Continental Cup Blog Banner

Archive for January, 2012

Updated SuperTour Standings

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Period III of SuperTour racing has come to a close, and standings have been updated. Overall, sprint and distance leaders are all eligible for World Cup start rights. Top four overall and sprint and distance leaders are listed below. Complete standings can be found here.


1.  Jesse Diggins     430 pts     USST/CXC Team
2.  Caitlin Gregg      397 pts     CXC Team
3.  Jennie Bender    332 pts     CXC Team
4.  Kate Fitzgerald   263 pts     APUNSC


1.  Sylvan Ellefson      293 pts    SSC Vail
2.  Michael Sinnott      232 pts    SVSEF
3.  Matthew Gelso       206 pts    SVSEF
4.  Brian Gregg            202 pts    CXC Team
SPRINT Leaders are Jesse Diggins (195 pts – USST/CXC Team) and Michael Sinnott (157 pts – SVSEF).

DISTANCE Leaders are Caitlin Gregg (253 pts – CXC Team) and Sylvan Ellefson (206 pts – SSC Vail).

Biathlon roundup: Smith 29th in Junior Pursuit, Comments from U.S. Seniors

Monday, January 30th, 2012

-In Sunday’s junior men’s 12.5 k pursuit at the Under-26 Open European Championships, American Casey Smith raced from 31st up two spots to 29th. As in Saturday’s sprint, Smith displayed strong shooting, missing three shots in twenty attempts. None of the junior men cleaned and only five escaped with a single penalty.

“I was happy that I moved up a few places, that is always better than going backwards,” Smith told FasterSkier in an e-mail. “Overall I thought the race went well. There were some tough hills today that were hard to get over, but other than that I skied fairly well. I was happy with my shooting – especially on the last stage, it’s always nice to be able to head straight out onto the  course and not have to stop off at the penalty loop.”

Smith’s last race of the championships, which are being held in Osrblie, Slovakia, will be an individual race on Wednesday.

Results from Sunday here.

-U.S. biathlete Laura Spector, who raced into the top 30 in the Under-26 pursuit, told FasterSkier about her season so far, during which she started on the World Cup but then moved to the second-tier IBU Cup circuit in search of better results. Is she hoping for strong enough results in Osrblie to get back on the World Cup?

“My objective right now is to race well, and making it back to the World Cup would be a small bonus if that were to happen,” she said. “But really I’m just looking to regain my form and confidence.  I’m just happy to feel strong competing, wherever that may be.”

-Teammate Russell Currier has been racing on the World Cup, where he recently collected his first top-ten finish. While most biathlon’s stars had this weekend off to rest and train before the circuit moves to Oslo, Norway, Currier competed in Osrblie. He told FasterSkier that he was happy to get more starts and not worried about missing the rest week.

“I’ll have plenty of time to rest and train at some point in the next few weeks,” he wrote in an e-mail. “It’s nice to be here and it’s a great source of racing experience that I don’t always get at higher levels of racing.”

Tour de Twin Cities: Gregg Takes 15 k Pursuit; Bender Wins Overall Tour

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

With the completion of the 15 k freestyle pursuit on Sunday at Green Acres, the Tour de Twin Cities came to a close. Caitlin Gregg (CXC) crossed the line first and posted the fastest skate time of the day, but it wasn’t enough to regain the overall Tour title, which went to Jennie Bender (CXC). Rosie Brennan (APU) was second and Bender finished third in two-day pursuit on Sunday.

Women’s Pursuit Results:

1. Caitlin Gregg (CXC) 40:01.4

2. Rosie Brennan (APU) 41:37.1

3. Jennie Bender (CXC) 41:37.5

4. Chelsea Holmes (SVSEF) 42:08.4

5. Alexa Turzian (SVSEF) 43:00.8

6. Sara Hewitt (CXC) 43:07.1

7. Kailey Mucha (Alaska Nordic Racing) 43:29.1

8. Elizabeth Simak (FAST) 44:05.8

9. Carolyn Ocariz (CXC) 44:09.4

10. Lauren Fritz (APU) 44:19.0

Women’s pursuit results

Women’s 15 k free results (by time)

Tour de Twin Cities: Liebsch Wins 20 k Pursuit, Overall Title

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Finishing off a strong week in the Twin Cities, Matt Liebsch (Team StrongHeart/Team Birkie) clinched another win on Sunday at Green Acres in the 20 k freestyle pursuit. Starters left the gate based on their times in Saturday’s 10 k mass start classic. Brenton Knight (APU) crossed the line in second, and posted the fastest individual time of the day. Bryan Cook (CGRP) crossed the line in third.

Men’s Pursuit Results:

1. Matt Liebsch (Team StrongHeart/Team Birkie) 49:40.4

2. Brenton Knight (APU) 50:22.1

3. Bryan Cook (CGRP) 50:26.6

4. Sam Naney (MOD) 50:39.9

5. Karl Nygren (CXC) 50:43.6

6. Dylan McGuffin (CGRP) 50:46.2

7. Adam Kates (Big Thunder Nordic Ski Club) 51:28.8

8. Pat O’Brien (CGRP) 51:41.3

9. Brian Gregg (CXC) 51:42.2

10. Lars Flora (APU) 51:42.5

Pursuit results

20 k free results (by time)

Bender Takes Victory in TdTC Classic

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Jennie Bender (CXC) maintained her Tour de Twin Cities lead with a win in Saturday’s 5 k mass start classic at Green Acres, the fourth stage of the five-stage Tour. Rosie Brennan (APU) took second and Caitlin Gregg (CXC) was third.

Complete results (women on page 3)

McGuffin Wins TdTC Stage 4

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Dylan McGuffin (CGRP) won the penultimate stage, a 10 k mass start classic, at the Tour de Twin Cities on Saturday at Green Acres. Matt Liebsch (Team Strong Heart/Team Birkie) came in second and Karl Nygren (CXC) took third.

Complete results

Canadian OPA/Convergence Team Readies for Trip Abroad

Friday, January 27th, 2012

In two days, the Canadian team selected to compete in the OPA and Scandinavian Cup races in early February will leave for Europe. According to a Cross Country Canada press release, the second group of young Canadians “selected to gain valuable international experience” on the OPA and Scandinavian Cup circuits (similar to the Haywood NorAm series) are:

Alysson Marshall (Alberta World Cup Academy)

Zoe Roy (Rocky Mountain Racers)

Alana Thomas (Nakkertok)

Phil Widmer (Alberta World Cup Academy)

Graham Nishikawa (Alberta World Cup Academy)

Brian McKeever (Foothills)

Michael Somppi (NDC Thunder Bay)

Team leader: Eric Bailey (NDC Thunder Bay)

The Canadian Team will leave Jan. 29th and race Feb. 3-5 in Campra, Switzerland (OPA Cup), Feb. 8-9 Madonna, Latvia (Scandinavian Cup), Feb. 11-12 Albu, Estonia (Scandinavian Cup).

Bender Takes Night Sprint at Tour de Twin Cities

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Jennie Bender (CXC) won her second stage of the Tour de Twin Cities Wednesday night with her victory in the 1.4 k sprint prologue, held in Wirth Park, Minneapolis, Minn. Lauren Fritz (APU) took second, and Caitlin Gregg (CXC) was third.

1. Jennie Bender (CXC)

2. Lauren Fritz (APU)

3. Caitlin Gregg (CXC)

4. Rosie Brennan (APU)

5. Maria Stuber (CGRP)

6. Sara Hewitt (CXC)

7. Chelsea Holmes (SVSEF)

8. Carolyn Ocariz (CXC)

9. Alexa Turzian (SVSEF)

10. Paige Schember (St. Olaf College)

11. Audrey Weber (Atomic/Go Training)

12. Sarah Fleming (St. Olaf College)

Photo: Sylvan Ellefson.

Reynolds Wins Freestyle Sprint Prologue in Minneapolis

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Unofficially, Tim Reynolds (CGRP) posted the fastest time of the evening at the 1.4 k freestyle prologue at Wirth Park in Minneapolis, Minn. on Wednesday. The night sprint is the third race of the five-stage Tour de Twin Cities. Patrick O’Brien (CGRP) was the runner-up less than a second behind his teammate; Mark Iverson (APU) was third.

1. Tim Reynolds (CGRP)

2. Patrick O’Brien (CGRP)

3. Mark Iverson (APU)

4. Sam Naney (Methow Olympic Development)

5. Matt Liebsch (Team Strong Heart/Team Birkie)

6. Tad Elliott (SSCV/USST)

7. Dylan McGuffin (CGRP)

8. Lars Flora (APU)

9. Karl Nygren (CXC)

10. Sylvan Ellefson (SSCV/Team HomeGrown)

Photo: Sylvan Ellefson.


Liebsch, Gregg Lead Tour de Twin Cities Entering Day 3

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

After two days of racing Matt Liebsch (Team StrongHeart/Team Birkie) and Caitlin Gregg (CXC) lead the five stage Tour de Twin Cities mini-tour.

Liebsch won both races this past weekend, and holds a 14 point lead over Sylvan Ellefson (Team Homegrown). Brian Gregg (CXC) is in third another  10 points down.

The women’s competition is closer with Gregg just five points ahead of Jennie Bender (CXC).

Bender won Saturday’s classic race with Gregg finishing third, while Gregg took the victory in the skate race on Sunday.

Rosie Brennan (APU) and Chelsea Holmes (SVSEF) are tied for third, eight points behind Gregg and just three out of second.

Racing continues today with a qualifier-only freestyle sprint race.

The Tour concludes this coming weekend with another pair of distance races, culminating with the standard pursuit start on Sunday.

Tour de Twin Cities Overall Standings (after two races)

1. Liebsch – 60
2. Ellefson – 46
3. Gregg – 36

1. Gregg – 51
2. Bender – 46
3. Brennan, Holmes – 43

Complete Standings (PDF)