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Posts Tagged ‘Lenny Valjas’

Canadians Back on Top: Harvey, Kershaw Go 1-2 in TdS Prologue

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

After somewhat of a slow start to the season, the Canadians found some serious speed on Saturday in Oberhof, Germany, as Alex Harvey finished first and Devon Kershaw took second in the 4.5-kilometer freestyle prologue — the first stage of the Tour de Ski.

“It was obviously a great day for me,” Harvey told FIS. “[Four-and-a-half] k prologues are always very hard, you need to pace it really perfectly I think if you want to be in the top ten.  So try to start fast, but save some power for the last lap.”

Kershaw sat in the leader’s chair for a good portion of the race after topping Swede Jens Eriksson‘s previous best by 11.4 seconds. Harvey was the only man to finish faster by 4.1 seconds in 9:03.4, bumping Kershaw to second.

“It’s awesome to share the podium with Kersh,” Harvey added. “It’s the second time we do that, and the second time in a prologue actually, so it’s great to have Canada one, two.”

Despite some late Norwegian starters, their  positions held as Chris Jespersen of Norway placed third, 10.2 seconds behind Harvey. Russia’s Ilia Chernousov was fourth, France’s Robin Duvillard fifth, and Norway’s Martin Sundby sixth, while Eriksson ended up seventh.

Finland’s Sami Jauhojaervi rounded out the top 10 in eighth, along with Norway’s Finn Haagen Krogh in ninth and Estonia’s Aivar Rahemaa in 10th.

The 12th starter, Andy Newell led the U.S. in 20th (+20.4) after hovering just outside the top 10 for much of the race. Canada’s Ivan Babikov had a personal-best prologue finish in 26th (+24.8), just 0.2 seconds behind Norwegian Petter Northug in 25th.

Also for the U.S., Simi Hamilton placed 42nd and Noah Hoffman was 82nd out of 106. Lenny Valjas did not start.


Russia Holds Off Pressing Norwegians for Lillehammer Relay Win

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

After his three Russian teammates did most of the work ahead of him on Sunday, Maxim Vylegzhanin took advantage of skiing in the top three and a major risk in the final stretches of the World Cup 4 x 7.5 k relay in Lillehammer, Norway. With the likes of Norwegians Petter Northug (NOR I), Finn Haagen Krogh (NOR II), Tord Asle Gjerdalen (NOR III) on his tail, Vylegzhanin attacked on the second-to-last climb and held the gap all the way to the finish for 1.6-second Russian victory.

Gjerdalen fell behind on the final ascent, but Krogh and Northug pushed relentlessly in an effort to catch Vylegzhanin down into the stadium. With Dmitriy Japarov, Alexander Bessmertnykh, Alexander Legkov (who made a decisive attack in the third leg to break 11 skiers down to three), and Vylegzhanin, Russia won in 1:19.04.7, and Norway’s second team captured second with Krogh (+1.6). Norway took third and fourth as well, with Northug (+1.8) and Gjerdalen (+9.3), respectively, and Marcus Hellner carried Sweden to fourth (+21.0) ahead of France’s Ivan Perrillat Boiteux in fifth (+22.2). The Czech Republic placed sixth (+49.7) with Martin Jaks as its anchor. Norway’s fourth team placed seventh, 1:15 out of first.

Canada finished 14th with Lenny Valjas, Alex Harvey, Ivan Babikov, and Devon Kershaw (+3:01.4), and the U.S. men placed 17th of 19 teams (+3:48.2), with Andy Newell, Kris Freeman, Noah Hoffman, and Simi Hamilton.



Poltoranin Drops Cologna, Pellegrino for Davos Sprint Victory

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

Second in Saturday’s qualifier to Italian young gun Frederico Pellegrino, Alexey Poltoranin of Kazakhstan made a point to win every heat thereafter in the World Cup 1.5 k classic sprint in Davos, Switzerland. Poltoranin made the biggest splash in the final, dropping the field and winning by 5.49 seconds over Switzerland’s Dario Cologna.

Pellegrino finished 6.02 seconds back in third and American Andy Newell was fourth (+9.09). Poltoranin’s teammate, Nikolay Chebotko placed fifth (+11.51) and Canadian Lenny Valjas was sixth (+12.34).

Devon Kershaw (CAN) tied his season best in eighth, but he failed to advance out of the semis in fourth. Simi Hamilton (USA) was 13th after qualifying in fifth and placing third in his quarterfinal, which wasn’t quite fast enough for a lucky-loser spot.


Krogh Nabs First World Cup Stage Win, Valjas Notches 3rd in Tour Sprint

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Finn Haagen Krogh of Norway put down a strong qualifier and went on to stay alive through the heats, winning the third stage of the Tour de Ski, the 1.4-kilometer skate sprint on Tuesday in Val Müstair, Switzerland. After qualifying in third behind Emil Jonsson (SWE) and Dario Cologna (SUI), respectively, Krogh went on to win his quarterfinal and advance as a lucky loser in his semi.

Canadian Lenny Valjas did the same, moving on as a lucky loser after finishing third ahead of Krogh in the semifinal. The two moved on to the final, where Valjas decided he didn’t want to be in the back anymore, charged ahead and ended up third. Cologna fell and settled for fourth in the Tour’s first visit to his hometown, and Frederico Pellegrino (ITA) held his own for second.

Men’s Final

1. Finn Haagen Krogh (NOR) 3:21.3

2. Frederico Pellegrino (ITA) +1.0

3. Len Valjas (CAN) +1.6

4. Dario Cologna (SUI) +3.5

5. Calle Halfvarsson (SWE) +6.5

6. Emil Jonsson (SWE) +32.9

Top 10

7. Marcus Hellner (SWE)

8. Petter Northug (NOR)

9. Andy Newell (USA)

10. Maxim Vylegzhanin (RUS)

Other Canadian results:

12. Alex Harvey

15. Devon Kershaw

67. Ivan Babikov


Valjas Continues to Roll in WCF Prologue

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

FALUN, Sweden – The fact that Lenny Valjas (CAN) was skiing in his first career prologue didn’t seem to faze the towering Canadian.

Coming off podium finishes in consecutive World Cup sprints, and enterign the day fourth in the World Cup Final mini-tour, Valjas skied to 21st place, his best World CUp distance result.

“I tried to start conservative a little bit, but as soon as you get to the big Mördarbacken hill it’s just tough,” Valjas told FasterSkier. “Even if you start slow you’re grinding your way up there.”

Valjas said he isn’t the best climber when the terrain is steep, so “I just picked my way up and I lost eleven seconds by the split.”

He dropped only another six over the next 2.1 k.

While pleased with that he said “I have some work to do if I want to compete with the top guys here.”

Of the famed Mördarbacken, Vlajas said “It really is a wall—it is as steep as it can get before you have to herringbone and walk up it.”

With the strong performance Valjas moved into third in the World Cup Finals standings, just behind of teammate Alex Harvey and ahead of Dario Cologna (SUI).

His race was somewhat overshadowed by Harvey’s victory and Devon Kershaw finishing third.

“I am really happy for my teammates,” Valjas said. “I was getting splits out there so I knew Alex won and Devon was third, it was a good feeling.”

Canadian Head Coach Justin Wadsworth said the goal is now to try and keep Valjas in the top-15 in the World Cup Finals mini-tour.

“He is a good classic skier and it is a mass start…You never know with this guy —he is definitely feeling it right now.”

Valjas climbing in the prologue.

All 2012 FIS World Cup Finals coverage is brought to you through the generous support of Fischer Sports USA, proud sponsors of Kikkan Randall, 2012 overall Sprint Cup Champion.

Canada Puts Two on Prologue Podium

Friday, March 16th, 2012

FALUN, Sweden – As the sun set here in Sweden the spirits of the Canadian team rose for the men’s 3.3km Freestyle Prologue as both Alex Harvey and Devon Kershaw raced to podium finishes.  For Harvey it would be his first ever individual World Cup victory, crossing the line in 8:16.8, a mere 0.2 seconds quicker than Dario Cologna (SUI).  Following Cologna was Harvey’s good friend and team Devon Kershaw, who was 3.1 seconds off his countryman’s winning pace.

“Great day for Canada!  I mean two on the podium for men, never happened before in over a hundred year or ever, it’s great,” Kershaw told FasterSkier after the race.

Kershaw, who donned bib 33 was the leader in the clubhouse, so to speak, with Cologna and Harvey still out on course.  Havey then entered the stadium, shortly after and charged to the line.  As the two embraced they watched the large stadium screen as Cologna came to the finish to see what time he would post.  Laughter soon followed as they realized that just 0.2 second earned Harvey the top step of this World Cup Final prologue race.

“I felt good, it was a tough race.  The prologue it is short, but it’s hard.  I was a little bit tired on the uphill, but I think that is normal,” said Cologna at the finish.

As a late starter based on his podium in Stockholm, Canadian Lenny Valjas gained inspiration by the splits he was hearing on course, which said that his two teammates were in podium positions.  Valjas crossed the line in 8:34.0, good enough for 21st place.

“It is amazing, for our team to have the season that we are having right now, it has been super fun.  Our team is really close, we are like a big family.  I am super excited for both of them and for their success.”

On the American side, both the ascent and subsequent descent of the Mördarbacken took its toll as Andy Newell finished a hard-fought 30th place finish, +24.7 second off Harvey’s pace.

As Newell said following the race, “it’s a tough course.  I can do well on some of these prologues sometimes, but this one is especially hard because it goes straight into the biggest part of the hill.  For me it would be better if it was a little flatter at first and the big hill was at the end.”

Sylvan Ellefson (USA) was having a great race early on, posting the 21st fastest time through 1.2km, but crashed on the downhill.  As he came to the finish line he was clearly in pain, limping off to get examined by US Ski Team doctor Michael Pleacher.

Complete Results

All 2012 FIS World Cup Finals coverage is brought to you through the generous support of Fischer Sports USA, proud sponsors of Kikkan Randall, 2012 overall Sprint Cup Champion.