November 29th, 2013
The World Cup season is officially underway in Kuusamo, Finland. The annual “Ruka Triple” mini-tour kicked off with a classic sprint this morning.
The US women advanced three to the heats with Sadie Bjornsen leading the way in qualifying. Bjornsen was an impressive third in the opening round, just .33 seconds in back of top qualifier Marit Bjoergen (NOR).
Holly Brooks placed 48th, Jesse Diggins 64th and Liz Stephen 96th.
Dasha Gaiazova, the only Canadian woman to start, was 43rd.
On the men’s side, Andy Newell was the lone North American qualifier in 23rd.
Simi Hamilton was the next American in 36th.
Alex Harvey led the way for the Canadians in 37th.
Other American men: Mike Sinnott 73rd, Kris Freeman 100th, Noah Hoffman 105th
Other Canadian men: Lenny Valjas 38th, Devon Kershaw 76th, Jesse Cockney 77th, Ivan Babikov 102nd
Heats begin at 6:30AM EST.No comments
March 26th, 2013
The Court of Arbitration for Sport has overturned Estonian Olympic and World Champion Andrus Veerpalu’s three-year doping ban for the use of human growth hormone.
In a release, CAS said that there were “many factors” that “tend to indicate that Andrus Veerpalu did in fact himself administer…HGH.” But it added that there were procedural problems with the testing done by the International Ski Federation that had been “essential” to avoid a risk of a false positive test–and that Veerpalu’s violation could not be upheld as a result.
FasterSkier will be following up with FIS and CAS later today.No comments
March 24th, 2013
Petter Northug, Jr., (NOR) hung on to his 30-second lead in the 15 k freestyle pursuit on Sunday, the fourth and final stage of World Cup Finals, to win both the mini-tour and widen his margin of victory in the overall World Cup for 2012-2013. He maintained his half-minute margin over teammates Finn Haagen Krogh and Martin Johnsrud Sundby until the final straightaway, when he slowed down to wave to the crowd, and crossed the finish-line 0.7 seconds ahead of Krogh.
In the battle for second in the World Cup overall, Alexander Legkov (RUS) held off Dario Cologna (SUI) in a sprint finish four fourth and fifth in the pursuit. Legkov won the duel by 0.3 seconds and will take second in the overall standings.
Alex Harvey (CAN) was the top North American finisher in 25th, 3:40.5 back, and Noah Hoffman was close behind for the U.S. in 27th (+3:41.9).
Devon Kershaw (CAN) came through in 31st in a photo finish with Chris Andre Jespersen (NOR), +4:27.4, Torin Koos (USA) took 35th (+4:52.6), Andy Newell (USA) finished 38th (+5:25.4) and Lenny Valjas finished 48th out of 48 finishers (+10:02.9).No comments
March 24th, 2013
True to her form, Norway’s Marit Bjørgen capped off a successful 2012/2013 season with a definitive victory in the 10-kilometer freestyle pursuit on Sunday at World Cup Finals in Falun, Sweden.
Bjørgen began with a 1:20 head start on teammate Therese Johaug, who started second after Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk decided to skip the last race. Despite Johaug’s relentless charge, fueled by a desire to hold off Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla in third, Bjørgen finished first by 49.3 seconds in 26:39.6.
Johaug secured second, and after starting 6 seconds behind her in third, Kalla finished in the same position, 22.4 seconds after Johaug and 1:11.7 behind Bjørgen.
Norway’s Heidi Weng sprinted to the line for the second-straight day, beating Kerttu Niskanen of Finland for fourth by 0.3 seconds. Another Norwegian, Astrid Jacobsen placed sixth, and Kikkan Randall was seventh to become the first American woman to make the overall World Cup podium in third.
The U.S. put four in the top 30 with Liz Stephen in 16th, Jessie Diggins in 26th and Holly Brooks in 27th. Ida Sargent was just outside in 37th and Rosie Brennan (APU) placed 43rd. Canada’s lone racer, Emily Nishikawa finished 46th.No comments
March 23rd, 2013
Ideally positioned coming into the final corner, Eldar Rønning tucked behind the two leaders, Norwegian teammate Martin Johnsrud Sundby and Russia’s Maxim Vylegzhanin, and accelerated before the line, winning Saturday’s 15 k classic mass start at World Cup Finals in Falun, Sweden.
Rønning outlunged Vylegzhanin by 0.1 seconds, and Sundby settled for third 1.0 seconds back. After a rough start, in which Petter Northug was skiing outside the top 20, the Norwegian World Cup leader finished fourth, 5.5 seconds behind to maintain his lead in the mini tour.
Leading into the last of five laps, Daniel Richardsson of Sweden ended up fifth (+5.8), Italy’s Giorgio Di Centa notched sixth (+7.2) and teammate Dietmar Noeckler was seventh (+13.8).
Finn Hagen Krogh of Norway placed eighth, Sweden’s Emil Jonsson took ninth (after leading the third and fourth laps) and Russia’s Evgeniy Belov finished 10th.
Dario Cologna and Alexander Legkov didn’t come close enough to Northug to challenge him for the overall World Cup title, placing 12th and 15th, respectively. Legkov is now 80 points behind in the overall standings, and Northug is 30.5 seconds ahead of Vylegzhanin and 40.2 seconds ahead of Rønning in the mini tour heading into the final freestyle pursuit.
Noah Hoffman led the Americans in 25th (+1:16.3). Canada’s Alex Harvey was 30th for the second-straight day, and Devon Kershaw placed 36th. Andy Newell of the U.S. was 38th, Torin Koos (Bridger Ski Foundation/Rossignol) placed 39th, and Canadian Ivan Babikov was 41st.
Also for Canada, Lenny Valjas finished 50th and Michael Somppi (AWCA) was last in 51st.
March 23rd, 2013
Just when it looked like Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk might have the edge in Saturday’s 10 k classic mass start at World Cup Finals in Falun, Sweden, Marit Bjørgen hung tough and closed the gap on the last of three laps, bringing Norwegian teammate Therese Johaug along with her.
Catching Kowalczyk on a downhill, Bjørgen skied up alongside and past her, leading into the final climb. There, Kowalczyk struggled with her kick and dropped back behind Bjørgen and Johaug, who continued to pull away on the following descent.
Bjørgen extended her lead into the stadium, while Johaug secured second and Kowalczyk and Norway’s Heidi Weng battled for third. Weng had the edge, outlunging Kowalczyk by 0.1 seconds.
Bjørgen won her second straight race in the third stage of the Finals in 28:06.7, extending her 17.4-second lead on Kowalczyk in the mini-tour standings to 45.5 seconds. Johaug was 3.9 seconds back in second, improving to third in the standings. Weng finished 11.0 seconds behind Bjørgen in third.
Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla outsprinted Anne Kyllonen of Finland by 0.3 seconds for fifth (+39.9). Finland put three in the top 10 with Kerttu Niskanen in seventh (+40.6) and Finland’s Krista Lahteenmaki in 10th (+58.3). Russia’s Yulia Tchekaleva was eighth (+43.9) and Norway’s Astrid Jacobsen took ninth (+46.3).
Kikkan Randall led the U.S. in 19th (+1:20.2) and teammate Liz Stephen was just 3.1 seconds back in 21st. Ida Sargent made the top 30 in 29th (+1:56.3), Jessie Diggins placed 38th (+2:39.6) and Holly Brooks was 39th (+2:40.9).
Canada’s Emily Nishikawa (AWCA) finished 46th (+3:36.3) and Dasha Gaiazova was last in 50th (+4:07.3).No comments
March 22nd, 2013
The three-way battle for the overall World Cup title between Petter Northug (NOR), Alexander Legkov (RUS) and Dario Cologna (SUI) got most interesting in Falun, Sweden, on Friday in the second stage of World Cup Finals. Northug really wants it, apparently, as he managed to find the energy to come back from a 4.8 second deficit at the top of the course to win the 2.5 k freestyle prologue, pick up valuable bonus seconds for the mini-tour standings, and snatch 50 World Cup points towards his hunt for the crystal globe.
Norway had a dominant day all-around with a full sweep of the podium and putting six skiers in the top seven; Paal Golberg took second on the day (+2.1) and Anders Gloeersen claimed third (+2.9).
Northug is now 56 points ahead of Legkov in the overall World Cup standings and Cologna sits 13 more points behind that in third. While Northug rose to the occasion to put himself further ahead, Legkov and Cologna struggled. Legkov finished ninth, 8.8 seconds behind Northug, and Cologna was 11th, 9.8 seconds back.
Andy Newell led the U.S. in 16th (+11.1) followed by Torin Koos in 25th (+14.1). Noah Hoffman finished 51st, 25.2 seconds back.
Lenny Valjas posted the top Canadian time in 27th (+14.2), Alex Harvey was 30th (+14.8), Devon Kershaw finished 32nd (+15.3), Michael Somppi was 44th (+19.4) and Ivan Babikov was 52 (+30.2).
March 22nd, 2013
In the second stage of World Cup Finals, Marit Bjørgen (NOR) took a 4.4-second victory on Friday in the 2.5 k freestyle prologue in Falun, Sweden, with a time of 6:03.2. Charlotte Kalla (SWE) came through with the second-fastest time, 6:07.6, and Kikkan Randall (USA) rounded out the podium in third (6:09.8).
It was a strong day for the U.S. women. After Randall, Holly Brooks was seventh (6:15.5) and Jessie Diggins finished eighth (6:17.4) for three out of six Americans in the top 10. Liz Stephen finished 20th (6:24.3), Ida Sargent was 38th (6:39.5) and Rosie Brennan took 46th (6:45.1).
Emily Nishikawa led the Canadian women in 41st (6:40.8) and Dasha Gaiazova finished 47th (6:46.8).
There were loud complaints from the athletes on Thursday that new changes to the Falun course were hazardous to skier safety, and many threatened to boycott the prologue if changes weren’t made to eliminate the more sketchy downhill turns. On Friday morning athletes met with FIS again after lengthy discussions on Thursday evening and made the requested changes. As a result, the full field competed with the exception of Ida Ingemarsdotter (SWE).
March 20th, 2013
Justyna Kowalcyzk (POL) appeared to easily win the classic city sprint in Stockholm, Sweden, on Wednesday in the opening event of World Cup Finals, hammering the final hill to pull away for a 2.2 second victory in a Finland-heavy final heat. Marit Bjoergen (NOR), who was briefly tangled in Anne Kylloenen’s (FIN) fall around the first 180-degree turn, managed to clamber back for second place on the last climb. Kerttu Niskanen (FIN) finished third (+3.1) for her first career World Cup podium and Kylloenen, the women’s top qualifier, resurrected herself after the crash for a fourth-place finish (+5.0).
Katja Visnar (SLO), who looked strong early on and followed Kowalczyk in second place down the first hill, fell back to fifth (+9.3). Mona-Lisa Malvalehto (FIN), who also went down in the early fall, took sixth (+25.4).
Three Americans and one Canadian qualified for the heats on Wednesday but none advanced past the quarterfinals. Dasha Gaiazova (CAN), after qualifying in fourth, took fourth in her heat to finish 16th overall. Ida Sargent (USA) also finished fourth in her heat and ended up in 20th. Kikkan Randall was fifth in her heat to finish 22nd, and the completion of the final sprint event of the season made her overall World Cup sprint victory official, and the American will take home a crystal globe for the second year in a row.No comments
March 20th, 2013
Petter Northug clearly wants to end 2012/2013 on a high note as evidenced by his dominating victory on Wednesday in the men’s World Cup 1.1 k classic sprint in Stockholm, Sweden.
On a flat-and-windy course, Northug put himself in prime position to seal the win — his first in Stockholm. He out-doublepoled all of his competitors (also on skate skis) to win the final by 0.74 seconds over teammate Eirik Brandsdal. Russian Nikita Kriukov was third, 1.14 seconds back.
The lone Swede in the final with three Norwegians, Teodor Peterson took fourth (+1.61), Petter’s younger brother Tomas Northug was fifth (+2.56) and Sergey Ustiugov of Russia finished sixth (+2.68).
Andy Newell (US Ski Team) was the only North American to make the semifinals, where he was sixth for 11th overall.
Canada’s Devon Kershaw was fourth in his quarterfinal to end up 18th, and Lenny Valjas on classic skis took fourth in his quarterfinal and was ultimately 20th. Torin Koos (Bridger Ski Foundation/Rossignol) placed 25th after finishing fifth in his quarterfinal.No comments