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Posts Tagged ‘Marcus Hellner’

Legov Takes 15 k Classic Win from Cologna in Last Distance Race Before Olympics; Harvey Fifth

Saturday, February 1st, 2014
Russia's Alexander Legkov leads Canadian Alex Harvey (r) during the men's World Cup 15 k classic individual start on Saturday in Toblach, Italy. Legkov went on to win and Harvey placed fifth. (Photo: Peggy Hung)

Russia’s Alexander Legkov leads Canadian Alex Harvey (r) during the men’s World Cup 15 k classic individual start on Saturday in Toblach, Italy. Legkov went on to win and Harvey placed fifth. (Photo: Peggy Hung)

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.


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.



Golberg Romps Lillehammer 15 k; Harvey Top North American in 16th

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Norwegian Pål Golberg was in it for the long haul on Saturday, hanging in the mix then accelerating in the second half of the men’s 15 k classic individual start to win his first World Cup by 14.2 seconds in Lillehammer, Norway.

Golberg ousted Kazakhstan’s Alexey Poltoranin from the leader’s chair with the fastest time of 35 minutes flat. Poltoranin placed second, 1.3 seconds ahead of Didrik Tønseth of Norway, who placed third.

Sweden’s Marcus Hellner and Johan Olsson took fourth (+20.2) and fifth (+21.4), respectively. Russian Alexander Legkov closed hard for sixth (+22.2), just ahead of three Norwegians: Martin Sundby (seventh), Chris Jespersen (eighth) and Petter Northug (ninth). Swede Daniel Richardsson finished 10th (+42.3).

After finishing 43rd overall in last weekend’s Kuusamo Ruka Triple, Canadian Alex Harvey captured 16th on Saturday, 50.2 seconds behind Golberg.

Harvey’s teammate, Ivan Babikov placed 35th, and Noah Hoffman was the top American in 41st.

Also for Canada, Devon Kershaw finished 56th, and Jesse Cockney was 68th.

Americans Kris Freeman placed 75th and Mikey Sinnott was 81st.


Kriukov 2-for-2 at World Championships, Wins Men’s Team Sprint with Petukhov

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

VAL DI FIEMME, Italy — In case people didn’t get the hint on Friday, Russia’s Nikita Kriukov reiterated that he’s the world’s best sprinter on Sunday, overtaking Emil Jönsson of Sweden at the finish to win the men’s 1.5-kilometer freestyle team sprint at the 2013 Nordic World Ski Championships.

The 2010 Olympic sprint champion, Kriukov won his first World Championships gold in Thursday’s individual classic sprint and repeated the feat with teammate Alexey Petukhov on Sunday.

Kriukov edged Jönsson by 0.46 seconds for the win, and Jönsson notched his first medal of the week with Swedish teammate Marcus Hellner. Kazakhstan took third (+0.73) with Nikolay Chebotko and Alexey Poltoranin, the latter of which edged Canada’s Alex Harvey for the bronze.

With Devon Kershaw, the Canadians as the defending team sprint champions were just three-hundreths of a second off the podium in fourth. Italy placed fifth with David Hofer and Frederico Pellegrino.


Northug Back in Action, Claims Tour de Ski Prologue

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

Petter Northug proved he hasn’t been slacking off the past few weeks despite missing the Canadian World Cups. The Norwegian won the 42 k La Sgambeda Marathon nearly two weeks ago in Livigno, Italy, then kicked off the Tour de Ski on Saturday with a victory in the 4 k freestyle prologue in Oberhof, Germany.

Northug beat runner-up Marcus Hellner of Sweden by 6.1 seconds, and Alexander Legkov of Russia was third (+7.2). Defending TdS champ Dario Cologna was fourth (+10.1) and Ilia Chernousov (RUS) took fifth (+10.7). Canadian Alex Harvey finished sixth (+11.3) for his best result of the season just ahead of Maxim Vlegzhanin (RUS) and Martin Jaks (CZE), who tied for seventh (+11.8).

Andy Newell led the U.S. in 21st (+22.2), Ivan Babikov of Canada was 32nd (+25.7) and Kris Freeman (USA) was 35th (+27.0).

Other North Americans: 48. Devon Kershaw (CAN), 52. Lenny Valjas (CAN), 94. Noah Hoffman (USA)

Men’s prologue results

Tour de Ski men’s standings after Stage 1

July 2 Roundup: Northug, Kalla win Bråten Memorial; Mignerey Talks Strategy as New FIS Race Director

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

— In front of 12,000 spectators in Sunne, Sweden, on Sunday night, Petter Northug (NOR) and Charlotte Kalla (SWE) won their respective competitions at the Inge Bråten Memorial rollerski race, a 1.5 k sprint through the town streets. Both victors said in their post-race interviews that they trained straight through the race, both having put in three additional hours on Sunday morning.

I have trained three and a half hours this morning in Lillehammer!” Northug said, “but I’m very happy with the race today.” 

Langrenn is calling the performance Northug’s “competitive comeback” following his break from racing due to illness in February.

Norway swept the men’s podium, with rollerski champion Ragnar Bragvin Andresen taking second and his teammate Tord Asle Gjerdalen third. Sweski reported that the Swedish favorites were eliminated before reaching the finals; Marcus Hellner was bumped in the quarterfinals, beaten by Anton Hedlund. Theodore Peterson went out in the semifinals and Emil Jönsson got dropped when he lost his pole tips. 

Kalla bested teammate Ida Ingemarsdotter (SWE) and surprise 18-year-old skier Maja Dahlqvist (SWE) in the women’s race. Sandra Hansson and Anna Haag took fourth and fifth, respectively.

— Pierre Mignerey took over as the Cross Country Race Director at the International Ski Federation (FIS) this summer. Mignerey has been the head coach of the French ski team and most recently was the FIS Assistant Race Director. In an interview with Dauphi Nordique this June, which is well worth a read in its entirety, Mignerey discussed the coming season, the Tour de Ski, city sprints, health & safety for wax techs and his overall plans as director.

The future of city sprints is “not in danger,” Mignerey said, though the format is under review this coming winter. He also said the TdS will probably never make a stop in, say, France because it must go through Germany, where TV viewership is high, and “we can like it or not but today a high-level sport cannot live without television. Without substantial television coverage in Germany, Cross-Country skiing, like most winter sports, would get in great difficulties and even probably perish in short term.”

On the topic of TV as the bottom line, Mignerey added that one of the biggest concerns at FIS right now is the proportion of TV viewership claimed by Poland, which has largely been attributable to the success of Justyna Kowalczyk. FIS has already started to think about what might happen when Kowalczyk retires.

“You have to know that for three years, the biggest audience has been in Poland because of the brilliant results of Justyna Kowalczyk. If she stops competing, there will inevitably be a decline… Eight or nine of the most watched races of the last season were the ladies’ races, only because of the results of one athlete.”

— Johan Olsson (SWE) recently gave an interview with about working through injury, age (he’s 32) and balancing family life with a ski career. Olsson started off strong last winter with a win at the World Cup season opener in Sjusjoen, Norway, but for the remainder of his season was plagued by illness and injury. Before a recent team training camp in Majorca, Olsson had broken bones to contend with again, this time with a broken rib.

“At my age, it is not as fresh as when it was [at] 20-25,” Olsson said. “It’s just that we have a maze of injuries almost all the time. The trick is to train wisely and clear the damage from the road as soon as possible.”

On the importance of camps in his training, Olsson said they enable him to focus completely on skiing, unlike his home routine where caring for his young daughter makes significant demands on his time. But on the other hand, he continued, family life can be a healthy distraction for an athlete.

“It has given me tremendous joy,” Olsson said. “Both in private life but also the joy of skiing. First, there is no pressure of the demands on themselves in the same way anymore that I must do such and such… You might get a little narrow picture of what you’re doing [at a younger age].”

Read the rest of the (translated) interview here.

Legkov Notches Fastest Men’s Time Up Alpe Cermis

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

VAL DI FIEMME, Italy – A pair of men who had a pair of the worst days in Saturday’s Stage 8 of the Tour de Ski here had the two best days in Sunday’s Stage 9 – the Tour’s final climb up the Alpe Cermis.

Alexander Legkov (RUS) and Maurice Manificat (FRA) finished first and second in the contest for best time in the final climb, in nearly a dead heat. Legkov finished in 30:38.2 and Manificat in 30:38.3, with Marcus Hellner in third place another second back, in 30:39.9. (The reason the three men weren’t the first to the finish line is because Stage 9 was a handicap-start, with athletes placed higher in the overall standings getting a head start.)

While Hellner started in third place and used his result to climb to second in the overall Tour standings, Legkov and Manificat weren’t situated as well at the start of the day, thanks to nightmare races in Stage 8 here on Saturday.

Legkov had problems with his skis and wax, while Manificat struggled with his body.

After the race on Sunday, Manificat told FasterSkier he had “better legs, and good skis.”

“Yesterday, it was a day without, as we say in French. But it’s like that—the Tour is very long, and you need to be at 100 percent,” he said. “All works today, and so, I finish on good things, and it’s good to continue the season.”

Link to results.

Nov. 28 Roundup: Northug and Bjoergen to skip Dusseldorf and Rogla; FIS began new live-GPS tracking

Monday, November 28th, 2011

— Marit Bjoergen and Petter Northug (NOR) are both planning on skipping the World Cups in Dusseldorf, Germany and Rogla, Slovenia. The current leaders of the World Cup are instead going to train at altitude in Davos, Switzerland for a 14-day camp to gear up for the Tour de Ski, which begins on December 29.

— The International Ski Federation (FIS) unveiled a new live-GPS tracking system on Saturday, modeled after a similar service available to Tour de France fans. Check the link above for details on how to use the follow selected World Cup athletes around course from your computer or mobile device.

— Marcus Hellner’s (SWE) season is not going as well as he’d hoped so far, and the Swede has begun a ‘contingency plan’ to put it back on track, according to Aftonbladet. Instead of going to the next World Cup, he’s considering changing his schedule for the next few weeks in order to prepare for the Tour de Ski. He’s returned home to Gallivare to put in extra training on snow, and may wait until longer than Monday to reconnect with the Swedish National Team in Davos.

—Marit Bjoergen’s (NOR) and Anna Haag’s (SWE) moms are apparently friends. In a word of advice to Haag’s mother, Bjoergen’s mother said that it took patience to start seeing Marit-like dominance on the World Cup.

Haag agreed. “These kinds of times, it is easy to forget that even Marit Bjoergen had tough years, she is still a couple years older,” she said. “I will continue with patience.”

Nov. 18 Roundup: T-Minus 1

Friday, November 18th, 2011

— Start lists are posted for the first World Cup of the season in Sjusjøen, Norway: 10/15 k freestyle. The first female goes off on Saturday, November 19 at 5:30 am EST, and the men at 7:15 am EST. Inquire within for details on how to watch the races in real time from North America.
Men’s start list | Women’s start list

@FISCrossCountry will also typically tweet updates throughout races.

— The Norway-Sweden Northug-Hellner rivalry is already heating up in the Scandinavian media. “Should Sweden win the relay, they must at least replace the anchor man [read: Hellner],” said Petter Northug.

Marcus Hellner’s response was pretty tame—”We’ll see what we can do in the track,” he said at the Swedish team’s press conference.

— The Canadian women, who were planning on sitting out the Sjusjøen World Cup to do the Rovaniemi, Finland FIS races instead, won’t be racing at all this weekend, as Rovaniemi was cancelled due to insufficient snow. They will continue to train in Ostersund, Sweden.

— Check out the new suits from around the world on the FIS website to keep track of everyone out there tomorrow. Italy will be decked out in blue for the Azzurri look, Norway in the king’s red as per usual, and France will probably be the easiest to spot in their black/neon yellow stripy getup, courtesy of One Way.

Nov. 14 Roundup: Rovaniemi & Skellefteå canceled; Bauer to skip Sjusjoen

Monday, November 14th, 2011

— World Cup teams have started to show their cards for the season opener in Sjusjoen:

The host gets to start more skiers than their quota would normally dictate (19 men and 19 women are currently on Norway’s list). Headliners include Petter Northug, Eldar Rønning, Marit Bjoergen and Therese Johaug, as well as several top biathletes.

Sweden’s squad of 6 men and 6 women will be led by Charlotte Kalla, Marcus Hellner, Johan Olsson and Anna Haag.

— FIS races in Rovaniemi, Finland (November 19 – 20) and Skellefteå, Sweden (November 24) have been canceled for lack of snow. The Craftsbury Green Racing Project (CGRP), which just finished racing in Muonio, Finland, had been planning on entering Rovaniemi. As of Sunday, head coach Pepa Miloucheva said they would simply remain in Muonio until their Thursday departure.

— Lucas Bauer (CZE) has a cold and will be missing the first World Cup in Sjusjoen to recover.

— OneWay, lover of neon, unveiled its new service truck on Monday. Thankfully, the only bright yellow is a small stripe on the front of the trailer. If that thing had turned out anything like the Slovenian suits, it would be a driving hazard for oncoming traffic.

— Marcus Hellner (SWE), Petter Northug’s most visible rival both on snow and at the poker table, just signed on to be the public face of the online gaming site PokerStars. In addition to getting him a nice supplementary income, Hellner said playing poker during the winter provides him with a useful distraction from skiing. It also gives him another excuse to talk smack about Northug, whom he beat at their last meeting over the poker table (he says another showdown has been discussed—”I believe that Petter wants revenge.”).

“…You have to keep focused and be alert,” Hellner said of the similarities between poker and skiing. “In addition, one must keep a cool head when it’s a lot at stake, just like I have to do out in the tracks.”