February 1st, 2014
In what looked to be a fairytale re-entry to the World Cup for Dario Cologna, the plot line didn’t quite play out for the Swiss superstar in Saturday’s 15-kilometer classic individual start in Toblach, Italy.
Cologna started 25th in his first World Cup of the season following an ankle injury in the fall, then rose to the top — finishing with the fastest time by 45 seconds. Others tried to match him, including Russia’s Dmitriy Japarov, who came 21 seconds short in second, and Sweden’s Marcus Hellner, who bumped Japarov down a spot after finishing 14.7 seconds back from Cologna.
Ultimately, Russia’s Alexander Legov had the most juice left at the finish, edging Cologna by 2.9 seconds with the winning time of 37:02.7. Cologna settled for second, Hellner was third (+17.6), Japarov placed fourth (+23.8), and Canadian Alex Harvey notched fifth (+27.4). Petter Northug was the top Norwegian in sixth (+48.3) and an early leader, Lars Nelson of Sweden, ended up seventh (+48.6).
A week before his first Olympics, Erik Bjornsen led the way for the U.S. in 18th (+1:17.9), his first World Cup top 20.
Canada had two in the top 40 with Devon Kershaw in 39th and Graeme Killick in 40th, Noah Hoffmann (USA) was 41st, Jesse Cockney (CAN) placed 51st, Ivan Babikov (CAN) was 62nd, Kris Freeman (USA) 64th, and Brian Gregg (USA) 69th.No comments
February 1st, 2014
In Marit Bjørgen‘s first World Cup race back since a stomach virus took her out of the Tour de Ski a month ago, the Norwegian showed she’s in top form exactly a week before the Olympics, winning the 10-kilometer classic individual start in Toblach, Italy.
And she made a statement as she did so, posting the fastest times through the two checkpoints at 2.1 and 6.7 k and winning by 36.7 seconds in 26:54.2. Teammate Therese Johaug was second for the Norwegian 1-2 sweep, and Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla notched third, 42.9 seconds behind Bjørgen, in her first World Cup since Davos, Switzerland, in mid December. Second with just over 3 k to go, Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk ended up fifth, following Norway’s Heidi Weng in fourth.
January 28th, 2014
After originally planning to fly home to Minneapolis on Wednesday, Caitlin Gregg posted on Facebook on Tuesday that she had a change of plans and will be starting this weekend’s World Cup in Toblach, Italy, before sending her husband Brian off to compete at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
“I have decided to stay in Italy with Brian and see him off before the Olympic Games begin!” Caitlin wrote in a post that began with a tribute to the late Igor Badamshin, Peter Hale and John Hugus. “Life is so awesome but precious! In honor of our former coach Igor Badamshin, our ski rep Peter Hale and our great friend John Hugus we have vowed to live like these incredible men did! Full of life, love and even more so immense GIVING and GRATITUDE to those around us!”
She went on to explain she’ll start the Toblach World Cups this weekend. “I am so grateful the USST has offered to help me out!!! I am sad to miss the City of Lakes Loppet but I will be there in spirit and look forward to seeing everyone in less than two weeks!!!”No comments
January 19th, 2014
A heavy favorite for the women’s 10-kilometer classic mass start in Szklarska Poręba, Poland, Justyna Kowalczyk lived up to her home-crowd’s delight on Sunday, dropping the field soundly by the halfway point and striding to a 41.8-second win.
On her 31st birthday, Kowalczyk finished without anyone in sight in 34:34.2, and waited at the finish to congratulate Russian runner-up Yulia Tchekaleva. Another Russian, Julia Ivanova rounded out the podium in third, 1:15.2 minutes behind, after outsprinting Germany’s Denise Herrmann by four seconds. After Herrmann in fourth, Germany’s Claudia Nystad took fifth, 5.2 seconds ahead of American Liz Stephen in sixth (+1:26.4). For Stephen, it was a career best in an outright World Cup (not including stages).
Germany had three in the top seven with Stefanie Boehler (+1:28.4), who finished ahead of Russia’s Natalia Zhukova in eighth (+1:47.8). Ida Sargent of the U.S. placed ninth (+1:49.3) for her best result of the season, and Austria’s Katerina Smutna was 10th.
Also for the U.S., Kikkan Randall tallied 14th a day after winning her second-straight World Cup skate sprint, Sophie Caldwell was 16th, and Jessie Diggins 24th. Caitlin Gregg (Team Gregg/Madshus) did not finish.
January 19th, 2014
Out of a congested pack racing toward the finish, Russia’s Maxim Vylegzhanin emerged as the victor in the World Cup 15-kilometer classic mass start Sunday in Szklarska Poreba, Poland. Vylegzhanin, 31, had outlasted Russian teammate Evgeniy Belov, eight years younger, for the win by 2.2 seconds in 35:39.0.
Another 0.1 seconds back, Kazakhstan’s Alexey Poltoranin placed third ahead of Canada’s Alex Harvey in fourth (+5.2). Germany took fifth and sixth with Hannes Dotzler (+5.8) and Tobi Angerer (+7.3). Russia’s Stanislav Volzhentsev notched seventh (+19.2), three-tenths of a second ahead of Canadian Devon Kershaw in eighth. Ivan Babikov rounded out Canada’s best team showing of the season in ninth (+20.9), and Germany’s Jens Filbrich placed 10th (+21.3).
Noah Hoffman led the U.S. in 19th (+1:05.2), Andy Newell finished 27th and Erik Bjornsen was 40th.No comments
January 18th, 2014
Kikkan Randall (U.S. Ski Team) reiterated that she’s in top form three weeks out from the Olympics, qualifying in 10th then winning each of her heats on Saturday at the World Cup 1.5-kilometer freestyle sprint in Szklarska Poręba, Poland.
Putting herself in prime position coming into a flat-and-fast finish, Randall outsprinted Germany’s Denise Herrmann for the victory in 3:06.89, her second-straight sprint win since dominating last weekend’s freestyle final in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.
“Today took a lot more strategy,” Randall said in a post-race interview with her husband and FIS media coordinator Jeff Ellis. “With the draft out there and fast conditions, fast finish you really had to be confident on your feet out there.”
Randall edged Herrmann by 0.25 seconds for the win and Slovenia’s Vesna Fabjan placed third, 1.10 seconds back. Another American in the final, Jessie Diggins followed Randall toward the finish before getting caught up on a corner with Switzerland’s Laurien Van der Graaff. The two went down, Poland’s Sylwia Jaskowiec used the home fans to fuel her to fourth, 1.42 behind Randall, and Diggins got up to finish fifth (+6.99). Van der Graaff came across the line nearly 20 seconds later in sixth.
Earlier in the afternoon, Jaskowiec qualified in second behind Italy’s Greta Laurent, who won the qualifier in 3:08.69 but placed fifth in her quarterfinal. Herrmann qualified third and Sophie Caldwell of the U.S. advanced in fourth.
Caldwell ended up seventh after winning her quarterfinal and placing third in her semifinal.
Perianne Jones led Canada with a season-best 10th after qualifying in 30th, and teammate Dasha Gaiazova placed 23rd after qualifying in 26th and placing fifth in her quarterfinal.
American Ida Sargent qualified 15th and ended up 13th, after placing third in her quarterfinal, and Liz Stephen tallied a career-best sprint result of 15th after qualifying in 22nd and edging Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk for third in the quarterfinals. The sixth American woman, Caitlin Gregg (Team Gregg/Madshus) narrowly missed qualifying in 33rd.No comments
January 18th, 2014
Canadian Alex Harvey was once again on top of the podium with his win in the freestyle sprint at the World Cup in Szkarska Poreba, Poland. Harevey, who qualified 7th, out-sprinted Gremany’s Josef Wenzl and France’s Baptiste Gros in the final stretches of the fast and tactical course.
American Andy Newell qualified in second position and skied a smart and controlled quarterfinal and semifinal. In the A-final, however, Newell fell on one of the last turns into the finish, knocking him out of contention for the podium. He ended his day in sixth.
Alex Harvey (CAN)
Josef Wenzl (GER)
Baptiste Gros (FRA)
Cyrill Gaillard (FRA)
Martin Jager (SUI)
Andy Newell (USA)
Anton Gafarov (RUS)
Tim Tscharnke (GER)
Nikita Kruikov (RUS)
Gleb Retivkykh (RUS)
January 12th, 2014
Norwegian women hammered their way to victory today in the classic Team Sprint, in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic today, edging Finland’s Mona-Lisa Malvalehto and Aino-Kaisa Saarinen.
The Norwegian team, composed of Maiken Caspersen Falla and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, finished the 6×1.3-kilometer course in 20:58.47, 3.8 seconds ahead of Finland. The Norwegian women were less than a half-second behind Finland at the final tag, when Østberg turned on the afterburners, posting a blisteringly fast 3:13.58, by far the fastest individual leg of the day. In third place was Russia II, composed of Evgenia Shapovalova and Julia Ivanova (+4.56).
Russia I took fourth (+26.01), while Norway II was fifth (+26.7).
American women were sixth-place (+34.18), fielding Ida Sargent and Sophie Caldwell, while the Canadian women, Perianne Jones and Dasha Gaiazova, were 13th, advancing to the semifinals. American standouts Kikkan Randall and Sadie Bjornsen decided not to race.
January 12th, 2014
Nikita Kriukov pulled a classic Kriukov move in finishing stretch of Sunday’s World Cup classic team sprint in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, double poling hard toward the line while two Norwegians — Eirik Brandsdal and Ola Vigen Hattestad — tried to match him.
While Hattestad was already slightly off the pace heading into the stadium in third, Brandsdal led into the finish before Kriukov ultimately stepped around him and won by 0.22 seconds. Kriukov secured the 1.6-kilometer team sprint victory for Russia I, with teammate Maxim Vylegzhanin, in 22:03.89, Norway I finished second with Eldar Rønning and Brandsdal, and Norway II took third (+1.78) with Pal Golberg and Hattestad.
Andy Newell led the chase pack into the stadium for the last time in fourth, but Ales Razym of the Czech Republic (with teammate Martin Jaks) overtook him in the final meters by 0.54 seconds, 13.74 seconds behind the winners. The Americans finished fifth with Simi Hamilton and Newell (+14.28), holding off Germany I (Sebastian Eisenlauer/Josef Wenzl) in a photo finish by seven-hundredths of a second.
Switzerland took seventh (+20.93), France was eighth (+22.08), Italy ninth (+26.47) and Sweden II 10th (+50.32).No comments
January 11th, 2014
American Kikkan Randall showed no rust after a long break from racing, skiing from the front throughout the afternoon to win her first World Cup race of the season.
Randall qualified in tenth before going on to win each of her heats en route to victory. In the final she kept hard pressure on from the gun, ultimately breaking away over the top of the last climb for a clear victory.
Laurien Van der Graaff of Switzerland came out on top in a tight sprint for second, edging Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg of Norway.
Denise Herrmann of Germany, the Sprint Cup leader, held on to the red bib by placing fifth.
Daria Gaiazova, one of two Canadians to race, finished 13th, just missing out on a spot in the semis after she staged a strong comeback in the homestretch of her quarterfinal. Her teammate, Perianne Jones, was 39th.
Like Gaiazova, Sophie Caldwell (USA) almost made it through to the semifinals. She finished third in her quarterfinal, riding a strong closing sprint to within approximately 12 inches of advancement.
Ida Sargent rounded out the U.S. squad, placing 50th.
Full report to follow.No comments