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Harvey, Babikov in Top 10 for Canada in Canmore Skiathlon

Norway's Martin Johnsrud Sundby (l) followed by Canada's Alex Harvey on the second lap of the 15 k classic leg of Wednesday's 30 k skiathlon at Stage 6 of the Ski Tour Canada in Canmore, Alberta. (Photo: Peggy Hung)

Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby (l) followed by Canada’s Alex Harvey (5), Finland’s Matti Heikkinen (25) and others during the second classic lap of Wednesday’s 30 k skiathlon at Stage 6 of the Ski Tour Canada in Canmore, Alberta. (Photo: Peggy Hung)

Four men in the top 24, two in the top 10, Alex Harvey back to fourth. Yep, it was that kind of day for Canada at the sixth stage of the Ski Tour Canada in Canmore, Alberta.

While Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby won the 30-kilometer skiathlon to make a notable leap from fourth to third in the overall Tour standings, Harvey moved up as well (into fourth overall), leading the Canadians in seventh, 7.6 seconds behind Sundby.

The top seven men finished within 7.6 seconds of one another, and just 0.5 seconds separated fifth through seventh. Sundby sealed the win in 1:16:29.7 hours, just 2.8 seconds ahead of Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov — the Tour leader — in second. Finland’s Matti Heikkinen placed third (+3.7) for his best result since placing third in a World Cup skiathlon in January 2015 in Rybinsk, Russia.

Three other Norwegians made the top six, with Finn Hågen Krogh in fourth (+5.0), Didrik Tønseth in fifth (+7.1), and Hans Christer Holund in sixth (+7.4), just 0.2 seconds ahead of Harvey.

“Martin started pushing hard from the beginning, and that’s the way I wanted it,” Harvey said after the race. “I was hoping that one of the guys in front of me [in the overall standings] would have a rough day, and it happened to be [Norway’s Emil] Iversen. So it moved me up to fourth place. … I’m just focusing on staying in the top five.”

Previously third in the Tour, Iversen placed 17th on Wednesday to slip to fifth overall.

Canada’s Ivan Babikov raced to 10th (+16.9) for his first World Cup top 10 in more than two years. Graeme Killick was 19th (+1:34.2) and Devon Kershaw 24th (+2:14.2) for the host nation.

Noah Hoffman led the U.S. in 35th (+4:21.9). Erik Bjornsen placed 49th, Scott Patterson was 55th, and Tad Elliott was 58th.

Seven other Canadians stayed in the Tour, with Kevin Sandau in 40th, Lenny Valjas in 46th, Knute Johnsgaard in 47th, Russell Kennedy in 52nd, Andy Shields in 53rd, Michael Somppi in 54th, and Patrick Stewart-Jones in 57th.

Bob Thompson was lapped for Canada, ending his run in the Tour and placing 62nd on the day. Simon Lapointe did not start. For the U.S., Eric Packer (65th), Reese Hanneman (67th) and Brian Gregg (68th) were lapped as well.

Stay tuned for a complete report on FasterSkier.com.

Men’s results | Tour standings (through Stage 6)

 

Weng Holds Off Johaug to Keep Tour Lead; Diggins Up to Fifth Overall

Heidi Weng keeps the Ski Tour Canada leader’s bib another day. At the end of the women’s 15-kilometer skiathlon on Wednesday, the sixth stage of the Tour, the Norwegian bested her teammate and biggest threat, Therese Johaug by 0.8 seconds at the line. Weng won in 39:41.0 minutes, maintaining a 2.9-second lead on Johaug in the overall Tour standings. More than a minute back in third overall, teammate Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen reached the podium again in the skiathlon, placing third, 9.8 seconds after Weng. Finland’s Krista Parmakoski (+13.4) and Anne Kyllönen (+13.5) interrupted the Norwegian sweep, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, while Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Østberg took sixth (+14.2). Four Finns landed in the top eight, with Kerttu Niskanen in seventh (+14.8) and Laura Mononen in eighth (+16.4). Switzerland’s Nathalie von Siebenthal placed ninth (+17.5), and Kari Øyre Slind of Norway notched 10th (+40.7). Two seconds outside the top 10, American Jessie Diggins placed 11th (+42.8) and…

Falla Holds Supreme; Pellegrino Wins First-Ever Classic Sprint in Canmore

Maiken Caspersen Falla hasn’t lost a classic sprint all season and she continued the streak on Tuesday in the final sprint of the 2015/2016 World Cup, the fifth stage of the Ski Tour Canada in Canmore, Alberta. The Norwegian gave all she had on Canmore’s grueling 1.5-kilometer course to drop her competitors in the final on the second of two steep herringbone hills. With a gap over the top, she had the distance she needed to secure her fourth classic-sprint victory the season in 4:09.26 minutes, beating teammate Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen by 7.07 seconds at the line. Norway swept the podium with Ingvild Flugstad Østberg in third (+8.66). Behind them, two Finnish skiers bested American Jessie Diggins in the last few hundred meters, with Krista Parmakoski placing fourth (+18.03) and Anne Kyllönen taking fifth (+19.07) ahead of Diggins in sixth (+21.96). For Diggins, it was her first time reaching the final in a…

Østberg, Ustiugov Win Canmore Qualifier; 4 Americans + 3 Canadians Advance

CANMORE, Alberta — Let the betting begin. With five women topping the charts in Tuesday’s classic sprint qualifier, team Norway is taking no gamble as they head into the rounds. Leading the women’s 1.5-kilometer classic sprint qualifier at the fifth stage of the Ski Tour Canada was Ingvild Flugstad Østberg of Norway in a time of 3:41.61. Second went to her teammate Maiken Caspersen Falla (+4.97) while Therese Johaug finished in third (+8.79). Four American women qualified for Tuesday’s classic sprint in Canmore, led by Sophie Caldwell in ninth (+12.42). Sadie Bjornsen qualified in 11th (+13.35) and 1.23 seconds behind her was Jessie Diggins in 13th (+14.58). Ida Sargent was the final U.S. woman to qualify in 18th (+15.51). Canada’s Dahria Beatty made it into the rounds in 29th (+18.95), the first Canadian to finish and only one to qualify. Americans Annie Hart and Kaitlynn Miller finished in 36th and 38th resepectively. They were followed…

Pre-Race in Canmore: Trail Report Before Tuesday’s STC Classic Sprint

By Gerry Furseth CANMORE, Alberta — Monday brought the first official training day at Canmore for the Ski Tour Canada.  Warm and sunny conditions greeted the athletes, bringing smiles to a lot of faces after some cold weather in the first week. The day started sunny and -2 degrees Celsius (28 Fahrenheit), quickly warming up as the day progressed.  This is fairly typical March weather at Canmore: below freezing at night and above freezing during the day. Away from the course, most of the snow has melted, but the skiing is still good, especially in the morning with fast, slightly crusty, tracks. Almost all of the snow base is manmade; locals say that is what makes the trails so consistently firm this time of year. The Tuesday classic sprint, Wednesday skiathlon, and Friday skate distance races are all scheduled early enough to hit the prime conditions, with only the final…

Ustiugov Holds Off Northug in 15 k Pursuit; Harvey 4th in Stage 4

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Weng Welcomes 10 k Pursuit Win; Diggins 5th, Bjornsen 10th in Stage 4

After garnering the Ski Tour Canada (STC) leader’s bib from stage three’s freestyle sprint, Norwegian Heidi Weng maintained her title by winning the women’s 10-kilometer pursuit on Saturday in Québec City, Québec. Weng completed the 10 k course in a time of 24:18.8, displacing Norwegian teammate, Therese Johaug from the front by one tenth of a second. Securing the all-Norwegian women’s podium in third (+1:05.2) was Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen. Behind Jacobsen in fourth was the current World Cup sprint leader, Maiken Caspersen Falla of Norway (+1:37.6). “In all the hills, I was so tired, but I still thought ‘you should go for it,’” Weng said in a post-race interview with FIS. American Jessie Diggins led the U.S. in fifth place (+1:48.1), breaking the Norwegian run after passing Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and yesterday’s sprint winner, Stina Nilsson of Sweden. The second non-Scandinavian in the top 10 was American Sadie Bjornsen. Bjornsen…

Harvey Hammers to 2nd at Home in Québec Skate Sprint

Amidst the hoots and hollers of his home crowd, Québec native Alex Harvey raced to a second place in the men’s 1.7-kilometer freestyle sprint on Friday in the third stage of the Ski Tour Canada in Québec City. In the final, Harvey headed up against Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov, Norway’s Petter Northug, Poland’s Maciej Starega, and the two French skiers, Baptiste Gros and Richard Jouve. However, only Gros proved faster than the Canadian. Gros came from behind on the final stretch into the finish to win in 3:36.26, with Harvey crossing 0.55 hundredths of a second back. In third was Ustiugov, crossing 0.79 hundredths of a second after Gros. Northug placed fourth (+1.91), Starega was fifth (+2.12) and Jouve sixth (+2.18). With the silver medal, Harvey moved into fourth in the overall Tour standings. Simi Hamilton led the U.S. men in eighth, after finishing fourth in his semifinal. Canadian National Development Team skier…

Sadie Bjornsen Wins Québec City Qualifier; Harvey Qualifies 12th

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Iversen Bests Northug, Ustiugov for First World Cup Distance Win; Harvey 9th in Stage 2

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