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Posts Tagged ‘muonio’

To Nobody’s Surprise, Kowalczyk Wins Again in Muonio

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Racing wrapped up in Muonio, Finland this morning with a 5 / 10 k classic interval-start boasting more than 250 starters.

To nobody’s surprise, Jusyna Kowalczyk of Poland made it three wins in as many starts, taking a 20-second victory over Aino-Kaisa Saarinen of Finland. Saarinen’s teammate Laura Ahervo rounded out the podium. Ida Sargent led the Craftsbury Green Racing Project with a 26th-place finish.

In the longer men’s race, Finland’s Sami Jauhojaervi took his first win of the season, besting Kazakhstan’s Alexei Poltoranin by just three seconds. Anssi Pentsinen of Finland was third. Patrick O’Brien was the top American, finishing 61st.


Kowalczyk, Einarsson Tops in Muonio Skate Race

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

In the second day of racing from Muonio, Finland, Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk covered the five kilometer course in just ten and a half minutes to take a four-second win over Aino-Kaisa Saarinen of Finland. Riita-Lisa Roponen, also of Finland, was third, another six seconds back. Ida Sargent led the American contingent by placing 35th in the field of 106.

In the men’s 10 k, former University of Utah standout and Norwegian native Snorri Einarsson picked up the win over World Championship medalists Sami Jauhojaervi and Ville Nousiainen of Finland. Einarsson coverted the course in 19:38 to take an eleven-second victory over the Finns. Tim Reynolds led Americans with an outstanding 29th-place effort.

Both Reynolds and Sargent are members of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project, the only American team at the races.

Full results

Nov. 11 Roundup: It’s Go Time

Friday, November 11th, 2011

— The wait is over—with the sprint in Muonio, Finland already completed, racing season is officially here. Bruksvallarna, Sweden is also hosting FIS races this weekend, starting with the men’s 15 k skate on Saturday. It will be a stacked field. Joining the Canadian National Ski Team are the top Norwegians, Russians, French and Swedes. Petter Northug (NOR) and Marcus Hellner (SWE) headline a long start list. Today, the course was approved for the calculation of FIS points, so this will be the real deal.

The women’s 10 k skate is on Sunday. Top names include Charlotte Kalla and Anna Haag (SWE), with Marit Bjoergen and co. noticeably absent.

— Five Norwegian biathletes will be joining the cross-country field for the first World Cup on November 19 in Sjusjoen, Norway. The host country gets 10 additional start rights for each gender, so Emil Hegle Svendsen, Lars Berger, Ronny Hafsås, Tarjei Bø and Tora Berger are taking full advantage of the opportunity to race earlier than the first Biathlon World Cup (in Ostersund, Sweden on November 28).

“Now I am so tired of just practicing and eager to go skiing,” said Svendsen, a multiple World and Olympic Champion.

— Mathias Fredriksson (SWE) plans on retiring after this season, and wants to go out with a bang. Before each race he enters he will auction off equipment to raise money for UNICEF. Other skiers will also donate their gear to the cause throughout the winter. Bidding will take place online here.

“I wish that my last race of the career will also be the coolest one,” said Fredriksson.

Sargent Leads Craftsbury with 10th in Muonio Sprint

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Results are up from Friday’s classic sprint in Muonio, Finland. Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) took the women’s qualifying round by 8 seconds and went on for the overall win in the finals. Ida Sargent (USA) led the Craftsbury Green Racing Project (CGRP) squad with a 10th place in the finals (she qualified in 9th, 15 seconds behind Kowalczyk). Only the top 16 went on to the heats.

Rounding out the American women’s showing was Hannah Dreissigacker (33rd) and Clare Egan (82nd). All told, 125 women took to the starting line.

On the men’s side, Norway’s Andreas Nygaard came from a 14th in the qualifier to finish with the win in the finals. Patrick O’Brien (USA) was the first American finisher in 72nd, followed by Tim Reynolds (104th), Dylan McGuffin (141st) and Ethan Dreissigacker (152nd). In total, 191 finished the race.

Stay tuned for Craftsbury’s race report.

Results: qualifier and final.

Nov. 9 Roundup: Decision Made in Muonio; Germany’s Bentele Retires

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

– As hundreds flock to Muonio, Finland, to ski on snow at the FIS races this weekend, event organizers decided Wednesday not to cap the number of participants on the 3 k race loop. While the total entrants remained uncertain, Muonio race organizer Heikki Kivinen confirmed that the cutoff was off the table, and noted that there would be “very many” racers starting Friday (heats-only classic sprint), Saturday (5/10 k skate) and Sunday (5/10 k classic).

– With 16 Paralympic Winter Olympics medals to her name, Germany’s Verena Bentele recently announced her retirement at the age of 29. The visually impaired cross-country skier and biathlete won five medals at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics: three in nordic (15 k freestyle, 5 k classic and freestyle sprint) and two in biathlon (3 k pursuit and 12 ½ k pursuit). She was coming off a serious injury in 2009, when she injured her knee, fingers, liver and kidney at the German Championships, according to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) website.

Bentele has notched more Paralympic medals in biathlon than any other female athlete. She won the 2011 Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award and is one of the five finalists for the IPC Best Female Athlete this year.

– Despite not making the Norwegian national team, Simen Østensen still hopes to race in the Tour de Ski this season, according to The 27-year-old member of Team Xtra Personell, a Norwegian marathon team, aimed to build up to the big race and achieve similar success to when he placed third in the Tour in 2007.

Nov. 2 Roundup: Inari Races Canceled; Ulvang Continues World Tour

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

– The FIS classic sprint races scheduled for Nov. 6 in Inari, Finland, have been canceled because of a lack of snow. Inari is located in the Lapland region of northern Finland. Nearly five hours southwest, members of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project (Craftsbury, Vt.) were on snow in Muonio.

“Reports from around Europe and especially Scandinavia make us feel quite lucky to have our 3km loop,” U.S. Ski Team member Ida Sargent wrote on the Craftsbury blog. “With incredibly few options for skiing anywhere on the continent, more and more skiers are travelling to Muonio in search of snow and ski races.  The Czech and Belarussian national teams are the latest arrivals and we’ve heard that the Germans, Swedes, and others are on the way.”

– One of the greatest nordic skiers to come out of Norway, six-time Olympic medalist Vegard Ulvang is headed to the Birkie. Ulvang will participate in February’s American Birkebeiner as a “research ambassador” for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society-Wisconsin Chapter. Those who donate $2,000 or more to the Skiers for Cures program can ski with Ulvang and have lunch with him after.

On Oct. 30, Ulvang — the chairman of the FIS cross-country committee — set out on a ski-touring journey to the South Pole with Jan-Gunnar Winther, Stein P. Aasheim and Harald Dag Jølle. They plan to arrive at their destination on Dec. 14. To follow their expedition, click here.

– The Norwegian website celebrated 11 years of being in the being in the cross-country ski news business on Wednesday. Back in 2000, the site launched under Bente Skari, Espen Bjervig, Geir Skari, Njål Engløk, Thorodd Bakken, Odd-Bjorn Hjelmeset and Thomas Alsgaard.