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Wild Rumpus Sports

Johaug Defends Skarverennet Title, Beats Bjørgen

Defending champion Therese Johaug jumped out front early in the Skarverennet on Saturday and stayed there, holding off Norwegian teammate Marit Bjørgen to win the 38 k event from Finse to Ustaoset, Norway.

Bjørgen finished 19 seconds behind Johaug, who won in 1:41.33. Norway’s Martine Ek Hagen was 1 second behind Bjørgen in third, Tuva Toftdahl Staver (NOR) placed fourth (+3:48) and Astrid Øyre Slind finished with the same time in fifth.

Norwegians swept the top 11, and Sweden’s Seraina Boner placed 12th.

Top 10

1. Therese Johaug (NOR) 1:41:33

2. Marit Bjørgen (NOR) 1:41:52

3. Martine Ek Hagen (NOR) 1:41:53

4. Tuva Toftdahl Staver (NOR) 1:45:41

5. Astrid Øyre Slind (NOR) 1:45:41

6. Silje Øyre Slind (NOR) 1:45:42

7. Marthe Kristoffersen (NOR) 1:48:34

8. Marthe Katrine Myhre (NOR) 1:50:30

9. Anne-Tine Markset (NOR) 1:51:40

10. Astrid Urenholdt Jacobsen (NOR) 1:51:47

Women’s results

Jespersen Edges Northug in Skarverennet

Chris Jespersen edged Norwegian teammate Petter Northug in the Skarverennet on Saturday, winning the 38 k race from Finse to Ustaoset, Norway, by 5 seconds in 1:31.24. Close behind, Russia’s Eugeniy Dementiev was third (+8.0), and defending champion Jean Marc Gaillard of France finished fourth (+8.0). Sweden’s Martin Johansson was fifth (+9.0). The runner-up from last year, Jespersen led with just over 8 k remaining and held off Northug, who moved up from fifth and made up a more than a minute (1:19) on Jespersen. Dementiev was in second at 29.7 k, but was 1 minute and 18 seconds behind Jespersen. He led a seven-man chase pack, which included Northug.   Top 10 1. Chris Jespersen (NOR) 1:31:24 2. Petter Northug (NOR) 1:32:29 3. Eugeniy Dementiev (RUS) 1:32:32 4. Jean Marc Gaillard (FRA) 1:32:32 5. Martin Johansson (SWE) 1:32:33 6. Toni Livers (SUI) 1:32:33 7. Robin Duvillard (FRA) 1:32:34 8. Simen Andreas Sveen (NOR)…

Faivre Picon and Furger Win Engadin, Brooks 8th, Leibsch 25th for US

Anouk Faivre Picon (FRA) and Roman Furger (SUI) won the 44th annual Engadin Ski Marathon in Switzerland. Faivre Picon edged out the home favorite, Seraina Boner by just over a second with a final surge to the line. Natascia Leonardi Cortesi (SUI) gave the host country two-thirds of the podium when she out-sprinted Italian Stephanie Santer. The lead pack in the 42-kilometer freestyle race had dwindled to just five women by the end. Faivre Picon is a regular on the World Cup circuit, and finished 22nd in the 2012 Tour de Ski. Holly Brooks (USA) finished 8th for the US. Brooks was 2:30 off the pace. Morgan Arritola was 13th, Evelyn Dong 16th and Nicole DeYong 20th for the US. In the men’s race the 22-year-old Furger bested World Cup veteran Curdin Perl in the final sprint, with former Italian star Christian Zorzi two seconds back in third. The relatively…

Lake Placid Loppet Canceled

The 30th Lake Placid Loppet has been canceled due to unseasonably warm weather at Mount Van Hoevenberg in upstate New York. The 25- and 50-k races were supposed to be held Saturday after a lack of snow in February pushed the event back a month. The Loppet is part of the American Ski Marathon Series and usually takes place on a modified version of the course used at the 1980 Winter Olympics.  

American Birkebeiner Coverage Compiled on Birkie Site

FasterSkier was in northern Wisconsin for nearly a week leading up to the 2012 American Birkebeiner. All articles through Saturday, Feb. 25, are listed on under “Behind the Scenes at Birkie 2012.”

Elliott, Brooks Notch Birkie Victories; Dubay Disqualified (Updated)

Note: This post has been updated to reflect Joe Dubay’s disqualification for racing in the wrong bib. Dubay finished first in the classic race, but was wearing the bib of his teammate at the College of Saint Scholastica, Chris Parr. HAYWARD, Wis. — U.S. Ski Team member Tad Elliott and Holly Brooks of Alaska Pacific University outlasted their elite competition at the 39th American Birkebeiner on Saturday to win the men’s and women’s 50 k skate races, respectively. Elliott broke away from the pack with about 15 kilometers to go, opening up a gap to more than 30 seconds with 6 k remaining. He beat former CXC teammate Matt Liebsch (Team Strong Heart/Team Birkie) by 13.7 seconds with a winning time of 2:04.48.5. Brian Gregg (CXC) was third (+14.8), two-tenths of a second ahead of Canadian Michael Somppi (NDC Thunder Bay). In the women’s race, Brooks beat Caitlin Gregg (CXC) to…

Follow the Birkie Live

While FasterSkier will be tweeting as much as possible from the 39th American Birkebeiner (@fasterskier) on Saturday, this Birkie Live webcast is also available via CXC. If you happen to miss the races starting at 8 a.m. local time (9 a.m. Eastern), check out archived videos here. (Note: FasterSkier live updates will be based on cell service, which is non-existent for at least the first half of the race. Be sure to check back and read the race recaps on Saturday).

What’s the Wax? Birkie Tips

HAYWARD, Wis. — The American Birkebeiner expo was jumping with athletes on Friday afternoon, many of which buzzed around industry tables seeking advice from ski professionals. What’s the wax? With temperatures expected to be in the 20’s later Saturday morning, most everyone was recommending blue.   Here are a few tips from the service pros as seen on their websites or expo newsletters: Boulder Nordic Sport: Ski Selection: Early waves: med to stiff flex cold ski, Later Waves: Medium flex Cold Ski. Stone Grinds: Skating S1.3 (CV0), S1.2 (S1-0x), S0.2 (0.55), S2.2 (S2-1x), Classic: C1.2 (XTi2), C2.2 (Li2), C0.2 (ZR1XL). Base Layer: SkiGo LF Graphite Race Paraffin: Holmenkol Matrix Blue or Ski*Go HF Blue Fluoro Powder: Holmenkol Mid 08 or Solda HP05 or Ski*Go C105 Topcoat: Holmenkol Speedblock Cold Structure: Holmenkol Structure Tool (one roller) or Finite L04/AF10 Kick: Clean the kick zone, rough up kick zone with sandpaper, iron…

Birkie Elite Sprint Video

Video of the 2012 Birkie Elite Sprints is now available to watch. The sprints were won by Jennie Bender (CXC) and Dmitriy Ozerskiy. Watch the video here

Ammar and Swank Win Freestyle Gatineau Loppet

The second consecutive day of racing got underway today at the 34th annual Gatineau Loppet  under blue skies.  Again the competition for the top step on the podium was close and hard fought.  In the men’s 51km race it was Duluth, Minnesota’s Adam Swank who took the sprint finish by four seconds and by the same margin it was Canmore, Canada’s Amanda Ammar that claimed the women’s crown. In the women’s race Ammar crossed the line in 2:24:55, just four seconds ahead of Canmore’s Andrea Dupont.  Robyn Anderson of Stowe, Colorado took the final step of the podium in 2:26:34. The men’s 51km race was just as close as Swank finished in 2:06:52, just besting Anchorage’s Lars Flora.  Pate Newman (Canmore, Canada) captured third in the same time as Flora – 2:06:56. In the 27.5km freestyle race it was a pair of Ottawa skiers that claimed the top hardware as…