprints took the win in the 10 km skate event with a time of 27:13, besting Rosie Frankowski (APU Nordic Ski Center) by 30 seconds. Rounding out the top three is Caitlin Gregg (CXC Team) just one second from 2nd. The top Canadian today is Zina Kocher (Foothills Nordic Ski Club) in 8th position, 1:31.2 back.

The Junior Women’s category is lead by Hannah Halvorsen (APU Nordic Ski Center) who placed 3rd in yesterday’s sprints achieved the top result today with a time of 29:09.5. Close behind is Novie McCabe (Methow Valley Nordic), 23 seconds back and rounding out the top three is Annika Richardson (Hollyburn Cross Country Ski Club) 1:05.2 from 1st.

A local favourite, Hannah Mehain, placed 8th 2:02 off the Halvorsen.

Full results here.

Canada’s Harvey Claims Strong 10th in Men’s 15km FR at Davos World Cup as Manificat Tops Field

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December 11, 2017 (Davos, Switzerland)December 11, 2017 (Davos, Switzerland) – Canada’s Alex Harvey posted his best result at high altitude in Davos finishing 10th in the men’s 15km individual start won by Maurice Manificat (Fra). Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov finished second at 4 seconds back while teammate Alexander Bolshunov landed on the podium for the second time in Davos claiming third.

Alex Harvey [P] Reese Brown“I have always struggled at altitude so this is by far my best result here in Davos,” said Harvey. “Altitude is really a physiology thing. It is never going to be perfect for me, but we have found ways to prepare for it and get better little by little each year. I couldn’t ask for much more today. The goal is always to be in the top-10.”

Men's 15km Free podium (l-r) Ustiugov 2nd, Manificat 1st, Bolshunov 3rd [P] Nordic FocusHarvey, 29, followed his race plan to near perfection starting conservatively over the first of three laps. He picked his way through the field until the final loop where he hammered his pace powering up and down the large hill challenge to grab a few more spots and lock up the top-10 result. Harvey

“Today the shape was great and I continued to build throughout each lap, with my strongest lap being the last one. That is what you want,” added Harvey.

Patty Caldwell [P] Reese BrownIt was Manificat’s ninth World Cup distance race victory equalling the men’s French record set by Vincent Vittoz.  He will also wear the red bib next weekend in Toblach, Italy as the overall World Cup Distance leader.

Devon Kershaw [P] Reese Brown“I love to compete here. It has been a few years since I last won here so I’m happy to be back on top. My season has been going well so I knew that today was possible. It is a hard race here and I am tired but thank you to Davos and the public out in the forest. Your encouragement helped very much,” commented the winner.

American Patty Caldwell was the top American in 41st followed by veteran Canuck, Devon Kershaw in 44th. Noah Hoffman (USA) was 48th, Graeme Killick (Can) was 59th, Russell Kennedy (Can)  finished 68th, Scott Patterson (USA) was 94th, Julien Locke (Can) and Andy Newell (USA) did not finish. –

Full results here.
WCup Standings here.

 

USA’s Bjornsen Leads 4 Americans into Top 20 in Women’s 10km FR Interval Start at Davos

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December 11, 2017 (Davos, Switzerland) – Sadie Bjornsen led four Americans in the top 20 with a solid 12th-place finish in the women’s 10 km interval start as Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) topped the field once again in Davos.

Sadie Bjornsen [P] Reese BrownTeammate Ragnhild Haga was second at 5.9 seconds behind the winner while Finland’s Krista Parmakoski took the final podium spot at 7.9 seconds back.

Women's podium [P] Nordic FocusThe USA’s Kikkan Randall finished 14th followed by teammates Jessie Diggins in 15th and Rosie Brennan in 17th. The USA’s Chelsea Holmes made the points in 29th followed by Liz Stephen in 40th.

“It was a really challenging and fun distance skate race. This course is particularly challenging for me, because there is no rest. All the slight gradual downhills, you have to keep working,” said Bjornsen. “The combination of the thin air, and the very gradual climbs and descents is a real unique challenge. I decided to go out harder than normal, to see how long I could hold. I think I was able to ski a relatively stable race, with a few weak spots, but I am really satisfied. I look forward to another opportunity next weekend! I am starting to really get into this skate skiing.”

Kikkan Randall [P] Reese Brown

Randall was happy with her race. “It was great to have another solid distance race here in Davos. Shows that my race gears are continuing to sharpen with every start!  I happened to start right as Kalla was coming through the lap so I got so ski with her my first lap.  Then it was up to me to try and hold that pace on the 2nd lap.  Definitely got a little tired towards the end of the race and started to lose some seconds but overall I was really satisfied with the performance.  Also fun to see another streak of top results for the whole US women’s team!  A great way to celebrate our new truck,” said Randall.

Jesse Diggins [P] Reese BrownDiggins was hoping for more. “I wasn’t satisfied with my 10km skate this past weekend, but that’s a good thing because I’m always looking for more! I feel that I rebounded from my cold well for the sprint but just had nothing left in the tank for that extra gear you need on this grinding Davos course. Really looking forward to my favorite race trails in Toblach next weekend…and it will be fun to race at a slightly lower altitude,” shared Diggins.

Cendrine Browne [P] Reese BrownCendrine Brown led the Canadian women in 45th followed by Emily Nishikawa in 50th, American Sophie Caldwell in 52nd Dahria Beatty (Can) in 73rd and Katherine Stewart-Jones in 79th.

Results here.
WCup Standings here.

 

Canada 9th as Germany Claims IBU World Cup Women’s 4x6km Relay at Hochfilzen

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December 11, 2017 (Hochfilzen, AUT) – Canada’s Emma Lunder, Rosanna Crawford, Megan Bankes and Julia Ransom raced to a 9th-place finish as Germany took the win in the women’s 4x6km Relay at the close of the BMW IBU World Cup 2 in Hochfilzen, Austria.

Canada's Megan Bankes tags anchor Julia Ransom [P] Nordic Focus

Germany’s Vanessa Hinz, Franziska Hildebrand, and Maren Hammerschmidt with Laura Dahlmeier anchoring won with nine spare rounds in 1:14:43.6 extending their winning streak to six consecutive victories, dating back to last season.

Team Germany (l-r) Hinz, Hildebrand, Hammerschmidt, Dahlmeier [P] Nordic FocusSecond place went to Sochi Olympic champions Ukraine, with five spare rounds at 44.9 seconds back while France came back from two early penalties to move into third at 1:04.5 back, after passing Russia in the final loop.

Team Ukraine (l-r) Semerenko, Pidhrushna, Dzhima, Semerenko [P] Nordic FocusThe Canadian squad used 9 spare rounds to finish at 2:31 behind the winners. No American team competed. The next round of the BMW IBU World Cup is in Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, France, Dec. 14-17

Full results here.

Team USA 9th in IBU Men’s Relay at Hochfilzen as Norway Triumphs – Canada 15th

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December 11, 2017 (Ostersund, Sweden) – Team USA raced to a 9th-place finish on Sunday in the men’s 4×7.5-kilometer relay as Norway claimed a solo victory in windy Hochfilzen with Germany second and France third. The Canadian team was 15th overall as the BMW IBU World Cup 2 came to a close.

Leif Nordgren [P] Nordic FocusThe squad of Lowell Bailey, Leif Nordgren, Tim Burke and Sean Doherty, were as high as third but suffered three penalties and used 13 spares in the 26-team field to finish 3:38.3 behind the Norwegians who used nine spares finishing in 1:21:21.8.

Sean Doherty (USA) [P] Nordic FocusGermany used 17 spares at 1:54.9 behind the winners while France, in third, had three penalties and 13 spares at 2:34 behind Norway. Canada’s Christian Gow, Scott Gow, Nathan Smith and Brendan Green suffered six penalties with 20 spares finishing 6:22.5 behind.

Nathan Smith (CAN) [P] Nordic FocusTwo days of heavy snow turned into overcast skies for the men’s relay, with temperatures at minus 10 Celsius. The wind was gusty at first but picked up dramatically from the left, making shooting extremely difficult.

Team Norway (l-r) Birkeland, Bjoentegaard, L'abee-Lund, Bjoerndalen [P] Nordic FocusThe teams now travel to Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, France, for BMW IBU World Cup 3 taking place Dec. 14-17.

Full results here.

Canada’s Thompson and USA’s Miller Win Haywood NorAm / USSA SuperTour Sprints at Sovereign Lake

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December 09, 2017 (Vernon, BC) – Over 550 skiers from around North America eager to rid themselves of the early-season race butterflies ascended upon the Rotary Stadium at the Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre today for the first stop of the Haywood NorAm & Sprints series of the season and second on the USSA SuperTour.

Today’s classic sprints around a challenging 1.3 km course included a tight 180-degree turn, a bridge and some fast downhills. Course conditions were ideal, with sunny skies and -7 degree Celsius, hard-packed snow.

Open Men's Sprint Podium [P] Peggy HungThe day started with the Open Women’s sprint qualifier, and shortly thereafter, Open Men. On the women’s side, Kaitlynn Miller (Craftsbury Nordic), set the best time with 02:59.39. Second and third best qualifying times are set by Kelsey Phinney (Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation) and Hannah Halvorsen (Alaska Pacific University) respectively. The fastest Canadian qualifier for the Open Women is from Sophie Carrier-Laforte (Skinouk) in 4th, 05.68 behind Miller.

The fastest qualifying time in Open Men is 02:31:00 set by Cole Morgan (Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation) with Nicholas Michaud (Bridger Ski Foundation) and Logan Hanneman (Alaska Pacific University) rounding out the top three. They were followed closely by the top Canadian today, Bob Thompson (Team Hardwood) in fourth, 02.34 from Morgan.

The fastest Junior Woman around the course is Sovereign Lake’s own Hannah Mehain with a comfortable lead of 06:56. The fastest Junior Man around the course was Antoine Cyr (Skinouk) with a lead of 02.28.

Course conditions remained unchanged for the afternoon’s excitement.

The Open Men’s A-final consisted of five U.S. skiers and one Canadian. NTDC Thunder Bay athlete, Bob Thompson proved his early-season fitness as he raced towards the finish line, just 0.03 seconds ahead of Ben Saxton of the Stratton Mountain School (SMS) Elite Team. Cole Morgan of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) who won the qualifier and all his heats, except for the A-final, rounded out the top three.

“It was a very fast course,” says Bob Thompson of Team Hardwood/NTDC Thunder Bay. “I was happy with my qualifying position and focussed on at or near the front of the heats to control things.”

Open Women's Sprint Podium [P] Peggy HungThe Open Women’s heats saw American, Kaitlynn Miller (Craftsbury Nordic), dominate the day as she continued her momentum throughout the quarter and semi-finals winning every heat including the A-final. In the A-final, Miller bested Caitlin Patterson (Craftsbury Nordic) by almost one second who qualified 5th this morning. Rounding out the top three is Hannah Halvorsen (Alaska Pacific University). The top Canadian in the Open Women category is Quebec’s Sophie Carrier-Laforte (Skinouk) in 6th.

“I was very happy with my race today,” says Kaitlynn Miller of Craftsbury Nordic / Green Racing Project. “I ended up in the back of the pack heading into the final uphill, but was able to make up time on that climb and had a good line going into the turn off the bridge.”

The Junior Women’s category is won by Hannah Mehain (Sovereign Lake) followed closely by Lisle Compton (Kenora Nordic) and Hannah Shields (Lappe Nordic) in 3rd. The Junior Men category is won by Antoine Cyr (Skinouk) who won all of his heats, followed by Etienne Hebert (Monteriski) and rounding out the top three was American, Luke Jager (Alaska Pacific Nordic Centre).

Full results here.

USA’s Hamilton 9th as Norway’s Klaebo Claims Record 6th Victory in Men’s 1.5km Sprint FR at Davos

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December 09, 2017 (Davos, SUI) – The USA’s Simi Hamilton led the North Americans finishing 9th after advancing to the semis in the men’s 1.5km Sprint F won by Norway’s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo who recorded his 6th straight victory tying fellow Norwegians Petter Northug Jr and Martin Johnsrud Sundby as the only men to win six World Cups in one season before the new year.

Simi Hamilton [P] Reese BrownSimi HamiltonItaly’s Federico Pellegrino was the only skier to go with Klaebo in the final but he was out-matched finishing 1.8 seconds back. In third place for the second weekend in a row was Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov at 4.64 behind.

Men's podium [P] Nordic Focus

Andy Newell [P] Reese BrownAndy NewellAmerican Andy Newell made the quarter finals as well but did not advance finishing 21st. Alex Harvey was the lone Canadian to qualify but placed fifth in his quarter-final round and his day ended early as well.

“It was a typical Davos course and conditions out there. I felt much better qualifying today than last week and was happy to qualify in the top 10. Felt solid in my heat but didn’t have the best finish due to a Swiss skier crashing on the last corner and pushing me wide. The corner into the finish is always a little icy here. Happy to be feeling pretty good and healthy and looking to build on results throughout the month,” said Newell.

Alex Harvey [P] Reese BrownAccording to Louis Bouchard, co-head coach of Canada’s World Cup Team, “Alex is in great shape and his technique is good, but he always struggles a bit at altitude in Davos. Every skier handles altitude differently. We tried some different things to be ready for the altitude. Alex is in great shape though and right where he wants to be.”

Qualifications here.
Results here.

Randall in 3rd Leads Three Americans in Sprint FR Final @ Davos – Nilsson Wins Over Falla

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December 09, 2017 (Davos, SUI) – The USA’s Kikkan Randall took home her first World Cup podium since having her first child in April 2016. Officially it was her second podium since the arrival of Breck as the talented skier won sprint bronze at Lahti 2017.

Women's podium [P] Nordic FocusSweden’s Stina Nilsson battled to victory in a close race besting Norway’s Maiken Caspersen Falla at the line. There were three American in final with Jessie Diggins in fourth and Ida Sargent finishing 6th. Nilsson now leads the overall World Cup sprint standings with a 15-point margin over Falla.

“Today felt great to be back on the podium. Davos has always been a good place for me when I’m in shape,” said Randall. “The season started as a bit of a mixed bag but my skating has felt strong. It was a relief to put down a solid qualifier finally and then feel strong through all the rounds. It always makes it extra fun when you have your teammates by your side. Ida was particularly impressive today, it’s awesome to see her take a big jump forward in skate sprinting.

Kikkan Randall [P] Reese Brown“We were fortunate that the weather turned out better than predicted.  It was a little on the cold side but not much wind and good fair conditions.  Our skis were fast today which was important for getting in good positions.  I think the wax truck is giving us a big advantage on having consistently fast skis.  You can especially see it in the depth of how well the whole team is skiing!

“This was my first world cup podium since I had Breck and it was great to be able to share the moment with him.  He likes the trophy, it’s a little sled. Now turning my attention to the distance race tomorrow. I am excited to see if I can keep this streak of strong skate races going,” she concluded.

USA’s Doherty 17th In IBU World Cup Pursuit as Boe Triumphs Again in Hochfilzen – Canada’s Lunder 27th

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December 09, 2017 (Hochfilzen, AUT) – American Sean Doherty sharpened his sprint performance to claim 17th in the men’s 12.5km pursuit with two penalties at 2:12.8 behind winner Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway. Amidst snowy conditions Boe took home another victory on Saturday at the BMW IBU World Cup 2 in Hochfilzen despite three penalties.

Sean Doherty (USA) [P] Nordic FocusSlovenia’s Jakov Fak, who had just one penalty, was second at 58.8 seconds back while Martin Fourcade of France, suffered three penalties in the final standing stage, but was able to out-sprint Germany’s Simon Schempp for the final podium spot at 1:10 back.

Friday’s snow continued off and on throughout the night and returned with a new intensity in the morning for the men’s pursuit. Accompanying the heavy snow and falling temperatures was a steady wind that buffeted the wind flags from left to right on the shooting range.

“I am very happy to follow up my sprint with a good pursuit,” said Doherty. “It was fun to be in the thick of the action and be able to shoot my way up. Hopefully the conditions tomorrow will be a little bit better and we can have a good relay.”

Johannes Thinges Boe [P] Nordic FocusCanada’s Nathan Smith was 31st, Brendan Green (Can) was 33rd, Lowell Bailey (USA) was 36th, Canada’s Scott Gow was 48th and Christian Gow was 49th.

The snow continued for the women’s 10k pursuit  later in the day, with a bit less intensity. However, the tracks remained slow and deep with a stiff breeze complicating shooting.

Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia won for the first time since March 2014 with one penalty as Finland’s Kaisa Makarainen, with two penalties, passed sprint winner Darya Domracheva of Belarus in the final meters to take second place at 10.2 seconds back. Domracheva, with a single penalty, finished 3rd.

Canada’s Emma Lunder had one penalty placing 27th while teammate Rosanna Crawford was 39th with 4 penalties. American Clare Egan finished 53rd with seven penalties.

Canada’s Harvey Races to Strong 6th in Men’s 30km Skiathlon in Lillehammer as Norway’s Klaebo Wins Again

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December 05, 2017 (Lillehammer, Norway) – Canada’s Alex Harvey earned his best result this season with a strong 6th place finish against a stacked field in the men’s 30km Skiathlon as Johannes Klaebo captured gold again besting teammate Martin Johnsrud Sundby who settled for second with Hans Christer Holund completing the Norwegian podium sweep.

Kershaw and Harvey battling [P] Nordic FocusHarvey’s teammate Devon Kershaw battled to a solid 19th-place finish following an exciting stint at the front of the pack during the Classic leg. American Erik Bjornsen claimed 20th showing great form for his best Skiathlon result.

“It was a really good day with a steady, hard pace right from the gun. I felt good all day and the skis were great,” said the 29-year-old Harvey, who was the lone Canadian to crack the top-30 in Saturday’s sprint race, finishing 28th. “I’m missing my top speed right now, but the base is really good – maybe better than it has ever been. To finish sixth when I know I’m not in the best shape yet is really good.”

Heading into the transition box in 14th place, Harvey jumped 10 spots into fourth. “This course is so hard. Having to ski that large hill which is like 3-4 minutes of sustained climbing, four times in classic and skate is really, really hard,” said Harvey. “I was well positioned in the front of the group of seven in the skate until the fireworks went off with 1.5-kilometres to go.”

Sundby attacked just before the crest of the hill on the final climb where he stretched the lead group. With four Norwegians battling it out to determine the medals, Harvey lacked the jam to respond, and cruised home for sixth place. Klaebo matched Sundby near the end and overtook him in the finishing straight for the win.

“That is what I’m missing right now is really that top level. I wasn’t able to go with Sundby and I slowly drifted from there,” said Harvey. “These other guys have different goals right now. The Norwegians have to be on the podium in these early races if they want to go to the Olympics so they have to do this every race. My goals are to be reaching my top gear by the Tour de Ski. Racing is good training for that.”

Full results here.

USA’s Diggins Stellar 5th in 15km Skiathlon as Kalla Triumphs in Lillehammer

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December 05, 2017 (Lillehammer, Norway) – American Jessie Diggins claimed a stellar 5th in the women’s 15km Skiathlon on Sunday showing her fine form as Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla took home her first-ever World Cup Skiathlon victory. Norway’s Heidi Weng as second with her teammate Ragnhild Haga in third.

Jessica Diggins [P] Nordic FocusThe USA’s Sadie Bjornsen had a strong day finishing 10th while Kikkan Randall was solid in 16th followed by Rosie Brennan also in the points placing 29th. Liz Stephen (USA) was 36th, Chelsea Holmes (USA) finished 38th while the top Canadian was Cendrine Browne in 45th.

“I was really happy with my race. Our classic skis were amazing and I honk that’s the smoothest and strongest I’ve ever Classic skied yet. In the skate leg I felt good and I’m still working on building to my top race gear as we get into the season,” shared Diggins.

“Another great day in Lillehammer – this was my best ever Skiathlon result in the 15km discipline. I tend to prefer classic skiing, so I wanted to try to stay in contact during the classic section, and hold on for the skate portion of today’s race,” commented Bjornsen. “At times I struggled to find gears but found my zone so at the end of the day, I was really happy with my race. The biggest WOW of the day was my brother, placing 20th in this very tough field of racers here in Norway.”

Randall was pleased as well. “Another race under the belt. Had a good start but lost some ground on the first time up the big climb. Found a better groove in the second classic lap and felt much stronger in the skate. Underlying fitness feels strong but still searching for my full race gear. Great conditions, even saw a bit of sun out there,” quipped Randall. “Really inspiring to see my teammates racing up there in the front.  Our skis were fast today so that wax truck seems to be making a nice difference.”

Full results here.
Overall standings here.

 

Alpine Insurance Alberta World Cup Academy Announces Allison McArdle as New High Performance Coach

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December 05, 2017 (Canmore, AB) – The Alpine Insurance AWCA is very pleased to announce that Allison McArdle will be joining our organisation starting January 1st, as a High Performance Coach. Allison will work with Chris Jeffries, High Performance Program Director, to design and deliver the Academy program.

“Allison will make a great addition to our coaching team. I am very happy she is going to help us provide the best athlete development program in Canada. Allison brings many excellent qualification to the job. Among them are her international network, her coaching experience and her team leadership experience. But what I am most excited about is that she is bringing her sincere desire to see athletes reach their full potential.” said Norbert Meier, President, Alberta World Cup Society.

Allison has over 15 years of experience in both domestic and international coaching roles in Australia and Canada. In addition, she currently sits on the FIS Ladies Cross Country Sub-committee, is the Chair of CCC’s Women’s Committee and is the Alberta Ski Team Director.

Blog post here.