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Wild Rumpus Sports
 

Norway Gets Back-to-Back Lillehammer Sprint Wins with Bjørgen, Golberg

At least Pål Golberg‘s victory in the men’s 1.5-kilometer freestyle sprint on Friday was a little bit of a nail biter. The 24-year-old Norwegian sat tight and timed his attack perfectly to overtake and outsprint Russia’s Alexey Petukhov and Norway’s Finn Hågen Krogh before the finish of the World Cup final in Lillehammer, Norway.

Skiing in the back three until the final massive climb up toward the stadium, Golberg and the chase group caught the leaders by the base, where Golberg rode his momentum and attacked through the top to move to second behind Krogh. He ended up holding off Petukhov and nipping Krogh for the win in 3:20.51. Petukhov was second, 0.24 seconds back, and Krogh settled for third, just five-hundredths of a second behind the Russian.

Finland’s Juho Mikkonen charged hard late for fourth (+0.56), and Canada’s Alex Harvey slipped from third on the last climb to fifth at the finish (+1.13). Norway’s Emil Iversen finished last in the men’s final in sixth (+4.15).

Marit Bjørgen came out on all cylinders in front of a Norwegian-strong crowd, leaving no question as to who would win each of her 1.3 k quarterfinals and semifinals: a leader from start to finish — it was going to be her. In the final, Bjørgen jolted off the line with the same tactic, leading a train of three other Norwegians throughout the race.

Heidi Weng trailed her initially, then Celine Brun-Lie and Maiken Caspersen Falla, respectively. Germany’s Denise Herrmann and Slovenia’s Katja Visnar were finalists, too, but the two women didn’t see any action near the front.

Bjørgen led her teammates into the stadium, where Brun-Lie won the race for second, edging Weng by 0.04 seconds. Bjørgen capped the day with a 0.76-second victory in 2:55.71 for her second-straight sprint win in as many World Cup sprints this season.

After Weng in third (+0.8), Falla finished fourth (+1.43), Visnar was fifth (+4.43), and Herrmann sixth (+7.57).

Two North Americans qualified for the heats: Sadie Bjornsen of the U.S. and Harvey for Canada.

In the women’s race, Bjornsen qualified in 16th and went on to finish fifth in her quarterfinal behind Norway’s Heidi Weng in first, Herrmann in second, Norway’s Silje Øyre Slind in third, and Norway’s Kathrine Rolsted Harsem in fourth. Bjornsen placed 21st overall.

Results: Men | Women

Bjørgen and Ustiugov on Top in Lillehammer Qualifier

Norway claimed the five top qualification spots in Friday’s freestyle sprint in Lillehammer, Norway. Not only that, 13 of the nation’s skiers placed in the top 30, meaning that anyone watching today’s sprint finals will be seeing a lot of red.

Marit Bjørgen won the women’s qualifier with a time of 2:57.5. She was followed by teammates Igvild Østberg (+2.08) and Maiken Falla (+2.62) in second and third. Rounding out the top five were fellow Norwegians Celine Brun-Lei and Heidi Weng. Germany’s Denise Hermann was the first non-Norwegian in sixth. She was followed by Norway’s Kathrine Harsem Sweden’s Hanna Falk, Slovenia’s Alenka Cebasek, and Finland’s Kista Parmakoski to round out the top ten.

American Sadie Bjornsen was the only North American to qualify in 16 position, +8.72. Following her were Canadians Perianne Jones in 33rd and Emily Nishikawa in 76th. For the rest of the Americans, Kikkan Randall finished in 43rd, Ida Sargent in 52nd, Jessie Diggins in 55th, Sophie Caldwell in 61st, Liz Stephen in 71st, and Caitlin Gregg in 78th.

For them men, it was Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov who came out on top Friday with a time of 3:14.99. He was followed by a mix of Norwegians and Russians in the top four including Fin Krogh of Norway, Alexay Petukhov of Russia, and Norway’s Petter Northug. Calle Halfvarsson of Sweden finished fifth.

Alex Harvey was the only North American to advance in 22nd, +6.26 back from Ustiugov.

Canadian Jessie Cockney finished in 33rd, American Andy Newell in 36th, Canadian Len Valjas in 45th, Americans Erik Bjornsen in 58th and Simi Hamilton in 59th. Rounding out the North American finishes were Devon Kershaw and Graeme Killick of Canada who placed 64th and 94th, and American Reese Hanneman in 99th.

Qualification results: Women | Men

Davos Word Cup Set to Continue with Shorter Distances

Although there may be limited snow, the World Cup in Davos, Switzerland will still take place Dec. 13-14. The weekend’s races will begin Saturday with a 10/15 k classic, which was originally scheduled as a 15/30 k. Sunday’s sprints will continue as scheduled. Check out an FIS press release regarding the changes to the event below.

(press release)

Swiss Ski together with the International Ski Federation (FIS) has confirmed that the FIS Cross-Country World Cup in Davos will take place as planned with the following changes:

  • Due to lack of snow the competition distance on Saturday, 13th December has been changed to ladies’ 10 km C and men’s 15 km C interval start
  • A 5 km loop will be prepared by the LOC
  • The starting time of the men’s 15 km C has changed to 14:30 CET
  • Start of the ladies 10 km C remains unchanged at 11:15 CET
  • Competition program and starting time for Sunday’s sprint classic remains unchanged

Iivo Niskanen Tops Kuusamo 15 k for 1st World Cup Podium

Not only did 22-year-old Iivo Niskanen score his first World Cup podium on Sunday, but he won the first World Cup distance race of the season, the 15-kilometer classic, at home Kuusamo, Finland.

Niskanen consistently skied some of the fastest splits of the day, with Russia’s Maxim Vylegzhanin putting the squeeze on for the first few kilometers of the race. Vylegzhanin later faded, finishing 11th overall, and it was Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby who ended up coming closest to Niskanen by the finish.

But 10.3 seconds back in second, Sundby wasn’t much of a threat. Niskanen jumped out of the leader’s chair and ran with his skis in hand down the finishing stretch to thank the crowd. He led two Finns on the podium, with Sami Jauhojärvi in third, 12.5 seconds behind Niskanen’s wining time of 35:09.4.

Norway’s Niklas Dyrhaug was bumped from the leader’s chair to fourth overall (+12.5), and Russia’s Alexander Bessmertnykh finished fifth (+19.7). Sweden’s Calle Halfvarsson was sixth, Canada’s Alex Harvey seventh, Norway’s Simen Håkon Østensen eighth, Pål Golberg ninth, and Finland’s Matti Heikkinen 10th.

Vylegzhanin tied Norway’s Didrik Tønseth for 11th (+37.5).

The second Canadian in the top 15, Devon Kershaw placed 14th (+42.1).

North American results:

7. Alex Harvey (CAN)

14. Devon Kershaw (CAN)

52. Erik Bjornsen (USA)

57. Ivan Babikov (CAN)

69. Simi Hamilton (USA)

71. Graeme Killick (CAN)

82. Reese Hanneman (USA)

83. Andy Newell (USA)

Noah Hoffman DNF

Results

 

Johaug Nabs First 10 k Classic Win in Kuusamo; Bjornsen 17th

Johaug celebrates her definitive 10 k classic win at the second race of the 2014/2015 World Cup season on Saturday in Kuusamo, Finland.

Johaug celebrates her definitive 10 k classic win at the second race of the 2014/2015 World Cup season on Saturday in Kuusamo, Finland.

It’s hard to believe Norway’s Therese Johaug had never won a World Cup 10-kilometer classic before, but she hadn’t — until Sunday.

Johaug powered to a 42.2-second victory over teammate Marit Bjørgen (Saturday’s classic-sprint winner), rounding the course with the time to beat of 25:47.2. But nobody, not even Bjørgen who started after her, could touch it.

Bjørgen bumped Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla to third, 44.1 seconds behind Johaug. Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk was off the podium in fourth (+1:03.4).

An earlier starter, Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Østberg hung tough in fifth (+1:13.2). Russia’s Yulia Tchekaleva was sixth, Finland’s Krista Parmakoski seventh, Norway’s Heidi Weng eighth, Austria’s Katerina Smutna ninth, and Finland’s Kerttu Niskanen 10th.

Sadie Bjornsen led the Americans in 17th, and Emily Nishikawa represented Canada in 35th.

North American results

17. Sadie Bjornsen (USA)

35. Emily Nishikawa (CAN)

39. Jessie Diggins (USA)

51. Ida Sargent (USA)

55. Liz Stephen (USA)

57. Kikkan Randall (USA)

 

Results | with Splits

Bjørgen, Brandsdal Blow Past Competition in Kuusamo Opener; Sargent 5th

Norwegians Marit Bjørgen and Eirik Brandsdal used sprint-savvy and rocket skis to outlast their competitors on Saturday in the opening World Cup of the 2014/2015 season in Kuusamo, Finland. Bjørgen won the women’s 1.4-kilometer classic sprint and Brandsdal topped the men’s 1.4 k final for the double Norwegian win.

Third in the qualifier after teammates Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Celine Brun-Lie, respectively, Bjørgen timed her quarterfinal and semifinal to perfection with a win in each. She went on to surge past Østberg and Slovenia’s Katja Visnar after the final climb into the stadium and pulled off the victory in 2:58.33.

Visnar was second, 0.46 seconds back, and Maiken Caspersen Falla came through in third, 1.7 behind Bjørgen. Østberg placed fourth (+3.02) and American Ida Sargent hung tough in fifth (+5.95) for a career best in the first World Cup race of the season.

Russia’s Natalia Matveeva was sixth, 12.37 seconds after Bjørgen.

In the men’s race, Brandsdal qualified sixth behind Russia’s Alexander Panzhinskiy, Sondre Turvoll Fossli (Norway), Pal Golberg (Norway), Timo Andre Bakken (Norway), and Matias Strandvall (Finland), respectively.

Brandsdal, who was third in last year’s Kuusamo classic sprint after Russian Nikita Kriukov and Norwegian Petter Nothug, respectively, went on to win his quarterfinal and semifinal on Saturday. With three Norwegians leading into the final climb, he held off Northug and Fossli into the finish for the overall victory in 2:34.84. Northug, who passed Fossli on that climb, placed second for the second-straight year 0.47 seconds back, and Fossli finished third (+1.18) just ahead of another Norwegian, Finn Hagen Krogh (+1.69) in fourth.

Russia’s Alexey Petukhov placed fifth (+4.54) and Sergey Ustiugov faded after a strong charge for first to finish sixth (+14.63).

Women’s results

Men’s results

North American results:

Women’s 1.4 k classic sprint

5. Ida Sargent (USA)

16. Kikkan Randall (USA): 4th in quarterfinal

29. Sadie Bjornsen (USA): 6th in quarterfinal

48. Perianne Jones (CAN)

64. Jessie Diggins (USA)

 

Men’s 1.4 k classic sprint

14. Alex Harvey (CAN): 3rd in quarterfinal

26. Simi Hamilton (USA): 6th in quarterfinal

28. Andy Newell (USA): 6th in quarterfinal

49. Lenny Valjas (CAN)

56. Erik Bjornsen (USA)

57. Devon Kershaw (CAN)

67. Reese Hanneman (USA)

Østberg, Panzhinsky Top Kuusamo Sprint Qualification; Norway Dominant

Norway certainly made a statement in the qualifying round of the opening World Cup sprint in Kuusamo, Finland, this morning: in the 1.4 k classic competition, the Norwegian ladies swept the top six, and put another skier in ninth to give them seven of the top ten spots.

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg led the way with a time of 2:59.79, followed by teammates Celine Brun-Lie, Marit Bjørgen, Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes, Maiken Caspersen Falla, and Heidi Weng. Finland’s Mona-Liisa Malvalehto and Russia’s Natalia Matveeva snuck in before Norway’s Therese Johaug, and Anne Kylloenen of Finland rounded out the top ten. Times were spread – Kylloenen was more than nine seconds out of first place.

For the United States, Kikkan Randall qualified in 12th, Sadie Bjornsen in 19th, and Ida Sargent in 27th. Jessie Diggins and Canada’s Perianne Jones both missed the qualification cutoff.

In bad luck for USA, Randall and Bjornsen will have to face each other in the quarterfinal, as well as Brun-Lie and Johaug.

In the men’s qualifier, Alexander Panzhinsky of Russia broke up the Norwegian monopoly and bested Sondre Turvoll Fossli by 0.2 seconds. Norway still made their mark though: after Fossli, Pål Golberg and Timo André Bakken took spots three and four, and Eirik Brandsdal, Tomas Northug, and Finn Hågen Krogh placed sixth, eighth, and ninth. Matias Strandvall and Anssi Pentsinen slotted in with fifth and seventh, and Estonia’s Peeter Kummel rounded out the top ten.

Times were much closer than in the women’s race, with only 2.67 seconds separating the top ten.

Simi Hamilton led the way for the United States, qualifying in 16th place 4.02 seconds behind Pentsinen. He was just 0.11 seconds ahead of Alex Harvey, who qualified in 17th for Canada. Andy Newell also made the cut for USA, placing 24th.

Lenny Valjas (CAN) just missed quarterfinals, placing 39th. Also missing from the heats? Emil Jönsson (SWE), who finished 32nd, Dario Cologna (SUI) who placed 45th, and Alexey Poltoranin (KAZ) who was 46th.

Erik Bjornsen (USA) and Devon Kershaw (CAN) finished 56th and 57th. US SuperTour leader Reese Hanneman placed 67th.

women’s qualifier results / men’s qualifier results

Norway, Sweden Announce Kuusamo World-Cup Opener Teams

By Inge Scheve

Rookie Barbro Kvåle’s sprint victory at the Beitostølen FIS season opener impressed the coaches to name her to the team for the World Cup opener in Finland this weekend, as did Timo Andre Bakken.

“Timo Andre Bakken skied a solid qualifier and delivered a strong fifth place in the Sunday sprint,” Norwegian national-team director Åge Skinstad said in a press release Monday.  “He was one of the top racers on kick wax in a race where that was so heavy on double poling. But the courses in Ruka demand more than just double-pole power.

“Furthermore, both Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes and Barbro Kvåle delivered in the sprint on Sunday and are rewarded with tickets to Finland,” he added.

Timo Andre Bakken, Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes and Barbro Kvåle are not permanent members of the ski team.

Norway’s Kuusmo Team 

Women, Club, Notes

  1. Marit Bjørgen (Rognes IL)
  2. Therese Johaug (IL Nansen) 2013/2014 Overall World Cup winner = automatic start
  3. Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes (Henning Skilag)
  4. Heidi Weng  (IL i BUL)
  5. Celine Brun-Lie (Njård)
  6. Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (Gjøvik Skiklubb)
  7. Marthe Kristoffersen (IL Varden)
  8. Maiken Caspersen Falla (Gjerdum IL)
  9. Martine EK Hagen (BUL)
  10. Kathrine Harsem (IL Varden) Continental Cup winner = automatic start
  11. Barbro Kvåle (Lillehammer Skiklubb)

Men, Club, Notes

  1. Eirik Brandsdal  (Kjelsås IL)
  2. Ola Vigen Hattestad( Ørje IL)  2013/2014 Sprint World Cup winner = automatic start
  3. Pål Golberg  (Gol IL)
  4. Finn Hågen Krogh  (Tverrelvdalen IL)
  5. Timo Andre Bakken (Konnerud IL /Team Jobzone)
  6. Eldar Rønning (Skogn IL)
  7. Sondre Turvoll Fossli (Hokksund IL)
  8. Petter Northug (Strindheim IL)
  9. Tomas Northug (Strindheim IL)
  10. Martin Johnsrud Sundby (Røa IL) 2013/2014 Overall World Cup winner = automatic start
  11. Petter Eliassen (Tverrelvdalen IL)
  12. Sjur Røthe (Voss IL)
  13. Chris Jespersen (IL Korlevoll – Odda)
  14. Didrik Tønseth (Byåsen IL)
  15. Simen Håkon Østensen (Fossum IF) Continental Cup winner = automatic start

Swedish Names Kuusamo Picks

The Swedish team that will race the World Cup opener in Finland this weekend includes two rookies: Maja Dahlqvist and Sofia Henriksson, both 20, who impressed coaches at the Swedish FIS season opener in Bruksvallarna this weekend and have been rewarded with the opportunity to race at the highest level next Saturday and Sunday.

“During the weekend races in Bruksvallarna, both of the girls who helped Sweden to relay gold at the Junior World Championships last winter impressed,” Swedish national team head coach Rikard Grip told Laengd.se after the team was announced Monday afternoon. “It was great to Sofia in the 5 K classic race and Maja in the classic sprint. Now we want to give them the opportunity to bag some international experience.”

Grip expects tough races as the World Cup gets underway with classic sprints on Saturday and 10/15 k classic distance races on Sunday in Kuusamo (Ruka).

Sweden’s Starting Lineup

Women’s sprint

  1. Maja Dahlqvist (Falun-Borlänge SK)
  2. Hanna Falk (Ulricehamns IF)
  3. Ida Ingemarsdotter (Åsarna IK)
  4. Lina Korsgren (Falun-Borlänge SK)
  5. Magdalena Pajala (Piteå Elit)
  6. Evelina Settlin (Hudiksvalls IF)

Women’s 10 k classic 

  1. Sofia Bleckur (IFK Mora SK)
  2. Anna Haag (IFK Mora SK)
  3. Sofia Henriksson (Piteå Elit)
  4. Sara Lindborg (Falun-Borlänge SK)
  5. Charlotte Kalla (Piteå Elit)
  6. Emma Wikén (Åsarna IK)

Men’s sprint

 

  1. Johan Edin (IFK Mora SK)
  2. Calle Halfvarsson (Falun-Borlänge SK)
  3. Emil Jönsson (IFK Mora SK)
  4. Teodor Peterson (IFK Umeå)
  5. Carl Quicklund (Östersunds SK)
  6. Simon Persson (IFK Umeå)

Men 15 k classic 

  1. Calle Halfvarson (Falun-Borlänge SK)
  2. Marcus Hellner (Gellivare Skidallians)
  3. Martin Johansson (IFK Mora SK)
  4. Jesper Modin (Piteå Elit)
  5. Lars Nelson (Åsarna IK)
  6. Daniel Richardsson (Hudiksvalls IF)

Harvey Outlasts Sundby, Legkov for Skiathlon Win, World Cup Finals Lead

Alex Harvey‘s had his share of World Cup podiums and even made history for Canada as the classic-sprint bronze medalist at World Championships last year.

But the men’s 30-kilometer skiathlon on Saturday was different: this was World Cup Finals, this was Harvey’s run for an overall World Cup podium on the line.

The Canadian remained in the top four throughout the entire race, following Sweden’s Daniel Richardsson, Russia’s Alexander Legkov, and Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby — who’s essentially locked up the overall World Cup title — throughout much of the classic portion. After the transition to skating, Harvey started to take control, leading the group throughout much of the next 15 k while Richardsson gradually fell out of contact.

With Harvey, Legkov and Sundby pushing into one final 180-degree turn at the top of a climb, the Russian took the inside lane and Harvey seemed to be moving in slow motion — all part of his strategy. Harvey carefully followed Legkov and Sundby down into the stadium, catching their draft then threading the needle between them to move to second ahead of Legkov, who collided with Harvey and broke a pole.

While Sundby tried to outsprint Harvey, Legkov fell behind and came to grips with third. Harvey nipped Sundby by 0.4 seconds in 1:18.07.6, and Legkov finished 5.9 seconds back in third.

Yelling exuberantly at the finish, Harvey was soon congratulated by his teammate, Devon Kershaw, who placed 12th for his third-best individual result of the season.

Harvey improved to fourth in the overall World Cup standings, behind Sundby, Legkov and Norway’s Chris Andre Jespersen, respectively, with one race to go. He is 133 points behind Jespersen for an overall World Cup podium, and will start Sunday’s 15 k freestyle pursuit first (with the potential to win 200 World Cup points with a victory).

Richardsson took fourth in the skiathlon (+24.7), and Russia’s Maxim Vylegzhanin led the chase pack to the finish in fifth (+53.9). He beat Norway’s Eldar Rønning, who did much of the work to try to chase the four leaders throughout the race, by 0.8 seconds.

Noah Hoffman led the Americans in 18th, Ivan Babikov was 23rd for Canada. Also for the U.S., Reese Hanneman placed 38th, his second-best individual World Cup result after Friday’s 31st, and Andy Newell was 39th.

Results

Johaug Holds onto World Cup Overall with Gritty Skiathlon Win; Bjørgen 33 Seconds Back in 2nd

Not today Marit! That’s what Marit Bjørgen‘s Norwegian teammate, Therese Johaug, might very well have been thinking Saturday as she sped away to a sizable victory in the women’s 15-kilometer skiathlon — the penultimate race of World Cup Finals in Falun, Sweden.

After Bjørgen came within three seconds of her at the top of the overall World Cup standings, Johaug had to do one thing on Sunday: win. The bigger the gap, the better. Bjørgen, who won Friday’s classic sprint but finished second to Johaug by 33.6 seconds on Saturday, will have to make up that time gap on her teammate to take the overall World Cup crown.

Johaug continued to gap her competition in the skate portion of the skiathlon, leading Bjørgen by 15 seconds at 9 k, then 23 seconds just over 2 k later. With fewer than three kilometers remaining, Johaug had at least 30 seconds separating her from Bjørgen, and she cruised to the victory in 41:08.9.

Finland’s Kerttu Niskanen placed third, 56.6 seconds behind Johaug, and Norway’s Heidi Weng beat out Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla and another Norwegian Kristin Størmer-Steira to the finish in fourth through sixth, respectively. Sweden’s Emma Wiken was seventh, Russia’s Yulia Tchekaleva and Eva Vrabcova-Nyvltova eighth and ninth, and Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Østberg 10th.

Johaug now leads the overall World Cup by seven points, and 15th in the World Cup Finals mini tour.

Kikkan Randall is the top non-Norwegian in the standings in fifth, behind Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen in third and Weng in fourth. The American placed 20th behind teammate Liz Stephen in 15th.

Sadie Bjornsen finished 21st for the U.S., along with Jessie Diggins in 36th, Ida Sargent in 37th, Caitlin Gregg in 40th, and Sophie Caldwell in 41st.

The lone Canadian at World Cup Finals, Andrea Dupont was 45th.

Results

Peterson Narrowly Bests Jönsson; Swedes Sweep Podium and Harvey Fourth in Falun

Sweden had one heck of a day on the first of three races at World Cup Finals on Friday, with Teodor Peterson edging his teammate Emil Jönsson by the narrowest of margins, fewer than one-hundredth of a second, for the victory in the men’s 1.4-kilometer classic sprint in Falun, Sweden.

Peterson qualified fifth behind fellow Swede Calle Halfvarsson, then won his quarterfinal and semifinal en route to the final. There, he outlunged Jönsson in a photo finish with the exact same time of 2:55.97. Halfvarsson placed third, 1.01 back, and Canadian Alex Harvey finished fourth, 1.2 seconds behind Peterson, for his best classic sprint of the season. Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov was six-hundredths of a second behind in fifth, and Norway’s Eirik Brandsdal placed sixth (+4.44).

Another Norwegian, Ola Vigen Hattestad clinched his third Sprint World Cup title despite being relegated to last in his quarterfinal for obstruction. He qualified in sixth then ended up 30th, but topped Brandsdal by eight points for the Crystal Globe. Germany’s Josef Wenzl also made the overall sprint podium in third, becoming the first German male to make the Sprint World Cup top three.

Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby, who did not qualify in 34th, continues to lead the overall World Cup standings by a whopping 471 points over Russia’s Alexander Legkov. Chris Andre Jespersen of Norway ranks third, Halfvarsson is fourth, and Harvey is now 12 points behind the Swede in fifth.

American Andy Newell finished eighth after advancing as a lucky loser in third from his quarterfinal, then placing fourth in his semi. Newell was issued a written warning for skating, as was Martti Jylhae of Finland, who placed 12th overall.

Reese Hanneman of the U.S. missed qualifying by 0.45 seconds in 31st, Canada’s Devon Kershaw placed 40th, American Noah Hoffman was 46th, and Canadian Ivan Babikov 47th.

Results

Bjørgen Edges Østberg to Take Falun Sprint, World Cup Finals Lead

Norway’s Marit Bjørgen and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg battled it out today on the 1.2-kilometer course in Falun, Sweden. Bjørgen won, just barely, edging her teammate by 0.29 seconds.

There was a body length to third-place Stina Nilsson of Sweden, who finished just over a second later, and then a larger gap to the rest of the field. American star and World Cup Sprint Cup winner Kikkan Randall finished fourth just over six seconds behind Bjørgen, followed within the next three seconds by Finland’s Krista Lahteenmaki and American Sophie Caldwell in sixth. World Cup sprint points runner-up Denise Herrmann of Germany just missed the finals and finished seventh overall.

Though Randall clinched her overall Sprint Cup victory last week in Drammen, Norway, she was officially awarded the Sprint Globe today in Falun. This is Randall’s third-straight Sprint Globe victory. Bjørgen has won a total of four times, and retired Norwegian star Bente Skari has five career Sprint Globe wins.

Bjørgen is currently within three points of overall World Cup leader Therese Johaug of Norway.

Other North American qualifiers include US Ski Team Sadie Bjornsen in 13th and Ida Sargent in 20th. Jessie Diggins missed qualification in 34th, Liz Stephen in 44th and Caitlin Gregg in 48th. Andrea Dupont was the lone Canadian to enter, finishing 46th.

Norwegian Astrid Jacobsen finished 22nd after a bad crash in last week’s 30 k in Holmenkollen, Norway, which left her hospitalized with a concussion. Jacobsen is third in the World Cup standings.

Complete Results

Bjørgen Takes Fourth Holmenkollen Title by Nearly Two Minutes; Randall 12th, Bjornsen 14th

Who wins a race by almost two minutes? That would be Marit Bjørgen, Norway’s multiple world champion and Olympic gold medalist, who racked up her fourth Holmenkollen victory in Sunday’s 30-kilometer classic in Oslo, Norway.

Bjørgen gradually broke away from her Norwegian teammate and last year’s 30 k freestyle winner, Therese Johaug, starting around 10 k in. Within six kilometers, Bjørgen was nearly a minute ahead of Johaug, who skied alone in second for the remainder of the race.

A few tried to close, but no one came close, as Bjørgen won by 1:41.2 minutes in 1:20:55.7. Johaug placed second, and Finland’s Kerttu Niskanen finished third, another 44.6 seconds back. Bjørgen now trails Johaug by just 39 points for the overall World Cup lead.

“I knew I had to ski in front to be fighting for bonus points,” Bjørgen told FIS after the race. “If I am to win the overall World Cup I have to be good and faster than Therese next three competitions.”

Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla took fourth (+2:46.6) after skiing with Niskanen from around 20 to 24 k, then dropping about 15 seconds behind. Finland’s Aino-Kaisa Saarinen was fifth (+3:08.9), ahead of another Swede, Emma Wiken in sixth (+3:17.8).

It was nearly 45 seconds to the next finisher, with Eva Vrabcova-Nyvltova of the Czech Republic in seventh, Norway’s Kristin Størmer-Steira in eighth, Sweden’s Sofia Bleckur in ninth, and Finland’s Krista Lahteenmaki in 10th.

Russia’s Yulia Tchekaleva placed 11th and American Kikkan Randall was just 5.8 seconds back in 12th (+4:17.7). Norway’s Heidi Weng placed 13th, and Sadie Bjornsen of the U.S. outsprinted another Norwegian, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg by 0.1 seconds for 14th (+4:27.8).

Also for the U.S., Liz Stephen placed 32nd, Sophie Caldwell was 35th, Caitlin Gregg finished 39th, and Ida Sargent was 42nd. Canada’s lone woman entered in the 30 k, Andrea Dupont did not start. American Jennie Bender also did not start.

Results

Daniel Richardsson Victorious in Holmenkollen 50 k

 

Daniel Richardsson of Sweden carefully paced himself throughout the grueling 50 kilometers to win in Saturday’s classic mass start World Cup at Holmenkollen in Oslo, Norway.

The race started fast, with skiers hungry for the bonus points at the end of each loop. Five skiers broke off the main pack early on: Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway, Alexander Legkov of Russia, Finland’s Livo Niskanen, Sweden’s Richardsson, and Lukas Bauer of the Czech Republic.

After the second lap all of the leading skiers pulled into the ski exchange except for Bauer, who looked to make a breakaway on the other four men. Bauer gained a twenty-second advantage by opting not to change skis. Sundby and Legkov led the chase, and by the time they reached the 22 k mark they had caught Bauer.

Sundby did the majority of the work at the front of the race, cheered on by the raucous crowd at Holmenkollen. 33 k into the race Sundby took the lead pack into the exchange for the second change of skis. Legkov, Richardsson, and Niskanen followed close behind him. Bauer had been dropped by over 30 seconds.

Shortly after the exchange it was Niskanen who was unable to stay with the pace, and by 36 k he was 18 seconds behind Sundby in the lead.

With three men left in contention for the race, it was Sundby and Legkov who traded leads, with Richardsson skiing behind the two. At 47 k Sundby made an attack up a climb. Richardsson managed to stay with the Norwegian, but Legkov lost contact by a couple of seconds. The Russian fought to catch up and nearly did, but soon fell back again.

Sundby led over the last hill, and as soon as the Holmenkollen stadium came into view with 800 meters left, Richardsson took off with a burst of speed that an exhausted Sundby couldn’t match.

Richardsson carried his lead into the finish line to win with a time of 2:07:29. Sundby was second, a result that was good enough to secure him the overall World Cup title this season, and Legkov was third.

 

Results:

1. Daniel Richardsson (SWE) 2:07:29.5

2. Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR) +8.2

3. Alexander Legkov (RUS) +14.5

4. Livo Niskanen (FIN)+1:22.3

5. Lars Nelson (SWE) +1:55.3

 

North American Results:

14. Alex Harvey

29. Noah Hoffman

51. Erik Bjornsen

54. Simi Hamilton

56. Reese Hanneman

 

Full Results

Gracious Norwegians Allow Other Nations a Bronze Medal in Drammen Sprints, Sweep Silver and Gold

Still riding high from her Olympic gold medal, Norway’s Maiken Falla claimed her first classic sprint victory in the Drammen sprints, barely edging her teammate, Marit Bjørgen, while Sweden’s Stina Nilsson battled her way into third.

In the men’s race the Norwegians also proved untouchable, with Ola Vigen Hattestad‘s longer legs allowing him the kick needed to get his toe across the line barely ahead of teammate Pål Golberg. In third place was Italy’s Maicol Rastelli, after being given a new lease on life when a mid-race crash took Swedish contender Emil Jönsson and Finn Matias Strandvall out of the podium contention.

Alaskan World Cup sprint leader Kikkan Randall finished in 7th place after just missing the finals, but it was still good enough to wrap up her third-straight Sprint Cup title. Randall started toward the back of her semi-final heat, but powerful double-poling brought her into second place in the final stretch. However, the mad dash of high-tempo striding to the finish line proved too much, and Randall was edged by “less than a toenail” in a photo finish with Nilsson, leaving her in third place and missing her chance to advance to the finals.

Peri Jones was the top Canadian woman, finishing 24th, followed by a deep field of American women with Sadie Bjornsen in 30th, Ida Sargent in 35th, Sophie Caldwell in 37th, Holly Brooks in 48th and Jennie Bender, competing in just her second World Cup after last weekend’s races in Lahti, Finland, finished 51st. Canadian Andrea DuPont was 58th.

Canadian Alex Harvey was the top North American man, finishing in 24th after advancing to the semi-finals but finishing fifth in a closely contested heat. Teammates Len Valjas and Devon Kershaw were 35th and 54th, respectively. American Andy Newell was 25th, bringing in the top finish for American men, followed by teammates Simi Hamilton in 32nd, Erik Bjornsen in 51st, and World Cup newcomers Reese Hanneman and Sylvan Ellefson in 61st and 69th, respectively.

Results: Men | Women

Nobody Comes Close to Beating Bjørgen in Lahti 10 k Skate

After racking up three gold medals at the Sochi Olympics last month, Norway’s Marit Bjørgen rose to the top of the podium in the first distance race back on the World Cup on Sunday in Lahti, Finland.

One of the later starters out of more than 80 women in the 10-kilometer freestyle individual start, Bjørgen worked into the race, taking the lead after the 6.3 k checkpoint and finishing 26.9 seconds ahead of runner-up Charlotte Kalla of Sweden.

Bjørgen won in 25:05.3, and another Norwegian, Therese Johaug finished 0.7 seconds after Kalla in third. Fourth in the freestyle sprint at the Olympics, Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen placed fourth on Sunday (+30.1), and the fourth Norwegian in the top five, Heidi Weng was fifth (+34.9).

An early leader, Riitta-Liisa Roponen of Finland placed sixth (+51.0), and her teammate, Kerttu Niskanen was seventh. Sweden’s Emma Wiken finished eighth, Finland’s Kaisa Makarainen was ninth, and France’s Coraline Hugue was 10th.

Kikkan Randall was the top American in 21st (+1:36.3). Liz Stephen finished 32nd (+1:53.7), Holly Brooks was 44th, and Caitlin Gregg 46th.

Alysson Marshall placed 62nd for Canada, and her Alberta World Cup Academy teammate was right behind in 63rd. Cendrine Browne was 68th, and Andrea Dupont 71st.

Results

Sundby Steps Up for 15 k Skate Victory in Lahti; Harvey Eighth

Coming off a bronze medal at the Olympics in the 30-kilometer skiathlon, Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway showed everybody, including his mom, that he’s at the top of his game with a win in Sunday’s 15 k freestyle individual start in Lahti, Finland.

One of the later starters in the 90-plus-man field, Sundby finished with the fastest time of 33:05.5, more than 10 seconds ahead of anyone else.

Sweden’s Daniel Richardsson took second, 10.7 seconds back, and Russia’s Alexander Legkov, coming off gold in the Olympic 50 k skate exactly a week ago, placed third, 11.2 behind Sundby. Norway finished fourth through sixth with Anders Glørssen, Finn Hågen Krogh, and Sjur Røthe, respectively.

German U23 Florian Notz broke through in seventh in his first World Cup race, finishing 1.7 seconds ahead of Canada’s Alex Harvey, who was eighth (+55.0). France’s Jean Marc Gaillard took ninth, and Finland’s Matti Heikkinen was 10th.

Noah Hoffman led the U.S. men in 24th. Erik Bjornsen, also of the U.S. Ski Team, was 51st. Reese Hanneman (APU) placed 73rd, and Sylvan Ellefson (SSCV/Team HomeGrown) was 79th.

After Harvey, Ivan Babikov placed 29th for Canada, Graham Nishikawa (Canadian Senior Development Team/Para-Nordic Team) was 41st, Devon Kershaw 43rd, Michael Somppi (AWCA) 58th, Kevin Sandau (AWCA) 80th, and Raphael Couturier (CNEPH) 85th.

Results

Golberg Gets Back to Winning Ways in Lahti Skate Sprint; Harvey Seventh

Pål Golberg of Norway seized victory in today’s freestyle sprint in Lahti, Finland. Golberg, who’s first World Cup win came in December’s sprint in Lillehammer, received some luck on his path to the finish line. Golberg qualified for the final heat as a lucky loser, and found himself skiing for much of the final heat in second to last.

In the final, Matias Strandvallen (FIN) and Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR) fell simultaneously but unrelated to each other, leaving the sprint to be contested by Golberg, Alexey Petukhov (RUS) in second, Eirik Brandsdal (NOR) in third, and Teodor Peterson (SWE) in fourth.

Emil Jönsson of Sweden was the favorite to win today having won the sprint race in Lahti the past three years. However, in his semifinal his ski went under Alex Harvey, causing him to collide with the Canadian and stand up on his skis to avoid falling in the final stretch. Jönsson tweeted, according to a translation: “Last three World Cup races, I have fallen / broken rod, in the Olympics, I stood up. Maybe will try to continue with that tactic #wisely #GrattisPål”

The North American results were led by Harvey in seventh, and American Simi Hamilton in 20th.

1. Pål Golberg (NOR)

2. Alexey Putkhov (RUS)

3. Eirik Brandsdal (NOR)

4. Teodor Peterson (SWE)

5. Matias Strandvall (FIN)

6. Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR)

 

North American Results:

 

7. Alex Harvey (CAN)

20. Simi Hamilton (USA)

28. Andy Newell (USA)

43. Len Valjas (CAN)

64. Devon Kershaw (CAN)

69. Erik Bjornsen (USA)

80. Reese Hanneman (USA)

82. Raphael Couturier (CAN)

83. Graham Nishikawa (CAN)

93. Sylvan Ellefson (USA)

 

Results

Randall Wins Lahti Sprint, Caldwell Third

Saturday was a historic day for the American women as the first post-Olympic World Cup took place in Lahti, Finland. After qualifying 11th, Kikkan Randall skied her way to another World Cup victory in the 1.5 k freestyle sprint. The win moves Randall to first in the World Cup sprint rankings, just under 40 points ahead of Germany’s Denise Hermann who failed to advance out of the quarterfinals in Saturday’s race.

Randall wasn’t the only American to turn heads. Sophie Caldwell made her first World Cup podium, finishing third. The up-and-coming skier finished sixth in the same event at the Sochi Olympics, the best result an American woman has ever obtained.

The result marks the first time two American women have been on a World Cup podium together.

Slovenian Katja Visnar joined the American’s on the podium, placing second. The final was missing some big names, such as Norway’s Ingvlid Flugstad Østberg who finished first in the qualification round but fell over Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla in semifinals.

Women’s 1.5 k freestyle sprint results

Peterson Tops Men’s Skate-Sprint Qualifier in Lahti

Sweden’s Teodor Peterson topped the men’s 1.55-kilometer freestyle sprint qualifier at the fist World Cup in nearly a month in Lahti, Finland, on Saturday, less than a week after the final men’s race at the Olympics.

Peterson put down the fastest time of 2:30.57, edging Norway’s Haavard Solaas Taugboel by 0.84 seconds. Another Norwegian, Pål Golberg advanced in third (+1.72), and Sweden’s Johan Edin was close behind in fourth (+1.75), as was Ola Vigen Hattestad in fifth (+1.9).

Alex Harvey was the lone Canadian qualifier in 14th. Lenny Valjas was outside the top 30 in 43rd, Devon Kershaw placed 64th, Raphael Couturier was 82nd, Graham Nishikawa 83rd, and Michael Somppi 85th.

Andy Newell and Simi Hamilton qualified for the U.S., with Newell in 23rd and Hamilton in 29th. Erik Bjornsen placed 69th in the qualifier, Reese Hanneman was 80th, and Sylvan Ellefson 93rd.

Results