Tag Archive | "Lars Flora"

Flora to Present NANANordic to International Olympic Academy in Greece

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June 06, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska) – Lars Flora, two-time Olympian and executive director and founder of NANANordic, is one of three U.S. representatives chosen to participate in the International Olympic Academy (IOA) from June 11 – 25, 2013, in Athens and Olympia, Greece. The other two are U.S. Olympic Committee staffers.

The IOA’s goal is to educate and motivate young people to use their experiences and knowledge gained from the session productively in promoting the Olympic ideas and educating others in their own countries. Flora will present NANANordic to the 200 participants from around the globe taking part in this year’s event.

“This has been an amazing journey,” said Flora. “We’ve introduced nearly 2,000 children in Northwest Alaska to Nordic skiing, giving them another winter recreation opportunity in a region where there’s snow on the ground eight months out of the year. This is just the beginning. Timing for the conference is great – we’re in the planning stages for our third season now. I’m looking forward to hearing ideas that will help NANANordic become even more successful.”

NANANordic was formed to introduce the lifetime sport of cross-country skiing to rural Alaska through a sustainable Nordic ski program, starting with villages in the NANA region. Two-time Olympian Lars Flora brought the idea to NANA Development Corporation in 2011. Funded by corporate and individual donations, Flora and 20 volunteers, in cooperation with the Northwest Arctic Borough School District, provided a month of cross-country ski instruction to 650 students in Kotzebue, Kiana, Selawik and Noorvik in 2012. This year, approximately 2,000 children in all NANA region villages, as well as Anaktuvuk Pass, had an opportunity to learn to cross-country ski from more than 45 volunteers consisting of Olympians, World Cup athletes, University and college coaches and elite high school athletes.

For more information on NANANordic.com or facebook.com/NANANordic.

Boulder Mountain Tour – Liebsch and Dussault Prevail

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February 06, 2012 (Sun Valley, ID) – The Boulder Mountain Tour (BMT), one of America’s longest running and most respected cross-country ski races, took place this past weekend in Sun Valley, Idaho, drawing a field of over 900 racers from across the country.

Clear skies allowed for a morning low of -12F, leaving cold sharp snow on the track. The BMT traversed the spectacular Boulder Mountains for 32km of breathtaking beauty and world-class competition. Thanks to race founder, the late Rob Kiesel, the BMT enjoys a stellar reputation that includes some of the finest skiing to be found anywhere on the planet combined with warm hospitality and first rate race organization. This year’s edition of the event was dedicated to Kiesel, who passed away last October.

Matthew Liebsch (Team Strongheart/Team Birkie) was the victor in a tight men’s competition completing the course in a time of 1:13:34.7, while Lars Flora (APU) won the two-up sprint for second against Nils Koons by a mere four-tenths of a second. Flora’s finishing time was 1:13:47.1.

Rebecca Dussault won the overall women’s race with a blistering time of 1:18:13.8 in an exciting sprint to sort out the podium order. Morgan Arritola was less than a second back for silver, with Chelsea Holmes right behind for bronze.

Full results HERE.

Diggins Report – World Championship Pursuits

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February 28, 2011 (Oslo, Norway) – Two days ago, I raced my first 15km pursuit ever… at the World Championships! Maybe not the ideal time to experiment with pacing, but it sure was fun while it lasted. It was an interesting day with heavy fog that made it hard on the spectators and racers alike; you couldn’t see the turns on the fast downhills till you hit them! I almost fell face-first a couple of times but managed to stay upright.

The crowds were fantastic; they lined the course and although 95% were totally intoxicated, the noise and enthusiasm really gave me a boost during the race. It’s impossible to give up when people are screaming “HI-YA!” at you! (it means GO! in Norwegian)

I had the best mass start I’ve ever been in, because I was situated #42, on the right outside track. I was able to hop out of the track and double pole up the outside while on the first hill out of the stadium people were going ballistic and tripping in the tracks. I snuck around the corner and caught onto the end of the big pack to be in the top 30. I was so excited because our skis were so fast – we had the perfect mix of good kick up the steep climbs and fast glide on the downhills.

However, I’d done a really poor job of hydrating and fueling up the days prior to my race, which proved to be a painful lesson to learn the hard way. I started to hit the wall at only 6km, and could taste iron in the back of my throat the rest of the race. I shouldn’t have needed a feed in a 15km, but the coaches had three stations ready, just in case.

And you know what? I missed all three! So embarrassing. I dropped the first bottle, and the second time around, I managed to grab the bottle… and gave myself a Gatorade facewash! So now every coach in the world knows that I had the worst feed in the history of world champs. What a prestigious title! To be fair, I’ve never tried to take a feed in a big race before. But now I’ve got good incentive to practice!

At the end of the day, Marit Bjoergen took the women’s title (surprise, surprise!) but the US women had a great day – Liz led the charge in 24th, Holly came in 25th, I finished 28th and Mo wrapped up our top 45 day in 43rd! Full results are linked HERE.

The next day was the men’s 30km pursuit, and Holly and I had a great time cheering them on. We got to be part of an international cheering squad as we hiked down a steep snowy hill to get right alongside the classic part of the course. It was really cool to see all the people camping in the snowbank; some had even shoveled out benches and settled down for the afternoon!

We hiked back to the stadium in time to see Alex Harvey of Canada pull the most ballsy move I’ve ever seen in a 30km pursuit – he broke the pack with like 6km to go and went off the front on his own! Sadly, his legs cramped up with about 3km to go and the pack sucked him back in. But it was super cool to see him off the front for a lap with a chase pack of 20 guys all scared to death that a U23 was going to beat them.

The men finished thus: Northug won, with Russians in 2nd and 3rd. Kris Freeman led the US guys in 29th, Noah Hoffman came in 37, Lars Flora finished in 53rd and Tad Elliott came in 55th. Full results are linked HERE.

Then we had a bit of a transportation snafu – due to the pedestrians crowding the street and the King of Norway getting back down the hill safely, they totally shut down the roads and we had to sit on a bus for an hour and a half before getting back to the hotel. It was a long day, but still worth it to see such an exciting race.

Today is the women’s 10km classic… and I’m headed out to cheer!

Sweden’s Rickardsson Takes 15K CL Win in Drammen – Kershaw 26th UPDATED

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February 19, 2011 (Drammen, Norway) – Sweden’s tough Daniel Rickardsson had both power and magic in his skiing on Saturday taking his first-ever World Cup win at the Konnerud ski stadium just six kilometers from this well known Nordic community, famed for it’s city centre sprints.

Rickardsson scored the win in the men’s 15km classic with a time of 37:19.1 on the tough trails over Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sunby winning by 29 seconds. Norwegian stud, Petter Northug, took third. More than 15,000 cheering fans came out to watch this final tune up just a week before the World Championships get underway in Oslo.

Fourth place went to Davos’ Switzerland’s Dario Cologna, who continues to lead the overall world cup standings with 1,247 points followed by Northug in second with 834 points.

While Rickkkardsson has been on the podium three times today was his first taste of the world cup nectar. He was thrilled following the race. “I had a good feeling the whole race, and I hoped to be on the podium. I will not start in Sunday’s sprint, as I will go home to Sweden and take it easy. I want to relax and will probably do all of the distance races at the World Champs.”

While the Canadian women struggled in their classic race earlier in the day, the men put in a reasonable showing. Devon Kershaw was 26th in 39:00.1, while Alex Harvey was 30th in 39:04.0, and prompted Head Coach and former Olympian Justin Wadsworth to tell SkiTrax following the race.

“For Devon it’s been since Jan. 9th without a race and he said he had a hard time getting into a rhythm. Alex has not raced a lot since the Tour de Ski as well and didn’t feel amazing, so it was a good tune up for both of them. I have 100% confidence they’re in good shape and it will show at the Worlds.”

Harvey weighed in with skitrax.com following the competition and said that his race went pretty much as he expected. “It was a good course for me, long uphills where you can stride it out and glide a lot. The course was really hard – the first 2km are basically all uphill – then you get 1km of downhill, and more uphill. Conditions were nice, a little on the cold side, especially on the last lap when it was close to -10.”

Ivan Babikov was 44th while George Grey was 68th for the Canadian National team.

The top American men was Kris Freeman who placed 57th with a time of 40:03.7. Freeman was quick to praise his skis but called it a frustrating day.

“My body just wasn’t there. I am not freaking out, but it’s not a confidence builder leading into Oslo.” The New Hampshire native said his blood sugar was ok, but just felt flat on the skis for no apparent reason but suggested that he may have over trained in the week prior to Drammen.

Freeman also said the US squad was very pleased by the strong Beitostolen results adding that he would skip Sunday’s sprint and would now head to Oslo for his final preparations for the Worlds.

“We had a rough one for sure today,” said US head coach Chris Grover. “I think Kris was a bit rusty from four weeks without racing. He will get going in Oslo for sure.”

Other American finishes included Noah Hoffman in 71st place, followed by teammates Lars Flora in 72nd and Tadd Elliott who was 77th.

All eyes will be now trained on Sunday’s free technique sprints in Drammen, the final world cup event before the start of the VM in Oslo next week.

Full results HERE.

US XC Head Coach Grover on Beitostølen Podiums

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February 14, 2011 (Beitostølen, Norway) – SkiTrax caught up with US XC Head Coach Chris Grover to get his thoughts on the stellar US weekend in Beitostølen, Norway where Jessie Diggins topped the Junior field in the women’s 10km classic and overall was third behind 2nd-placed Morgan Arritola with Liz Stephen in fourth. Tad Elliott finished 11th in the men’s 15km classic race – read more HERE.

“We are feeling very good about our weekend here in Beito,” said Grover. “We had eight top-5 finishes over the three days, despite not having some of our WM crew here [Lars, Kris, Kikkan, Holly, and Noah]. Everyone from our WM team that was here had at least one good race. There were almost 900 athletes racing on the weekend.

“Although temperatures are quite cold all over Norway, we have managed to have good training. There is lots of snow and lots of skiing here. Our living and food situations have been optimal. The Team is healthy and we are prepared to be successful in Drammen and in Oslo.”

NCCSEF, USST Partner to Fund all Athletes to World Nordic Championships

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February 14, 2011 – The National Cross-Country Ski Education Foundation has partnered with the US Ski Team to fully fund all U. S. Cross Country athletes who represent the U.S. at the 2011 World Nordic Ski Championships.

Dave Knoop, NCCSEF director, states “The World Championships are the premier Nordic competition outside of the Olympics. We wanted to make sure each athlete who qualifies for the Championships could focus on their preparation for the games and not worry about covering the cost for this trip.”

“We will be going to Norway with a group of athletes who have all earned this honor with strong performances this season,” said Nordic Program Director John Farra. “And we are pleased that are at the championships as one united team all will be equally funded and supported. It’s a special honor for each of these athletes to be able to compete in Norway.”

NCCSEF Ski Fundraising Challenge
The NCCSEF challenges the ski community at large to help fund these athletes. Make your tax deductible contribution to NCCSEF designating World Championships and we will ensure that your contribution goes to offsetting trip expenses for all athletes. To contribute and learn about NCCSEF visit www.nccsef.org

2011 World Nordic Ski Championships U. S. Cross Country Ski Team
– Tad Elliott – Central Cross Country
– Lars Flora – Alaska Pacific University
– Kris Freeman – Andover Outing Club
– Simi Hamilton – Sun Valley Ski Ed Foundation
– Noah Hoffman – Aspen Valley Ski Club
– Torin Koos – Methow Olympic Development
– Andy Newell – Stratton Mountain School

– Morgan Arritola – Sun Valley Ski Ed Foundation
– Holly Brooks – Alaska Pacific University
– Sadie Bjornsen -Alaska Pacific University
– Jessie Diggins- Central Cross Country
– Kikkan Randall – Alaska Pacific University
– Ida Sargent – Craftsbury Green Racing Project
– Liz Stephen- Burke Mountain Academy

2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Cross Country Schedule – Oslo, Norway
– Feb. 24 – Freestyle sprint
– Feb. 26 – W’s 15k Pursuit
– Feb 27 – M 30k Pursuit
– Feb. 28- W 10k Classic
– Mar. 1 – M 15k Classic
– Mar. 2 – Team classic sprint
– Mar. 3 – W Relay
– Mar. 4 – M Relay
– Mar. 5 – W 30k Freestyle
– Mar. 6 – M 50k Freestyle

USSA SuperTour Standings after Michigan

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February 03, 2011 (Park City, UT) – The USSA SuperTour Standings have been updated. APU Nordic Ski Center’s Lars Flora and Holly Brooks have continued to hold onto their USSA SuperTour overall leads, so as per FIS Word Cup rules they will be granted World Cup starting rights and travel reimbursement in periods III (Drammen) & IV (Lahti). The USSA SuperTour gets a weekend off, then kicks back into gear in Aspen Feb 12-13 for a 5/10K classic and the 21K Owl Creek Chase.

1. Holly Brooks (APU Nordic Ski Center) 340 points
2. Kate Fitzgerald (APU Nordic Ski Center) 235
3. Maria Stuber (CXC Team) 227
4. Morgan Smyth (APU Nordic Ski Center) 208

1. Lars Flora (APU Nordic Ski Center) 297 points
2. Michael Sinnott (Sun Valley Ski Ed Foundation) 274
3. Garrott Kuzzy (CXC Team) 244
4. Brian Gregg (CXC Team) 188

Full Women’s standings HERE.
Full Men’s standings HERE.

APU Romps at Lake Placid SuperTour 2011 – Videos and Full Results UPDATED

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January 14, 2011 (Lake Placid, NY) – It was a busy day at the Mackenzie Interval Ski Jumping Complex with over 400 skiers competing in three events, headlined by the third stop of USSA SuperTour series. Both fields raced around a challenging 2-kilometer loop with a consistent 1-kilometer climb from the base of the Olympic ski jumps almost to the take-off. The men completed five laps for 10km classic style racing and the women contested three loops for 6km. The weather wasn’t too much of a factor for this classic race, with overcast skies, calm wind, and temperatures in the mid-teens

The SuperTour points leaders in both fields – Alaska’s Lars Flora and Holly Brooks – both won their races maintaining APU’s dominance on the trails. Flora finished 11 seconds ahead of US Ski Team member, Noah Hoffman from Aspen, Colorado, his teammate for the World Championships in Oslo, Norway this coming February. Rounding out the men’s podium was Scott Patterson, a University of Vermont skier, who claimed the SLU Carnival college division victory as the race was hosted by St. Lawrence University.

Brooks led an APU podium sweep in the women’s race as her teammate Kate Fitzgerald claimed 2nd and Morgan Smyth grabbed third. Brooks is another top level skier that will be racing at Worlds in Olso. Just off the podium for the women was Caitlin Patterson, skiing for UVM, who matched her brother’s win in the college race of the season. Both Patterson’s will be racing for the USA in Oteppa, Estonia at the end of January – Scott in Junior Worlds and Caitlin in U23 Worlds.

It was a great day for skiers of all experience levels to compete with some of the best athletes in the country. College racers were  on course with the top open athletes from the SuperTour rankings, and juniors and masters skiers competing in the Harry Eldridge Memorial race also got to rub shoulders with the nation’s best. Despite all the abuse, the tracks stayed strong throughout the event.

Full women’s results HERE.
Full men’s results HERE.

Flora Takes Lake Placid SuperTour Men’s 10km Classic

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January 14, 2011 (Lake Placid, NY) – Lars Flora (APU) won the Men’s 10km classic race on Friday as Lake Placid SuperTour got underway, with a venue change as athletes competed at the Olympic Jumping Complex on a 2km loop with Noah Hoffman (Aspen/USST) gliding into second place 11s behind Flora, and Scott Patterson (UVM) in third at 20s back. Skies were overcast with great snow conditions and no snowfall or wind – final results HERE.

Unofficial (brief)

Men’s 10km Classic
1. Lars Flora (APU) 26.13
2. Noah Hoffman (Aspen/USST) 0:11
3. Scott Patterson (UVM) 0:20
4. Sam Tarling (Dartmouth)
5. Franz Bernstein (UVM)

USSA SuperTour 2011 Standings after US XC Ski Nationals

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January 13, 2011 – With U.S. Championships in Rumford, ME now complete, the updated USSA SuperTour standings are now in! Thanks to the Race Organizers, volunteers and officials of the Chisolm Ski Club for their hard work and dedication in dealing with some challenging weather conditions!

1. Holly Brooks (APU Nordic Ski Cente) 280 points
2. Sadie Bjornsen (APU Nordic Ski Center) 200
3. Kate Fitzgerald (APU Nordic Ski Center) 185
4. Morgan Smyth (APU Nordic Ski Center) 172

1. Lars Flora (APU Nordic Ski Center) 267 points
2. Michael Sinnott (Sun Valley Ski Ed Foundation) 160
3. Torin Koos (Methow Olympic Dev Prog) 150
4. Leif Zimmerman (Bridger Ski Foundation) 117

Full Men’s Standings HERE.
Full Women’s Standings HERE.

The Way I See It – Exciting Racing, Canadian Uniforms, George Grey, US Nationals, Haywood Trials, Dynamic Duo, Worlds Selections

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January 09, 2011 – What a week of racing – so exciting at all levels – the Tour de Ski (TdS), US Nationals and  the Haywood Trials to both pick the Senior Worlds, Junior Worlds and the U23 Championship teams that will all be heading to Europe in the next few weeks for their championships.

First to the TdS where the Canadian men are making all kinds of astronomical break through’s when it comes to the results and standing on the podium. It’s a very grueling series of races, and if you don’t believe that, look at how many people will be on the starting line tomorrow for the final race and the crowning of the King and Queen of the Tour. A total of 79 men started this trek along with 58 women and there will be 40 men and 36 women left to attack the Alpe Cermis – a very huge climb – to  continue to takes it’s toll right to the last second.

Canadian Team uniforms are interesting when seen from a distance – the lower legs being all white gives the appearance that the Canadians are skiing in knickers – the old fashion way.

Coverage of all of the competitions has really lifted the level of media exposure – press reporting, pictures by the 100s flying all over the place, twitter, and the video links to the TdS are all really cool. I was at a dinner party tonight and half the guests knew all about what was taking place at the TdS, and knew the skiers names. They sure slaughter Northug’s name!!! All an outcome of last year’s Olympics in Vancouver and of course the excellent results help the big time media pick up the releases in both countries.

George Grey made a very interesting quote after winning the first trial race at Thunder Bay at the Haywood NorAm Worlds Trials.

“It was awfully tight and very technical out there today,” said Grey. “I don’t really have my shape but I think my experience put me in the front in the end. The last few weeks of training have been challenging because my fitness isn’t there. But it will come around.”

It’s getting late George, half the World Cup schedule is done, you were in Europe before Xmas and had less than good results and have had the better part of a month to get things in order. The “Big 4” from Vancouver is now down to the “Big 2” as Ivan is also struggling to find his shape. Rumours have it that you made only one training camp all summer and fall and of course we all know about Ivan’s reality trip to South America and car buying trip to the US. This sport takes a full year of training effort every year – hope you guys catch fire soon.

The US Nationals were one soggy mess the first day of racing in Rumford. Use your imagination and instead of calling this Rumford, call it Oslo, as during the time that the Worlds are being hosted there it can easily be that ugly and worse. Plus the next day can be ass rattling icy. You had some good practice – be happy.

Haywood Trials one more time, and where was Canada’s sprint champion, Chandra Crawford? I know that she is headed to Liberec along with Dasha Gaiazova next week for some more international racing. I would have thought she would want to race the T-Bay races to lift her racing fitness to be ready for this tour. I know that she has had only one race since coming back from Europe over a month ago. She could have gone to Rossland with all the boys and Dasha the next weekend upon return and given those races a real lift by being there. Her counterparts in Europe are now at the 16-18 races for the year level and Chandra is only at 6-8 races. If Chandra makes it as a sprinter only, she will be the only one in the world.

The women who are the top women in the world are both sprinters and distance skiers, at all levels. I would use Kikkan Randall, a close friend of Chandra’s, as an example of the necessary steps that have to be taken. She was trying to make it as a sprinter two years ago – the light bulb went on and now she’s becoming a really good sprinter (currently ranked 3rd in the world) and is slugging her way through her first TdS quite nicely – and ranked 23rd on the WC distance list as I write this. Racing fitness comes from racing – it is the only way! There are not enough sprint races on the WC circuit to get anyone in shape.

Update on Canada’s dynamic duo, Devon and Alex, as they have been working there way through the TdS, they have also been improving the standings on the World Cup. Devon stands in 7th place overall and Alex has placed himself nicely in 11th. Too bad Alex didn’t make a better effort of being ready for the WC races before Christmas, coming late to the tour and then going home for some school exams. Who know how good he would be now?

Who makes the US Team to the World Championships in Oslo, Norway – here are my choices and I don’t have a clue about the criteria.

Women – Randall, Brooks, Arritola, Stephens, Symth – and as a PS send both Diggins and Bjornson to the World Jrs and U23s with the proviso that if they can make the top 10 in any event they come to Oslo.

Men – Freeman, Newell, Flora, Southam, Elliott and Hoffman – and have Hamilton prove himself in Drammen.

Both teams are building towards Sochi with older leadership, maturity and youth and will be on the international long road to getting ready for the big show 2014.

PS remember, no one can ski the whole schedule and you’re bound to have some sickness. Also – Oslo will be one hell of a show – close to or the equal of Sochii. Great place for the newbies to get their feet wet – no pun intended.

Talk to you soon.

US XC Ski Nats – Toko 20/30k Freestyle Wax Report and Photos

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January 07, 2011 (Rumford, ME) – The waxing for yesterday’s skate races was predictable and straightforward. The organizers did add a bunch of freshly shot new snow overnight which made it necessary to add XCold to the HF Blue. So the wax was LF Blue, HF Blue/XCold mix, followed by a top coat of JetStream Blue. The Blue structure was excellent. Most people do not understand Nordlite XCold even still. XCold is an additive that increases durability and hardens the base, but that is not the most important thing that it does practically. What it really does is make the skis faster at slower speeds (ie breakaway speed). For this reason, it is superb in freshly shot man-made. If conditions are simply fast and cold, it is not needed. If it is slow and cold, it is the ticket (either mixed with Blue or as its own layer in extreme cases).

This was one of the most exciting and stimulating race days that I can remember. In the men’s race, there were 3 skiers who battled it out: Lars Flora, Noah Hoffman, and Tad Elliot. These three were very close throughout the entire race, despite the individual start format. On the last lap of the 30k skate, with about 1.5k left, Tad was 2 seconds up on Noah and even with Lars. I was happy for Tad that he finished .10 ahead to take the win. The impressive thing was that Noah and Tad had excellent information and simply kept doing what they had to do in order to win. Unfortunately for them though, Lars is skiing fast! They kept on having to suffer more and more in order to match Lars. It was an extreme game of “up the ante”. I am sure that had Lars followed the other two in the start order, he would have won. Congratulations to all 3 of these warriors on a great day and thank you for inspiring those who witnessed the battle.

The women’s race was another story. Evidently Liz Stephen skis really well when she is pissed. She took the race out with intensity and simply took the race. Her effort level, tempo, and will to win was simply unmatched today. She earned the big win, that’s for sure.

Elliott Wins the Men’s 30km Skate Title at 2011 US XC Nationals UPDATED

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January 06, 2011 (Rumford, ME) – Tad Elliott (CXC) took no prisoners as he claimed the senior men’s 30km skate mass start title at the 2011 US XC Nationals at Black Mountain in Rumford, ME edging out yesterday’s 15km classic winner, Lars Flora (APU) by 1/10th of a second for win in a final lunge at the line. USST member Noah Hoffman, who is back from his first kick at European World Cup racing, snagged the final podium spot. It was a beautiful crisp, sunny day and conditions for today’s races were great with a pretty fast course that held up well.

For Elliott, the son of two-time US Olympian Mike Elliott, it was his second national title – his first was last spring at Ft. Kent, Maine where he won the national 50km freestyle. Flora was second in that race as well.

Elliott got good information while he was racing which helped him out. “I was getting a lot of great information out on the course. I knew it was going to be close, and I knew that my good friends Lars and Noah were close. Lars has been so good this year, and he’s a hero of mine. It just been awesome to ski with him.”  Elliott said that he had a good feeling when he awoke this morning. ” I just felt great and I put on my race skis from CXC and they were just crazy fast, which was so sweet.”

Full results HERE.


1. Tad Elliot (Central Cross Country Skiing), 1:10:16.2
2. Lars Flora (Alaska Pacific University), 1:10:16.3
3. Noah Hoffman (Aspen Valley Ski Club/U.S. Ski Team) 1:10:19.2
4. Leif Zimmerman (Bridger Ski Foundation), 1:11:9.0
5. Michael Sinnot (Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation), 1:11.13.5
6. Brian Gregg (Central Cross Country Skiing), 1:11:13.7
7. Alexander Treinen (University of Alaska Fairbanks), 1:11.39.6
8. James Southam (Alaska Pacific University), 1:12.10.3
9. Garrrott Kuzzy (Central Cross Country Skiing), 1:12:14.4
10. Sylvan Ellefson (Ski and Snowboard Club Vail), 1:12.25.9

US XC Nationals 10/15km Classic – More Photos

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January 06, 2011 (Rumford, ME) – Yesterday saw the action continue in Rumford, ME at the US XC Ski Nationals with the 10/15km Classic individual start races. In the women’s event, it was Sadie Bjornsen (APU) who grabbed the title, while team mate Lars Flora secured a second victory for APU in the men’s competition. Check out these great photos of yesterday’s races.

Rossland NorAm 10/15km CL – Canada Sweeps Men’s Podium and US Women go 1-2-3

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December 19, 2010 (Sovereign Lake, BC) – It was a day of podium sweeps at the final stage of the Rossland Haywood NorAm mini-tour. The Americans owned the women’s tour podium but the Canadian men responded by taking all three top spots in the men’s. Thanks to the pursuit start, which factored yesterday’s results and time bonuses from Friday’s sprint, the first across the line today took the mini-tour title.

CXC’s Jessica Diggins won the women’s 10km pursuit with a blistering second lap to catch APU’s Holly Brooks and teammate Sadie Bjornsen, who had started 1st and 2nd respectively in today’s pursuit. By the end of the race, the start positions had reversed themselves with Diggins in 1st, Bjornsen in 2nd and Brooks in 3rd.

Bjornsen caught Brooks near the 3km mark, and the two skied the majority of the race together until Brooks started to fade on the final climb. When Diggins went by on the last few climbs, neither APU skier could hold on.

“We skied parallel for a lot of the race,” said Bjornsen. “It was probably mostly habit, just like we ski in training all the time.”

Diggins was trailing Bjornsen and Brooks by 15 seconds heading into the second lap. She was quick to give credit to her wax team for giving her the skis that helped speed her to the finish.

“The coaches did an absolutely awesome job with the wax,” said Diggins. “I’m in awe of how fast our skis were.”

As for her impressive final lap, Diggins said it just sort of happened.

“This might sound kind of weird, but I didn’t really have a race plan today,” she said. “I went into today having had a great weekend, and just waited to see what happened. My coaches have really helped with my classic technique this year, so when I had such good skis I just went for it.”

Conditions were very difficult, with unanticipated heavy snow flying all morning. Some teams struggled with wax, and those that nailed it were rewarded with podium spots.

“It was tough out there,” said Bjornsen. “You really had to pound it to make the skis work.”

“When it started snowing harder during the women’s race, the conditions started to transition,” said Canadian coach Eric de Nys. “We went with a bit more binder under the wax for the guys, mixed with a few drops of klister, and it seemed to work really well.”

The men’s results certainly reflected the Canadian team’s wax choice. Canada’s Stefan Kuhn put the perfect cap on his weekend, winning the men’s 15km pursuit after battling back from a difficult starting position and sprinting to the line with fellow Canuck, 2nd place finisher George Grey. Team mate Drew Goldsack (CAN) nipped Lars Flora (USA) for 3rd.

The race started with Goldsack, Flora and Grey forming the lead group and Kuhn, Jess Cockney (CAN) and Mike Sinnott (USA) chasing them down.

“I had to make up 19 seconds,” said Kuhn. “so I hammered from the start. Cockney and Sinnott went with me, and we caught the lead group pretty quickly, but I was pretty taxed when we did. I spent the middle part of the race yo-yoing off the back. The conditions dictated that the leaders would be working probably 20 per cent harder, so I used that. Coming into the finish I followed George. He plowed 80 meters of fresh snow; I only had to plow 20, so I was able to take him at the line.”

“It was an interesting race,” said 4th place finisher Flora (USA). “I was surprised how fast the three chasers caught us. I need to work on my classic skis a bit; I think I chose the wrong pair today.”

Women’s results  HERE.
Men’s results  HERE.
Overall Mini-Tour results HERE.