March 17th, 2013
Perianne Jones was the only participating Canadian women in Sunday’s 30-kilometer mass start freestyle in Oslo, Norway.
Heading into the competition Jones’s goals were to grab some of the sprint points on offer so she could qualify for the World Cup Finals in Falun, Sweden this upcoming weekend.
Unfortunately, the pace set by the frontrunners at the outset was too much to overcome.
“It was a pretty quick pace from the get-go, and I had a lot of ground to make up starting at the back of the pack, so I gave it my all, but died around 2km before the preem at 2.7,” Jones wrote in an email.
When the fitness isn’t there, you’re in for a long day.
“I’m pretty tired right now, I mean I couldn’t even go 30km pace for 3km,” she said.”
After a tough start, Jones elected to drop out after 5 k and fight another day.
“I just decided to stop and now I’ll head back to Canada and race a few races at Canadian Nationals,” she said. “I’d like to feel half decent in Whistler, so I didn’t think skiing 30km would really add much spring to my legs at this point.”
Even if she won’t be in Falun, she’ll be cheering on her teammates.
“I’m bummed to be missing out on finals, but Emily and Dasha are both healthy and ready to go, so I’ll be cheering them and the boys on from home!!”No comments
March 17th, 2013
Therese Johaug came, saw and definitely conquered Holmenkollen on Sunday, skiing away from the rest of the women in the World Cup 30-kilometer freestyle mass start in Oslo, Norway, to seal a nearly 47-second victory in 1:21.17.7.
With Norwegian teammate Marit Bjørgen out sick, Johaug took on the field solo, leading from the beginning and dropping the pack just over seven kilometers in. Behind, contenders like Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland searched for ways to stay in the hunt for a medal. Kowalczyk broke away from the chase group with 2 1/2 kilometers remaining and finished 46.6 seconds after Johaug for silver, while Russia’s Yulia Tchekaleva took bronze 51.9 seconds back from Johaug.
Norway put four in the top eight with Heidi Weng in fourth, Kristin Størmer Steira in seventh and Astrid Jacobsen in eighth. Masako Ishida of Japan was fifth, Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla took sixth and American Liz Stephen finished ninth after leading much of the chase. Nicole Fessel of Germany was 10th.
Also for the U.S., Jessie Diggins was 30th and Holly Brooks placed 35th. Rosie Brennan did not finish, nor did Canadian Perianne Jones.
March 16th, 2013
Alexander Legkov (RUS), denied a gold medal in Val di Fiemme, Italy, last month, made his presence known at Holmenkollen on Saturday and won the prestigious 50 k freestyle in Oslo, Norway, by 1.2 seconds over Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby. Legkov made his move in the group of five leaders just before the last turn into the finishing straight, creating a lead that he clung to as a fellow Russian, an Italian and two Norwegians desperately hung on in his wake. Legkov’s finishing time was 2:07:32.9; after Sundby in second Ilia Chernousov (RUS) took third, 1.9 seconds back. Petter Eliassen (NOR) claimed fourth and Roland Clara (ITA), who did the work pulling the leaders for a significant chunk of time, finished fifth (+2.5).
Petter Northug, Jr. (NOR) looked to be completely out of it in the last few kilometers, but thanks to Tord Asle Gjerdalen’s (NOR) effort to pull his teammate around the course Northug found second wind in the last few minutes to finish sixth (+42.0). Maxim Vylegzhanin (RUS) was seventh, 0.8 seconds behind him, and Daniel Richardsson (SWE) took eighth 0.1 seconds after that. Gjerdalen paid the price for breaking wind for Northug and fell to ninth (+49.1).
Full report to follow.
March 15th, 2013
Nordic Combined Olympic gold medalist Billy Demong is scheduled to start the cross-country 50 k freestyle in Oslo on Saturday morning.
Demong is assigned bib number 70 in the 74 skier mass start field. He also raced the 50k skate at the Oslo World Championships in 2011, placing 51st.
Due to the late hour in Europe, Demong was not available for comment at the time official start lists were released.
Correction: an earlier version of this post named the race as a 50 k classic. It is actually a freestyle event.1 comment
March 13th, 2013
Coming off two World Championships gold medals and a 15 k classic victory in Lahti, Norway’s Petter Northug continued his dominance on Wednesday, winning the World Cup 1.3 k classic sprint in downtown Drammen, Norway.
After beating teammate Paal Golberg and little brother Tomas Northug, respectively in the quarterfinal, Northug went on to finish second to Kazakhstan’s Alexey Poltoranin in the semifinal. In the final, with Poltoranin leading into the finishing straight, Northug (who raced on skate skis) made sure it didn’t happen again, double poling past him to capture his first victory in Drammen.
Northug won by 2.15 seconds, Poltoranin was second and Nikita Kriukov of Russia placed third (+4.96). At home in front of thousands of fans, Norway’s John Kristian Dahl finished fourth (+6.22) and Øystein Pettersen was fifth (+7.74). The lone Cologna racing on Wednesday (with Dario resting up for the Holmenkollen 50 k), Gianluca Cologna of Switzerland was sixth (+11.95).
Two Canadians — Lenny Valjas and Alex Harvey — narrowly qualified for the heats in 29th and 30th, respectively. Valjas went on to place third in his quarterfinal, 0.7 seconds behind Norway’s Finn Haagen Krogh and Dahl, respectively. He ultimately didn’t advance and ended up 16th overall. Harvey was fourth in his quarterfinal (behind Petter Northug, Golberg and Thomas Northug), avoiding two crashes (first by American Andy Newell, then a separate fall by Swede Johan Edin). Harvey placed 20th overall and Newell was 27th.
Torin Koos (Bridger Ski Foundation/Rossignol) led the U.S. in 18th after finishing fourth in his quarterfinal to Cologna, Eirik Brandsdal (NOR) and Nikolay Chebotko (KAZ), respectively.
March 13th, 2013
From the first stride of the heats in Drammen, Norway, through to the final sprint, Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) showed just how strong her classic form is right now in winning the city sprint World Cup on Wednesday by almost a full second. Just days after winning the classic distance race in Lahti, Finland, she earned city sprint victory over Heidi Weng (NOR) and Invild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) in front of an enthusiastic Norwegian crowd, and in the process secured the overall World Cup crystal globe. Weng put up a bigger fight than Kowalczyk seemed to expect, but in the end Weng’s diagonal stride was no match for Kowalczk’s up the final climb to the finish and she took second, 0.9 seconds back.
After Oestberg in third, Evgenia Shapovalova (RUS) took fourth (+4.5), Kikkan Randall (USA) was fifth (+4.7) and Mona-Lisa Malvalehto (FIN), the day’s top qualifier, ended up sixth (+8.8). Marit Bjoergen (NOR) was ill and did not compete.
Randall was the only North American to reach the finals or semifinals; Dasha Gaiazova (CAN) finished 15th after taking third in her heat and Sadie Bjornsen (USA) finished 30th, the sixth finisher in the same quarterfinal as Gaiazova.
Holly Brooks (USA) and Sophie Caldwell (USA) just missed qualifying for the heats in 34th and 35th, respectively. Ida Sargent was 48th, Rosie Brennan finished 52nd and Jessie Diggins 55th.
After Gaiazova, Canadians Perianne Jones was 45th and Emily Nishikawa ended up 63rd.
March 13th, 2013
The Drammen, Norway, city sprints got underway on Wednesday and Petter Northug, Jr. (NOR) led a top-three Norwegian sweep of the top qualifying times on a fast, 1.3 k course in front of a home crowd. Eldar Roenning was the second-fastest qualifier, 1.68 seconds behind Northug, and Kent Ove Clausen (NOR) was third.
The top 30 that will move onto the heats were separated by only 6.34 seconds in the men’s field. On the North American front, Andy Newell qualified tenth (+4.07), Torin Koos made it through in 26th (+5.77) and Lenny Valjas and Alex Harvey just squeaked through in 29th and 30th, respectively.
In the women’s field, Mona-Lisa Malvalehto (FIN) posted the top qualifier in 3:06.59. Katja Visnar (SLO) took the second spot, 0.99 seconds behind, and Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) took third (+1.23). Marit Bjoergen (NOR) was sick and did not compete.
Dasha Gaiazova (CAN) led the North Americans in sixteenth (+7.78), Sadie Bjornsen (USA) qualified in 26th (+10.05) and Kikkan Randall (USA) just made it through in 29th (+10.97).
March 10th, 2013
Continuing his winning ways, Petter Northug tallied a 31.7-second victory in Sunday’s 15 k classic in Lahti, Finland, for his second-straight individual start win since World Championships.
Northug topped Kazakhstan’s Alexey Poltoranin, who was second, and Norwegian teammate Martin Johnsrud Sundby, who was sick for nearly two weeks during and after World Championships, in third (+35.1).
Lukas Bauer of the Czech Republic notched a World Cup season-best in fourth, missing his first individual podium of the year by 7.9 seconds. Germany’s Tobias Angerer was fifth (+43.0).
Leading the North Americans, Kris Freeman (U.S.) was 25th. Noah Hoffman placed 40th, Andy Newell was 61st, Torin Koos (Bridger Ski Foundation/Rossignol) was 67th, and Tad Elliott 77th for the U.S. Ski Team.
Canada’s Alex Harvey was 41st, and Alberta World Cup Academy teammates Graeme Killick placed 55th, Michael Somppi was 72nd and Jesse Cockney 78th.
March 10th, 2013
After a winless World Championships, Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk proved she’s more than capable of getting back on top of the podium on Sunday in Lahti, Finland. She won the women’s World Cup 10-kilometer classic individual start in 25:38.9, more than 23 seconds ahead of Norwegian runner-up Marit Bjørgen.
For Kowalczyk, it was her first victory since the Davos World Cup classic sprint in mid-February. Coming off four world titles in Val di Fiemme, Italy, Bjørgen was 23.1 seconds behind Kowalczyk and her teammate, Heidi Weng, placed third, 25.5 seconds back.
Norway put three in the top four with Therese Johaug, who was right in the mix in fourth (+28.2). Kerttu Niskanen was fifth (+55.2) ahead of two Finnish teammates who also made the top eight. Krista Lahteenmaki was sixth, and Aino-Kaisa Saarinen was eighth (after Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla in seventh). Norway’s Astrid Jacobsen placed ninth and Olga Kuziukova of Russia was 10th.
Sadie Bjornsen led the U.S. in 18th (+1:43.4). Teammates Liz Stephen and Kikkan Randall tied for 28th (+2:10), and Ida Sargen placed 44th. Canada’s Dasha Gaiazova finished 33rd and Emily Nishikawa was 54th.
March 9th, 2013
Not that there were many doubt, but Kikkan Randall clearly demonstrated that while her distance form may be somewhat out of sorts, she is still the best freestyle sprinter in the world.
Randall bested Marit Bjørgen (NOR) in the freestyle sprint in Lahti, Finland in the pairs first head-to-head match up in this event since the 2012 Tour de Ski. Bjørgen took the upper hand in that race in Toblach, Italy, but even with the Norwegian firing on all cylinders following another historic World Championships, Randall would not be denied.
Alena Prochazkova (SVK) earned just her second freestyle World Cup sprint podium, and first since the 2010 Tour de Ski, finishing third.
While Randall led the way for the U.S. her result was hardly surprising. She now has a lead of 208 points over Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) in her quest to defend the Sprint Cup title. And while only classic sprints remain on the schedule, Randall is in strong position to do just that.
The head turning moment for the Americans, however, was Sadie Bjornsen, who cracked the World Cup top-10 for the first time in her career. Bjornsen advanced to the semi finals and placed 9th in a loaded field.
Jessie Diggins also advanced to the heats and placed 25th after qualifying in 16th.
In the men’s race, Jönsson skied clear of a pair of Norwegians, Ole Vigen Hattestad and Finn Haagen Krogh for the victory.
Lenny Valjas (CAN) was in the battle for a spot in the finals, and while he was ultimately denied, he still finished 8th.
The only american in the heats, Andy Newell, was eliminated in the quarterfinals, and placed 27th.
Full reports to follow.No comments