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Mt Wirth Loppet, June 23, 2019

Mason Bacso, Borah Epic, June 8, 2019

Highlights

Midwest MTB Report
June 25, 2019
Jay Richards Midwest MTB Report this week recaps the Mount Wirth Loppet, WORS Firecracker, UP Junior MTB camp, big changes for Chequamegon, and the usual look ahead to events this weekend.

Mount Wirth Loppet Coverage
June 23, 2019
Humid and tacky conditions Sunday afternoon for racing on the twisting singletrack for the Mount Wirth Loppet, part of the Minnesota Mountain Bike series. Photos up from the pro/comp afternoon races.
Related:
Photoset: Pro/Comp Race - 98 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)

Midwest MTB Report
June 18, 2019
The Midwest MTB Report, by Jay Richards, this week includes highlights from the WORS race at Mt Morris, the Otter Creek 55, the Chain Drive Festival in the UP and Wednesday Night at Wirth Midweek mountain bike series.

Hoigaard's Paddle Derby: Solo Race Night
June 18, 2019
Solo Race Night is returning to the Hoigaard's Paddle Derby on Thursday, Jun 20th. Everyone is encouraged to find a solo canoe and celebrate the Summer Solstice on the city lakes!

Midwest MTB Report
June 11, 2019
Featured in this week's Midwest MTB report by Jay Richards, recaps from the Borah Epic (indeed), summary on Gold Rush Gravel Grinder, upcoming women's MTB skills clinic, new bike park for Two Harbors, and WORS race this weekend.

Chippewa Triathlon Results
June 8, 2019
A big field turned out on Saturday morning in Cass Lake for the annual Chippewa Triathlon event. Taking solo titles were Mike Brumbaugh and Deanne Hart. Doubles titles went to David Nelson and Maria Janowski, with mixed division title for Fred Kueffer.
Related:
Results: Chippewa Triathlon

Midwest MTB Report
June 5, 2019
The Midwest MTB report, by Jay Richards, this week includes recaps from the WORS and MNMBS series, highlights on the Loppet Cycle Works MTB summer skills series, the Dulutrh Hard Enduro, and the weekend coming up that features the Borah Epic.

Midwest MTB Report
May 28, 2019
This week's Midwest MTB Report is wide ranging with recaps from Thursday Night Racing at Buck and Iola Bump and Jump, reports from Le Grand du Nord and Badlands Gravel Battle, an epic World Cup victory for a Midwest gal, exploring trails in Arkansas, and the standard look ahead to upcoming events.

Midwest MTB Report
May 22, 2019
Jay Richards Midwest MTB report this week highlights impressive performances on the World Cup, Enduro racing series, Buck Hill series, and the upcoming Minnesota Mountain Bike Summit.

CityTrail Loppet Results
May 19, 2019
Over 500 runners turned out Sunday morning to endurance cold, wet and muddy conditions for the CityTrail Loppet. The event ran from downtown Robbinsdale through streets and trails (many very slick) winding its way down to Theodore Wirth and then eventually over to finish at the Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center. Brian Gregg captured the men's title in the 10 mile distance, finishing in 1:03:40 with Kary Nygren second, Louis Sigtermans third. Alex Sharp was the best of the women's field with sisters Vivian Hett and Erica Wagner collecting second and third. In the 10K, junior Alex Nemeth took the overall title with Caitlin Gregg topping the women's field.
Related:
Results: CityTrail Loppet Results

Midwest MTB Report
May 14, 2019
In the Midwest MTB Report this week, Jay Richards hits on USA Cycling Marathon National Champs, Fat Fish 40, the environmental impact of MTB trails, Kikkan's Gran Fondo, and his usual look ahead.

Gear West Duathlon Returns June 23rd
May 13, 2019
The popular Gear West Duathlon returns to the calendar this season, now scheduled for late June with the hopes of better spring weather, as well as adding a new shorter, Friends and Family non-competitive option.

Midwest MTB Report
May 7, 2019
The Midwest MTB Report by Jay Richards this week features recaps of the major WORS and MNMBS opening events, highlights on Vermont riding, National Women's MTB day, and CBD and MTB.

US Ski Team: Twenty Athletes Nominated to 2019-20 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team
May 6, 2019
U.S. Ski & Snowboard has announced its U.S. Ski Team cross country nominations for the 2019-20 season. Nominations include those active athletes who qualified based on published selection criteria in the prior season. Midwest skiers include Jessie Diggins (A team), Kevin Bolger (B team), and Zak Ketterson (D team).

Snake River Canoe Race Results
May 4, 2019
Beautiful Saturday morning in Mora for the annual Snake River paddling races with over 125 entries competing. Pro Boat winners were Dana Henry and Bill Briggs for the men, Kate Ellis and Maria Schilling for the women, and Lilly Brick and Joes Manns the top mixed pairing.
Related:
Results: Snake River Canoe Race

Midwest MTB Report
May 1, 2019
Jay Richards cranks out another update on the Midwest mountain bike scene, this week highlighting the Decorah series, Miesville ride, Minnesota MTB summit, Pump track in Cable, and racing series firing up this weekend.

Birkie Registration Opens Wednesday, May 1st
April 29, 2019
Registration will open for the 2020 American Birkebeiner schedule of events on May 1st. North America's largest cross-country ski race, the Slumberland American Birkebeiner, is scheduled for Saturday, February 22nd with the Kortelopet and Prince Haakon races slated for Friday, February 21st.

MDRA Mudball Run Coverage
April 28, 2019
The Minnesota Distance Running Association (MDRA) held their annual Mudball Run at Theodore Wirth on the trails around the Quaking Bog section on Sunday morning. Tryg Solberg captured the kids and adult racing action.
Related:
Photoset from Tryg Solberg: Kids Race - 22 photos, Adults Race - 195 photos
Photoset from Tryg Solberg: Top Picks (high res)

Midwest MTB Report
April 23, 2019
Jay Richards of Maplelag is back for another season, giving us the latest mountain biking news for the Midwest (and beyond). The opening report highlights the Minnesota and Wisconsin series, the popular Sea Otter Classic out West, and an assortment of interesting tidbits from the cycling world.

Birkie Member Drive, Name on Bib
March 30, 2019
For the first-time ever and for one week only, as part of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation's (ABSF) annual membership drive, skiers who join the ABSF can register one month early for the 2020 Slumberland American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet, and Prince Haakon races, and get their name printed on their 2020 race bib. Don't delay, this offer is only available April 1-7th.

World Cup Quebec: Freestyle Pursuit Races
March 24, 2019
The World Cup season wrapped up on Sunday in Quebec with freestyle pursuit format races. Temperatures near freezing provided a second day of fast conditions. Stina Nillson, Sweden, started with a 33 second lead and held off Norwegians Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg and Therese Johaug to win by 12 seconds, Johaug second, Oestberg third. Sadie Bjornsen was the top American, finishing 11th, with Jessie Diggins moving up to 14th after starting 23rd. In the men's race, Johannes Klaebo's fairly large lead of 52 seconds was eventually eliminated as Alexander Bolshunov, Russia, and Alex Harvey, Canada, skied up to join him. However, Klaebo appeared to be just resting up, as he dropped the hammer of the final climb and skied away to victory, with Harvey pulling off another amazing finish to take second ahead of Bolshunov. Erik Bjornsen was the top American in the men's race, taking 20th. The final World Cup standings were recognized as well with Klaebo and Oestberg collecting the overall titles. Diggins was 6th in final standings.
Related:
Results: 10K, 15K Freestyle
Biathlon: Bronze Finish to Season for Egan
Fischer: Crystal globe rain for the Fischer Race Family

World Cup Quebec: Classic Mass Start Races
March 23, 2019
A great day of racing with mass start classic events for the World Cup in Quebec Saturday. Cooler weather created a fast track. In the women's race, the field eventually shredded down to three: Norwegians Therese Johaug and Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg along with Stina Nilsson, Sweden. Nilsson used power, some fast skis, and eventually her sprinting skills to best the Norwegians, pulling ahead of Johaug to take the victory (and finally breaking Johaug's streak) with Oestberg third. Sadie Bjornsen lead for the US women, finishing 18th, Jessie Diggins was 23rd. The men's race was equally exciting as it came down to the finish with five in contention, and again it was the sprinter, Johannes Klaebo, Norway, that toasted the field for the win, with crowd favorite Canadian Alex Harvey pulling off his best race of the season to finish second, Didrik Toenseth, Norway, third. Erik Bjorsen topped the US mens field, finishing 18th. Sunday wraps up the World Cup with freestyle pursuit start races. The women's 10K skate will be at 8:30 am CDT, men's 15K at 9:45 am.
Related:
Results: 10K, 15K Classic

Nordic Cross National Championships Coverage
March 23, 2019
A beautiful sunny morning on the slopes of Spirit Mountain for the self-proclaimed Nordic Cross National Championships in Duluth on Saturday. A technical course with a pair of large jumps provided some big air and great spectating. After opening heats, many of skiers competing for altitude and style in the Big Air event before the finals in the Nordic Cross.
Related:
Photoset: Warm up - 7 photos, Heats - 242 photos, Big Air - 372 photos, Finals/Awards - 69 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Last Chance Ski Race Results

World Cup Quebec: Freestyle Sprints
March 22, 2019
Racing action got underway Friday in Quebec with freestyle sprints. The US squad qualified five in the sprint heats, with Sadie Bjornsen making it to the women's final. Sweden's women's team continues to get better each week, and on Friday they swept the podium with Stina Nilsson just barely staying ahead of Maja Dahlqvist with Jonna Sundling third. Norway's Johannes Klaebo proved again he's the top sprinter by far, taking the men's victory with Italy's Federico Pellegrino best of the rest and Klaebo's teammate Sindre Skar third. Saturday will feature mass start classic races, with the women's 10K beginning at 8:15 CDT.
Related:
Results: World Cup Quebec sprints

World Cup Quebec Weekend Series
March 20, 2019
The World Cup travels across the pond to wrap up the racing season in North America with three days of skiing in Quebec City. Friday features freestyle sprints, Saturday classic mass start races, and Sunday concludes with freestyle pursuit start races. The field is full of Midwest skiers this weekend: Kyle Bratrud, Ben Saxton, Kevin Bolger, Alayna Sonnesyn, Rosie Frankowski, and of course, Jessie Diggins. Friday's sprint heats begin at 12:20 pm CDT.
Related:
World Cup Quebec Website

The Curious Case of the Boulder Mountain Tour
March 19, 2019
Last February, Matt Liebsch had an epic race at the famed Boulder Mountain Tour in Sun Valley, Idaho, which came down to a photo finish. But the story didn't end that day and has taken an unusual twist.

Last Chance Ski Race Announced
March 19, 2019
The Vasaloppet crew has announced their final race of the season, the Last Chance Ski Race this Saturday, March 23rd. Exact distances will depend on the final grooming, but organizers hope to pull of a 5-10K loop with the option to race 1-3 laps.

Salomon Nordic Team USA 2019-2020
March 17, 2019
Salomon Nordic has announced details on their 2019-2020 Nordic Team program, including benefits and requirements.

World Cup Falun: Freestyle Races
March 17, 2019
Another warm day of racing in Europe as the World Cup skiers competed in 10K and 15K freestyle races in Falun, Sweden. Jessie Diggins had one of her best races of the season, finishing on the podium in third place as Norway's Therese Johaug won yet race, Sweden's Ebba Andersson second. Sadie Bjornsen and Julia Kern both placed in the top 25, Bjornsen 12th, Kern 25th. And Midwest native Rosie Frankowski was 35th. Alexander Bolshunov, Russia, won the men's 15K with Norway's Martin Sundby and Didrik Toenseth finishing second and third. David Norris led for the US men, finishing 16th. Midwest native Kevin Bolger notched 45th.
Related:
Results: 10K, 15K Freestyle

Loppet Winter Triathlon Coverage
March 17, 2019
Fast conditions Sunday morning for the Loppet Winter Triathlon, held on the snowmaking trails at Theodore Wirth. Joel Lafrance posted the top ski leg and second fastest bike leg to rocket to a big lead heading in the running portion, and came in first by just over three minutes as Jacob Keehan used the fastest running leg to power up to second place, Somer Shrock finishing third. Jan Guenther won the women's title convincingly with Andrea Tremaine and Tara Makinen rounding on the podium. Top relay team was the Skier Chicks - Brandy Stewart, Laura Bednarski and Mary McKelvey. Results linked in, along with photos.

World Cup Falun: Freestyle Sprints
March 16, 2019
A crazy day of racing in Falun, Sweden, in freestyle sprint World Cup competition on Saturday. Warm weather and a technical course resulted in a number of crashes, including Jessie Diggins and Sophie Caldwell. The women's final came down to a battle between favorites Stina Nilsson, Sweden, and Maiken Caspersen Falla, Norway, with Nilsson pulling ahead in the final stretch to take the win with Maja Dahlqvist third. The men's final was an intense battle as Norway's golden boy Johannes Klaebo barely survived the semifinals then squeaked out a tight victory over teammates Emil Iverson and Sindre Skar. Sadie Bjornsen and Sophie Caldwell both made the semifinals, finishing 10th and 11th. Simi Hamilton was the top American male, at 22nd, with Midwest's own Kevin Bolger 27th. Sunday is a pair of freestyle races, women's 10K starting at 5:30 am CDT, and men's 15K at 8:30 am.
Related:
Results: Freestyle Sprints

World Cup Falun Weekend Series
March 14, 2019
The World Cup shifts to Sweden this weekend for a pair of races in Falun. Saturday is freestyle sprints, Sunday is freestyle distance races. Saturday's sprint heats will be aired live beginning at 8:30 am CDT on Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Snowpass.
Related:
World Cup Falun Website

CXC Marathon Cup Closes Season at Great Bear Chase
March 14, 2019
CXC Marathon Cup wrapped up last weekend with the Great Bear Chase. Read a full recap on the race, plus review the final standings.
Related:
CXC Youth Cup Wraps Up With Midwest Championships

World Cup Drammen: Classic Sprints
March 12, 2019
Racing on the streets of Drammen, Norway on Tuesday, the World Cup featured classic sprint events. Norway won for both men and women, in convincing fashion. Maiken Caspersen Falla pulled away from the field on the final uphill run to take the win for Norway with teammate Astrid Jacobsen taking a surprising second and Russian Natalia Nepryaeva bumping favorite Stina Nilsson of Sweden out of third. Johannes Klaebo, Norway, showed he has no equal, dominating the men's field by storming ahead on the first climb and never leaving any doubt in his win. Eirik Brandsdal, Norway took second with France's Richard Jouve third. Jessie Diggins had the best performance for the US team, finishing 5th in the women's final.
Related:
Results: Classic Sprints

World Cup Drammen on Tuesday
March 10, 2019
The World Cup starts ramping up towards its finale, and with that brings one of the most iconic races of the season: classic sprints, including a brutal uphill finish, on the streets of Drammen, Norway. Jessie Diggins, Sophie Caldwell and Sadie Bjornsen should all be back in action, as well as Midwest's own Kevin Bolger and Bex Saxton. The sprint heats will be broadcast starting at 7:15 am CDT on the Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Snowpass.
Related:
World Cup Drammen Website

World Cup Oslo: Women's 30K Classic
March 10, 2019
Norway's Therese Johaug continued to steamroll the World Cup scene, striding away from the field early on to win the women's 30K classic race at the famed Holmenkollen venue in Oslo, Norway on Sunday. Russian Natalia Nepryaeva briefly stayed with Johaug in the early kilometers, and was able to maintain her lead on the rest of the field to finish second. Sweden's rising superstar Ebba Andersson outsprinted Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg, Norway, for third. Rosie Brennan was the top America, finishing 33rd, followed by Midwest's own Rosie Frankowski 34th.
Related:
Results: 30K Classic

24 Hours of Wirth Updates
March 9, 2019
The new 24 Hours of Wirth season finale event at the Trailhead in late March will feature 12 and 24 hours of racing.  A couple of updates on the event:
- Expanded race loop
- Free beer for going the distance

World Cup Oslo: Men's 50K Classic
March 9, 2019
Another enormous crowd at the famed Holmenkollen venue in Oslo, Norway, as the men raced in a 50K classic event. For quite a while, it looked like Norway was going to dominate the event, but in the final kilometers Russia moved to the front, ripping the lead pack up and going on to easily take the top four places. Canada's Alex Harvey was the first non-Russian, taking 5th with Norway's Martin Sundby and Simen Krueger 6th and 7th. The US men had some strong results as Scott Patterson was 19th and David Norris 24th.
Related:
Results: 50K Classic

Fat Bike Birkie Results
March 9, 2019
Over 1100 riders had the rare opportunity to race on the Birkie trail Saturday for the annual Fat Bike Birkie races. Corey Stelljes, who won the Chequamegon 40 in 2016, now adds another major victory in taking the Big Fat 47K title. Sonia Pond was the women's champion. Jack Branvold and Kristina Morse won The Chico 21K races.
Related:
Press Release: Pond and Stelljes Top the Podium at 2019 Fat Bike Birkie 47K

Great Bear Chase Results
March 9, 2019
Great conditions Saturday for the Great Bear Chase races on the Swedetown trails, just north of Houghton. Brian Gregg took the victory in premiere 50K skiathlon race, dropping Daniel Streinz in skate portion to take the win, Streinz second with Xavier Mansfield third. Deedra Irwin took a strong lead in the classic leg and then extended it in the freestyle to win by over four minutes, Felicia Gesior second, and Erica Wagner scored third. In the 59K freestyle, Nikolai Anikin and Ali Towle were victorious, Elspeth Ronnander and David Chamberlain earned the 50K classic titles. Freestyle 25K champions were Olivia Dreger and Drake Hacker (both high school stars from Wisconsin) while Jane Straka and Lars Dewell collected the 25K classic crowns.
Related:
Slush Rush Coverage
Record Numbers Highlight 39th annual UP Health System Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon

Parallel 45 Recap
March 6, 2019
The inaugural Fastenal Parallel 45 winter festival last weekend included the MyXC Festival and Championships also well LoppetX Ski and Fat Bike Cross events.

Fat Bike Birkie: Former Tour De France Pro to Race
March 5, 2019
With only days to go, on Saturday, March 9th, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation will greet over one thousand fat bikers to Cable, Wisconsin to test their expertise and skill at the 45NRTH Fat Bike Birkie, the world's largest fat bike race held on the legendary Birkie Trail. Included in the field of riders this year is Ted King, former professional racer who will participate in his first ever Fat Bike Birkie. Registration closes on Thursday night!

Erik Judeen Results
March 3, 2019
Cold temps did little to dissuade 35 skiers from racing in the annual Erik Judeen 10K classic race at Korkki Nordic on Sunday. Reitler Hodgert and Sarah Grenberg took top honors on the day.
Related:
Stride, Ride, Glide Winter Triathlon Coverage

World Championships: Men's 50K Freestyle
March 3, 2019
The World Championships in Seefeld, Austria, wrapped up on Sunday with the men's 50K freestyle mass start race. For much of the first half of the race the field stayed together at a steady pace. Shortly after 20K, Norway's Hans Christer Holund skied off the front and was not pursued. Holund eventually built up a lead of nearly 1:30 before Russian Alexander Bolshunov went off to hunt him down. However, Holund held his lead to 27 seconds to win the race, Bolshunov second, and then a sprint finish for third between veteran Martin Johnsrud Sunby and Sjur Roethe, both Norway, with Roethe taking it by a boot throw. David Norris led the US men in finishing 20th, Midwest's own Adam Martin was 45th.
Related:
Results: 50K Freestyle

LoppetX Ski Cross Coverage
March 2, 2019
A technical course with plenty of vertical brought out the spectators, along with plenty of crashes, for the LoppetX ski cross races at Theodore Wirth on Saturday afternoon. Kasey Bacso and Laura Cattaneo won the event titles. Full results pending, photos up from the practice and race heats.

Pepsi Challenge Results
March 2, 2019
Unusually crisp temperatures for March delayed the start of the Pepsi Challenge, but sunshine and light winds made for a great day of racing on the Giants Ridge trail system. Jan Guenther and Joel LaFrance took the titles in the 50K freestyle, Molly Watkins and John Schwinghammer the 50K classic. Lisa Garettson and Samuel Olson won the 25K freestyle races, Brandy Stewart and Nicholas Youso the 25K classic events.
Related:
Sleeping Giant Loppet Results
Squirrel Hill Loopy Loppet Results

World Championships: Women's 30K Freestyle
March 2, 2019
The women's racing at the World Championships in Seefeld, Austria, concluded on Saturday with the 30K freestyle event. As expected this season, Norway's Therese Johaug eventually dropped the lead pack and skied the second half of the race solo to take the victory. The race was second was far more interesting as Jessie Diggins, sporting some fast skis, was in the mix for the medals right up until the final kilometers when Sweden's Frida Karlsson broke away, followed by Norway's Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg, with Oestberg skiing in for second, Karlsson third and Diggins fourth. The US women's squad did well, with Sadie Bjornson 15th and Rosie Brennan 16th.
Related:
Results: 30K Freestyle

World Championships: Men's Relay
March 1, 2019
The men has their turn on Friday for the relay, racing a 4 x 10K format under pretty horrible weather in Seefeld, Austria, for the World Championships. Continued warm weather and the addition of rain made less than optimal racing conditions. Erik Bjornsen skied very well for the US to lead off the relay, staying with the leaders, even taking the lead at one point, and handed off in fourth place. Norway, Russia and Finland pushed the pace on the second leg, with Finland's Iivo Niskanen setting a hard tempo. Once into the skate legs, Norway and Russia pulled away, setting up a duel between Norway's Johannes Klaebo and Russia's Sergei Ustiugov (much anticipated after some testy behavior in the sprints earlier in the week). However, it soon became apparent Ustiugov wasn't fairing well in the conditions and Klaebo sped away for a relatively easy victory. Russia took second with the French outsprinting Finland to take third. The US squad finished 9th. The men's final event will be the 50K freestyle race, Sunday at 6 am.
Related:
Results: Men's Relay

World Championships: Women's Relay
February 28, 2019
Thursday featured the always exciting women's relay at the World Championships, and this year's was another epic event. The race quickly turned into a two horse race as favorite Norway and red hot Sweden pulled away from the field. On the third leg, Sweden's veteran Charlotte Kalla put down the hammer and seperated herself from Norway's Astrid Jacobsen to provide an 18 second led going into the final leg. Therese Johaug, anchoring for Norway, closed that gap to Stina Nilsson in the final kilometer, but it was Nilsson providing the finishing blow as she outsprinted Johaug to secure Sweden's victory. Russia was third, the US women's squad took 5th. The final event for the women is the 30K freestyle mass start race, Saturday starting at 5:15 am CST.
Related:
Results: Women's Relay

World Championships: Men's 15K Classic
February 27, 2019
Another warm day of competition at the World Championships Wednesday as the men raced in an individual 15K classic event. Norway's legendary Martin Johnsrud Sundby captured his first World Championship gold medal with the victory, beating out Russian Alexander Bessmertnykh silver, and Ivo Niskanen, Finland, bronze. Erik Bjornsen had a strong showing, finishing 17th to lead the US men, Kyle Bratrud from the Midwest finished 31st. Thursday is the women's relay, beginning at 6 am CST.
Related:
Results: 15K Classic

World Championships: Women's 10K Classic
February 26, 2019
After a day off, the World Championships for Nordic skiing resumed on Tuesday with a women's 10K classic race. Junior Frida Karlsson, Sweden, nearly stole the show as only Norway's Therese Johaug was able to top her time, Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg, Norway, third. The US had three women in the top 25 as Sadie Bjornsen, Rosie Brennan, and Jessie Diggins went 23, 24 and 25.
Related:
Results: 10K Classic
Fischer: Therese Johaug gold ahead of Frida Karlsson and Ingvild Flugstad Ostberg


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