NewWorld Cup Racing: Lahti ScheduleMarch 22, 2023
The final weekend of the World Cup season is here and there's plenty at stake with three days worth of podiums up for grabs and several spots in the overall standings yet to be decided. A team sprint starts things off in Lahti, Finland on Friday, with a qualifying round taking place at 8:20 AM CDT, followed by the finals at 9:50 AM CDT. Then it's on to back-to-back classic events with individual sprints on Saturday (qualifiers at 4:30 AM CDT, heats at 7:00 AM CDT) and a mass-start 20K race on Sunday (women on course at 5:00 AM CDT, men at 6:45 AM CDT).
World Cup Tallinn: Freestyle SprintsMarch 21, 2023
Racing under the lights for a rare night competition on the World Cup, a one-off round of freestyle sprints was front and center in Tallinn, Estonia on Tuesday. The first time back in the country since 2019, it was also the first test run of a new protocol that had all athletes competing on the same wax. Seemingly unaffected by the circumstances, Norwegian athletes reigned supreme again, with Kristine Stavaas Skistad and Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo both emerging victorious in the heats. It was another challenging day for US athletes as they struggled to break free from the heats, qualifying five—Ben Ogden, Rosie Brennan, Jessie Diggins, Julia Kern, and Samantha Smith—but advancing none. Lahti, Finland, the host for three days of racing this weekend, is the end of the road for the World Cup and the last chance for athletes to shuffle the standings with a handful of podium positions still in contention for the sprint, distance, and overall titles.
World Cup Racing: Tallinn ScheduleMarch 20, 2023
With a week to go in the World Cup season, a day of freestyle sprints in Tallinn, Estonia is all that remains for athletes before they arrive at the final venue of the season in Lahti, Finland. For Tuesday's stop in Tallinn, the racing action gets underway at 10:00 AM CDT for the sprint qualifiers, with the sprint heats slated for 12:30 PM CDT.
World Cup Falun: Mixed Team RelayMarch 19, 2023
Just as it did last season, a mixed team relay capped off the World Cup competitions in Falun, Sweden, with the men's and women's fields teaming up for just the second running of the event. Gaps in the field formed early in the race, and through the first exchange a lead pack of four teams had emerged comprised of Sweden I, Norway I and II, and Italy I. Overcoming a 20 second deficit, the Germany I team would also make contact with the leaders, and it would from there on out remain a quintet until Sweden I's anchor, Jonna Sundling, took off with less than a kilometer to go, leaving the rest of the group to hash out who would finish second and third. In the end it was Norway I who would cross the line just ahead of Germany I, who in turn just outstretched Norway II (with Italy I nowhere to be seen). For the US, the early fracturing of the field left both of its teams out on an island, resulting in 8th and 11th place finishes for the two teams. One final midweek layover awaits athletes on Tuesday as the World Cup moves to Tallinn, Estonia for freestyle sprints.
Last Chance Race ResultsMarch 19, 2023
A strong turnout Saturday morning in Mora for possibly the final race of the season, the Last Chance Race. The Gregg family of Brian and Caitlin swept the 20K freestyle titles with Matt Liebsch losing to Brian in a photo finish and Alex Reich taking third. Kaia Hilgendorf-Roost and Kristi Nixon completed the women's podium. Victorious in the 10K freestyle races were Dylan Little and Jackie Larsen.
World Cup Falun: Freestyle SprintsMarch 18, 2023
Warm temperatures and soft conditions added an extra challenge to Saturday's sprint competitions for day 2 of the World Cup races in Falun, Sweden. Quickly becoming the answer to a Swedish team full of quality sprinters, Norway's Kristine Stavaas Skistad went toe to toe with the best the Swedes had to offer in the women's final and came out on top for the second time in a row (and third time this season). Meanwhile, it was just another day at the office for another Norwegian, Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, as he calmly collected yet another sprint victory in the men's final. Although non of the five US athletes that qualified for the heats—Ben Ogden, Rosie Brennan, Jessie Diggins, Julia Kern, and Samantha Smith—were able to advance, a highlight for the squad was that 17-year-old Smith made the heats in just her second World Cup start. The final day of racing in Falun will revisit the mixed team relay, a relatively new event of which the US team won last season at the very same venue.
World Cup Falun: Classic DistanceMarch 17, 2023
The opening day of the World Cup weekend in Falun, Sweden held an air of possibility as athletes lined up one by one for an interval-start 10K classic race. For Finnish athlete Kerttu Niskanen it was a day to flex her family's classic prowess, and she did exactly that, finishing ahead of the rest of the field by over 15 seconds in the women's race. Also out to send a message, Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo proved that he could still win both distance and sprint events as he put 10 seconds between himself and his next closest competitor in the final kilometer, winning the men's race. With four athletes placing in the top-15, there was no shortage of standouts for the US. Of the bunch, Jessie Diggins finished just off the podium in 4th, Rosie Brennan was another two places back in 6th, and Ben Ogden and Novie McCabe both crossed the line just outside of the top-10 in 13th and 14th respectively. Switching to freestyle technique tomorrow, sprints will be the main event for Saturday's set of races in Falun.
World Cup Racing: Falun ScheduleMarch 15, 2023
After back-to-back stops in Norway this past week, the World Cup circuit pays a visit to its neighbor, Sweden, for three days of racing in Falun. Beginning with an interval-start 10K classic race on Friday, the women's field will head out first at 6:00 AM CDT in the opening event, followed by the men at 7:15 AM CDT. Freestyle sprints will then be the focus of Saturday, with heat qualifiers at 4:50 AM CDT, and the heats themselves at 7:20 AM CDT. Finally, athletes' time in Falun wraps up the same way it did the previous year, with a mixed team relay, which is slated for 5:15 AM CDT on Sunday.
World Cup Drammen: Classic SprintsMarch 14, 2023
Less than two week are left in the World Cup season and the competition is heating up as athletes jockey for podium positions in the final standings. Tuesday's classic sprints in Drammen, Norway were the first of four individual sprint competitions remaining, and among the women's field there were skiers aplenty looking to make their mark. One such skier was the up-and-comer Kristine Stavaas Skistad of Norway, who had just notched her first victory before the World Championships and topped the podium again today. Also topping the podium again and sealing a home soil sweep was Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, who earned his 14th victory of the season in dominant fashion. Five US athletes made the heats in Drammen—Zak Ketterson, Ben Ogden, Rosie Brennan, Jessie Diggins, and Julia Kern—with Kern the best of the bunch, advancing to the final where she finished 6th, and Ogden making it as far as the semifinals where he finished 11th. Ketterson looked to be advancing as well until a late crash took him out of contention. Athletes will now get a few more days of rest before a 3-day weekend of racing across the border in Falun, Sweden.
World Cup Racing: Drammen ScheduleMarch 12, 2023
Just two days after a historic World Cup weekend in Oslo, Norway, athletes will relocate to the neighboring town of Drammen for classic sprints on the city streets. Only a 24-hour layover before moving on to the next stop, Falun, Sweden, Tuesday's event starts at 5:30 CDT with a round of qualifying for all athletes, followed by the heats for the top-30 qualifiers at 8:00 CDT.
World Cup Oslo: Women's Freestyle Marathon; Historic Third for DigginsMarch 12, 2023
The first edition of the women's World Cup 50K event in Oslo, Norway was a grinding and grueling affair with many athletes hitting their limits and pushing past them. For roughly half of the race the field stayed relatively intact, but once the distance crossed into new territory fractures started to form and a group of less than a dozen was all that remained with two laps to go. The competition reached its crescendo coming down the final descent into the Holmenkollen stadium where an all out blitz between the remaining skiers collapsed into a three-way sprint between Norway's Ragnhild Gloeersen Haga and Astrid Oeyre Slind, and the US superstar Jessie Diggins. Just tenths of a second would separate the three as the race would finish in that order, with Diggins in third on the inaugural podium for the event. A long week lies ahead for athletes as all are back in action on Tuesday for classic sprints in Drammen, Norway.
Great Bear Chase ResultsMarch 12, 2023
Over 700 skiers turned out Saturday morning for the Great Bear Chase events on the Swedetown trails in Calumet, MI. The Gregg tandem of Brian and Caitlin collected another set of victories with Brian taking the 50K skiathlon and Caitlin the women's 50K freestyle. NMU's Lauren McCollor was the women's skiathlon champ, with Nikolai Anikin taking the 50K skate. Classic 50K titles went to Evan Wetzel and Carli Goddard. In the 25K events, Abby Scheller and Christian Byar had the fastest classic times while Pearl Harvey and Tom Wood had the best skate. Full results linked in.
World Cup Oslo: Men's Freestyle MarathonMarch 11, 2023
There was no shortage of spectators on Saturday as fans lined the Holmenkollen course in Oslo, Norway for the men's mass-start 50K freestyle race. Marking the start of Period IV of the World Cup, it was the second 50K race in under a week for many athletes, and it showed in the legs of those who had just raced last Sunday. Perhaps the best distance specialist on the circuit at the moment, it was once again The Simen Hegstad Krueger show as the Norwegian overtook teammate Hans Christer Holund within the final few hundred meeters for the victory, his first at the hollowed ground. Charging in behind the pair was another of their countryman, Martin Loewstroem Nyenget, who led a late surge to move onto the podium in third. Showing their experience when it comes to distance events, Americans David Norris and Scott Patterson both ended the day within the top-20, finishing 17th and 18th respectively. Tomorrow the women's field will get their first ever opportunity to race 50K at Holmenkollen, with the stakes being just as high as the fever pitch of the crowd.
World Cup Racing: Oslo ScheduleMarch 8, 2023
Coming off of a rousing string of competitions at the World Championships in Planica, Slovenia, the World Cup is back on this weekend for the fourth and final period of the circuit. The first stop of the last leg takes us to the legendary Holmenkollen venue in Oslo, Norway where athletes will be competing in a marathon freestyle race, with both the men's and women's fields covering a distance of 50K this time around. The action begins on Saturday at 3:30 AM CST for the men's race, followed by the women's race on Sunday at 4:15 AM CDT. For the most part the US squad for Period IV consists of the same faces seen throughout the season, although one of the more interesting additions comes in the form of a discretionary nod to the junior out of Idaho, Samantha Smith. Of the Midwestern contingent, Kevin Bolger, Zak Ketterson, Jessie Diggins, and Alayna Sonnesyn will all be making appearances, with the latter two set to start on Sunday.
Great Bear Chase this Saturday in Calumet, MichiganMarch 5, 2023
With less than a week to go, there are still some spots open to register for this year's Great Bear Chase. Taking place this Saturday, choose from distances of 50K, 25K, and 10K and enjoy a complimentary luncheon beforehand, with great raffle prizes and awards afterwards, all while taking in the excellent grooming on the Swedetown Trails.
World Championships: Men's 50K Classic Mass StartMarch 5, 2023
Sunday's sunny, sloppy weather made for a sluggish affair as the men's field battled it out over 50K on the final day of racing in Planica, Slovenia. The classic event started en mass and stayed that way for some time, but the conditions eventually took their tool on the field, and a pack of less than a dozen was all that would be left to contend for the medals with just a couple laps to go. Decisive moves had been far and few until Finland's Iivo Niskanen started upping the tempo on the final lap, setting off a chain of events that would result in the Norwegian Paal Goldberg charging ahead to win his first individual gold medal, with fellow countryman Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo unable to deny him in second place. Just barely edged out by Klaebo was William Poromaa of Sweden, who was more than happy to escape from the star-studded group with a bronze medal. The final showing by the US men at the World Championships was highlighted by a 16th place by distance specialist Scott Patterson. Seguing from one marathon event to the next, the World Cup circuit resumes next weekend with a stop at the storied Holmenkollen venue for 50K freestyle races for both the men and the women.
Sleeping Giant Loppet ResultsMarch 4, 2023
Returning for the first time since 2020, the Sleeping Giant Loppet was held at the provincial park of its namesake on Saturday with several hundred skiers in attendance. Among their ranks were some of the best from the Midwest, including Matt Liebsch and Michaela Keller-Miller who took home the titles in the 50K freestyle race. For the 50K classic race, the titles were split between Canada and the US, with Matthew Cuddy of Thunder Bay claiming the men's, and Kerrie Berg of Bemidji claiming the women's. Lastly, the titles stayed north of the border for the 35K and 20K freestyle races, with Kai Meekis and Berit Dool at the top of the results in longer event, and Adam Kates and Katie Weaver triumphant in the shorter event. Results are linked in.
Pepsi Challenge ResultsMarch 4, 2023
A great morning of racing on the Giants Ridge trail system for the Pepsi Challenge events on Saturday. In the premiere 50K freestyle, Marit Ross-Sonnesyn pulled away from Sarah Widder and Chelsey Youngberg for the women's title, while Alex Reich took the men's title with Benjamin Boelter second and Nick Ross third. The sparse 50K classic field had Molly Watkins and Andrew Tilman posting the best times. The largest field of the event was the 25K freestyle, which saw Jenna Nelson just ahead of Quinn Schollett for the women's victory, and Mitchell Campbell in front of the photo finish for second between Andrew Kershaw and Jes Pedersen. Kaisa Lindfors and Jordan Woods were 25K classic champions. Results linked in.
World Championships: Women's 30K Classic Mass Start; Brennan 5th in the WorldMarch 4, 2023
The weekend marked the final opportunities for the men's and women's fields to earn medals at the 2023 World Championships, with a classic marathon the final event. Ebba Andersson of Sweden pushed the pace early in Saturday's 30K women's race, ultimately breaking away by the midpoint of the race to ski the remainder on her own. With the race for gold largely decided, the race for the remaining medals would become an exciting war of attrition as the chase group slowly whittled down to a pack of five including the American, Rosie Brennan. Down to a half a lap to go, Norway's Anne Kjersti Kalvaa would make a decisive move, seeing her through to secure second place, although third place was still up for grabs. One final move up the last climb sealed the deal though, as Sweden's Frida Karlsson would take third just in front of a sprint finish between another Swede, Linn Svahn, and Brennan, for 4th and 5th respectively. In addition to Brennan's incredible performance, the US also had a standout in Hailey Swirbul, who worked her way up the field for an 18th place finish. A 50K race for the men's field will close out the competition in Planica, Slovenia on Sunday.
Team Birkie: Coach Caitlin Gregg Announces Departure from TeamMarch 3, 2023
An integral part of the team since its inception, Team Birkie's founding organizations announced that coach Caitlin Gregg will be stepping away from the team. A ground breaker and an inspiration, Gregg made invaluable contributions to the team and the community, also helping the team achieve numerous milestones in her tenure.
World Championships: Men's 4x10K RelayMarch 3, 2023
Seeking to match the excitement of the women's team relay event yesterday, the men's version of the World Championships event took place on Friday with a podium of national importance up for grabs for the top three teams. A leader arose early in the race, and to no one's surprise it was the team from Norway, who gradually grew their lead over the four legs, crossing the finish line in first with over 45 seconds to spare. The more surprising result of the day would come from the team from Finland who separated from the rest of the pack during the second leg, a move that would see them comfortably capture the second podium position, their best result in over a decade. Also posting their best result in near the same amount of time was the team from Germany, who willed themselves to a third place finish ahead of a faltering French team. To cap off a day filled with bests, the US team finished in 7th, their best World Championships result in many decades. For the final two days of racing in Planica, Slovenia, 30K and 50K mass-start classic races await the women's and men's fields, with the women competing tomorrow, and the men competing the day after.
World Championships: Women's 4x5K RelayMarch 2, 2023
Winding down to the final few events at this year's World Championships, two days of team relay racing kicked off on Thursday with the women's squads representing their nations first. In an almost picture perfect repeat of the race a few weeks back, this edition of the team relay ended in a nearly identical fashion, with Norway cruising to a victory as Germany held on for second, and Sweden sprinting away from Finland in the closing stretch for third. For the US, the team of Hailey Swirbul, Rosie Brennan, Jessie Diggins, and Julia Kern found themselves on the outside looking in this time, finishing in 5th after falling off the pace early. The men will have their opportunity to represent their nations on Friday.
World Championships: Men's 15K Freestyle Individual StartMarch 1, 2023
Another day of freestyle distance racing in Planica, Slovenia ended with another sweep of the men's podium by the Norwegian team at the 2023 World Championships. In almost identical fashion to yesterday's champion's racing tactics, Simen Krueger essentially started with the lead and never gave it up, leading the individual start event for over two thirds of the 15K race and prevailing through a late push by teammate Harald Oestberg Amundsen to claim his second title of the competition. Followed shortly after by another teammate, Hans Christer Holund, the trio of Norwegians were the tip of the iceberg for a nation that placed all five of their athletes in the top 6. Of the Americans, Scott Patterson was the guiding light for the US men once again, leading the group with a 15th place finish, with Gus Schumacher also cracking the top 20 in 19th. Tomorrow we will see a return to action for the women's field as they seek national glory in the team relay event.
World Championships: Women's 10K Freestyle Individual Start; Diggins World ChampionFebruary 28, 2023
A return to racing action on Tuesday after a day of rest meant athletes from the women's field were ready to give it their all on the 10K individual-start freestyle course in Planica, Slovenia. Leading from the word go with a desire burning in her eyes that no other competitor could match, Jessie Diggins threw herself at the course, passing time check after time check ahead of the field, and crossing the finish line with an incredible 14 second lead to become the first American individual World Champion in an emotional victory. A testament to the height of Diggin's accomplishment, the next athletes who were even remotely close to her blazing fast time were the two Swedish superstars, Frida Karlsson and Ebba Andersson, who had already finished 1-2 on Saturday in the skiathlon and gaped the rest of the pack by 15 seconds today. As for the remainder of the US crowd, it was another tough day for Rosie Brennan as she was within striking distance of the lead early on but fell back to a 15th place finish, while teammate Sophia Laukli finished 25th. The men's field will look to give it their all on Wednesday with 15K to cover in their individual-start race tomorrow.
KARE11: Two Minnesota Skiers Complete Birkie on One Pair of SkisFebruary 27, 2023
Twin Cities television station KARE 11 ran one of their Boyd Huppert special features, this one covering the story of Ben Dubay and Chris Parr and their tandem ski at the American Birkebeiner, and the incredible backstory leading up to it.
World Cup Racing: World Championships Schedule, Part 2February 26, 2023
Resuming after a day off for all athletes, the World Championships pick up where they left off with back-to-back days of freestyle distance racing. The women's field is up first again, racing at 5:30 AM CST on Tuesday, while the men's field will race at the same time on Wednesday. Then it's on to another event taking place over two days, the team relay, as the women compete on Thursday at 5:30 AM CST, and the men on Friday at 5:30 AM CST. Finally, the 2023 World Championships in Planica, Slovenia conclude with one last event in which the men's and women's fields will partake on separate days: a classic marathon race. Shifting forward a half an hour, the women will start en mass at 5:00 AM CST on Saturday, and the men will adhere to the same timetable on Sunday.
World Championships: Team Sprints; US Women Take BronzeFebruary 26, 2023
Capping off the first half of racing at the 2023 World Championships, another round of sprints, this time in a team format, took center stage in Planica, Slovenia on Sunday. Sticking to tradition, the women's teams had first go at the event, with the Swedish team of Emma Ribom and Jonna Sundling the odds-on favorites to win based on their 1-2 finish just a few days prior. They ultimately lived up to expectations, although Sundling would only get the separation needed to give her team the victory coming up the final climb. Finishing just seconds behind the runner-up, Norway, the US team of Jessie Diggins and Julia Kern fought bravely each leg, earning themselves a share of the podium and a bronze medal. In circumstances almost identical to the Swedish women's team, the Norwegian duo of Paal Goldberg and Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo also went on to meet expectations in the men's race, with Klaebo making a similar move on the final climb to claim another World Championships title. JC Schoonmaker and Ben Ogden carried the torch for the US men and were in the mix early on, but eventually fell off the lead for a 10th place finish. With a rest day schedule for tomorrow, racing at the 2023 World Championships will continue on Tuesday with a freestyle distance race up next for the women's field.
World Championships: Women's SkiathlonFebruary 25, 2023
The second day of skiathlon racing at the World Championships in Plancia, Slovenia continued a trend of consistency as the results from the women's 15K race largely came out as expected. Sticking to a tactic that has already been successful for her throughout the season, Sweden's Ebba Andersson laid down a tempo early on that few others could match, earning herself a victory as a result, with her teammate Frida Karlsson just falling off the pace late to finish second. Perhaps the closest of the podium finishes, Astrid Oeyre Slind of Norway captured the third place position after successfully fending off a late challenge by a pair of skiers with just seconds to spare. Hopes of a medal for the US rested on the shoulders of Rosie Brennan, but an early mishap left her out of contention and having to battle back for a 19th place finish, with teammate Sydney Palmer-Ledger just behind her in 20th. The men's and women's fields will return to racing side by side again tomorrow, with team sprints the event on deck.
American Birkebeiner CoverageFebruary 25, 2023
A dusting of fresh snow overnight combined cool temperatures slowed down the speeds for the 49th anniversary American Birkebeiner race Saturday morning in Hayward. Alayna Sonnesyn collected yet another title, outsprinting Jessica Yeaton on Main Street, with Caitlin Gregg powering to third. On the men's side, David Norris broke away early and never looked back, winning by over two minutes. Gerard Agnellet (France) was best of the rest, taking second, and Francis Bernier-izquierdo (Canadian pro cyclist) took third. Julie Ensrud captured the women's classic crown by over four minutes with Delaney FitzPatrick second, Vivian Johnson (Hett) third. Canmore's Scott Hill won the men's classic just ahead of Ian Torchia and Evan Wetzel. Results linked in, plus photos and video clips from the elite freestyle and classic waves.
Rendezvous Race: Put Your Training to the TestFebruary 24, 2023
Are you ready to put a winter’s worth of training to the test while you enjoy the beauty of the Yellowstone region? You are invited to participate in the 44th annual Yellowstone Rendezvous Race on March 4th, 2023 in West Yellowstone, Montana.
World Championships: Men's SkiathlonFebruary 24, 2023
Rolling into the weekend after yesterday's fast and furious classic sprints, Friday marked a two-day stretch of skiathlon racing at the World Championships in which the men's field competed first. A perennial favorite when it comes to big events, Norway's Simen Hegstad Krueger took home top honors in the 30K race, outlasting teammates Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo and Sjur Roethe who both showed signs of having heavy legs coming into their second and third place finishes. Crossing the line within the top-25, Scott Patterson and Hunter Wonders were the standouts for the US men, finishing 19th and 24th respectively. To wrap up the skiathlon series, tomorrow's 15K race will feature the women's field as they take to the trails in Planica.
World Championships: Classic SprintsFebruary 23, 2023
Soft and slushy course conditions produced a clattering of crashes in the opening event at this year's World Championships: classic sprints. The women's final came down to a classic Norway versus Sweden showdown, with two and four skiers representing either nation. It was Jonna Sundling's title to defend, and defend it she did, leading three of the four Swedish women to a podium sweep. Redemption for the Norwegian team came in the men's final with a statement victory by Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo who cruised to his 7th World Championships title. An abundance of top-10 performances highlighted the US athletes' day, with Julia Kern and Rosie Brennan both making it to the semifinals for the women, and JC Schoonmaker making it just as far for the men. Tomorrow the men's field will be back out on course for a skiathlon, while the women will get their chance on Saturday.
World Cup Racing: World Championships Schedule, Part 1February 21, 2023
The much anticipated competition of the season, World Championships kick off on Wednesday in Planica, Slovenia for nearly two weeks of racing action over seven different events. The opening event, freestyle distance racing, will see the men's and women's fields compete over 10K and 5K length courses respectively, with the women out first at 5:00 AM CST, followed by the men at 6:30 AM CST. Both groups then turn to classic sprints on Thursday, with qualifiers scheduled for 4:30 AM CST, and the heats planned for 6:30 AM CST. Afterwards, the next two days are devoted to a skiathlon, with the men getting their turn to go first at 8:30 AM CST on Friday for a 30K race, and the women following suit a day later for a 15K race at 7:00 AM CST on Saturday. To close out the first half of World Championships before a day of rest for all athletes, skiers will partner up for team sprints on Sunday, with qualifying taking place at 4:30 AM CST, and advancing teams competing in the finals at 6:30 AM CST. As Zak Ketterson and Alayna Sonnesyn earned roster nominations but opted to return stateside, all eyes will be on Kevin Bolger and Jessie Diggins as representatives of the Midwest at the competition.
Team Birkie: UnTapped Maple Signs On as Partner for 2023 ProgramFebruary 18, 2023
Helping the team tap into any untapped potential, UnTapped Maple announced that it will be sponsoring Team Birkie for the upcoming year. Headquartered in Richmond, Vermont, UnTapped is a sports nutrition company centered around maple-based products as an energy source for athletes.
Minnesota Finlandia CoverageFebruary 18, 2023
Winding through the trails at the Buena Vista Ski Area outside Bemidji, the Minnesota Finlandia got off to a start on Saturday morning with over 100 skiers lining up across the four different events. With the largest field of the four, the 25K freestyle race was won by Nick Ross and Ella Simula, while Zach and Jenna Nelson were victorious at double the distance in the 50K freestyle race. For the 25K classic race, Nicholas Youso and Kerrie Berg took home the top prizes, and likewise Craig Cardinal and Molly Watkins both added to their collection of rosemaled axes in the 25K pursuit race. Results linked in, photos posted from David Harrington.
Minneapolis to Host 2024 FIS Cross Country World CupFebruary 15, 2023
Over President’s Day weekend in 2024, Feb. 17-19, the Twin Cities will welcome the best cross-country skiers in the world to Theodore Wirth Park for the first Cross Country Ski World Cup in over 20 years. The Loppet Foundation and the Share Winter Foundation will serve as hosts.
Great Bear Chase: Great Race and Great PrizesFebruary 14, 2023
We're less than a month out from the Great Bear Chase which takes place March 11th. With a range of both freestyle and classic distances to choose from, and a plethora of door prizes to boot, the event is shaping up to be one you won't want to miss.
US Elite Racing: World Junior Championships RecapFebruary 13, 2023
With World Junior Championships bridging the months of January and February, SuperTour competitions have been on hold since the Seeley Hills Classic races last month, but that didn't stop many elite athletes from competing elsewhere in the interim. Providing an update on how some of the Midwestern skiers kept busy, as well as a synopsis of the competitions in Whistler, BC, Adam Bodensteiner shares the latest details from the US Elite racing circuit and issues a brief glimpse of what lies ahead for the third and final period of domestic racing.
Vasaloppet USA Classic ResultsFebruary 12, 2023
Another day of sun and weather above freezing laid the backdrop for the second half of racing in Mora. The 42K classic race ended in an Ensrud sweep, with Julie and Ole collecting the victor's wreaths at the finish line. Gliding in behind them were Ingrid Thayer, second, and Erica Meyers, third, of the women's field; and Brian Gregg, second, and Andrew Tilman, third, of the men's field. At half the distance, the 21K half classic titles went to Tayah Anderson and Nicolas Reichenbach, with Paige Larson and Abby Scheller, and Brad Morning and Jacob Stiele fleshing out the podiums in second and third respectively. Full results can be found linked in.
Vasaloppet USA Freestyle CoverageFebruary 11, 2023
Bright sunshine and warm temperatures for the 51st edition of the Vasaloppet races in Mora. Vasaloppet GOAT Matt Liebsch collected yet another victory in the 48K race with Jakob Ellingson second, Alex Reich third. Olympian Caitlin Gregg notched back to back victories after City of Lakes Loppet last weekend in taking the women's 48K title. Chelsey Youngberg skied to second place, Sarah Widder third. A tight battle for the 34K crown as Andrew Brown topped perennial favorite Nathan Porath, with local hero Paul Olson third. On the women's side, Nicole Eliasson (Schneider) took the title by nearly five minutes with Lily Hubanks second, Maureen Lybager third. Bellringers (13K) victories for Anders Decker and Siri Stolen. Results linked in, photos posted along with recap video.
Pre-Birkie ResultsFebruary 11, 2023
The annual Pre-Birkie races were held out of Birkie Ridge, offering a number of distance and technique options. In the 42K freestyle, the husband and wife duo of Nick Ross and Marit Ross-Sonnesyn performed a clean sweep of the titles. Connor Canfield and Zoe Reker were the best in the 42K classic. Olympian John Bauer took the original Pre-Birkie 26K freestyle, with Katrin O'Grady tops for the women. The classic 26K winners were Hugh Duffy and Mary-Anne Church.
US Ski Team: World Championships Roster RevealedFebruary 10, 2023
Following the conclusion of the first three of four periods of racing on the World Cup circuit, the US Ski Team announced it's roster for the upcoming World Championships taking place Feb 22nd-Mar 6th in Planica, Slovenia. Of the eighteen athletes named, representatives from the Midwest include Kevin Bolger, Zak Ketterson, Jessie Diggins, and Alayna Sonnesyn.
North End Classic This SundayFebruary 5, 2023
The North End Classic ski race will be run Sunday, Feb 12th. This small, but popular event has been a mainstay of the local race calendar for 22 years. Funding generated from the race helps support the grooming and maintenance of the North End ski trails.
City of Lakes Loppet Freestyle CoverageFebruary 5, 2023
Another beautiful winter morning as temperatures climbed into the mid 20s with blue skies as skiers took to the trails for the City Of Lakes Loppet freestyle races Sunday. After whittling the pack down to four, Matt Liebsch eventually powered ahead of Brian Gregg to take the men's title with Jonathan Saldin coming in third by one second over Alex Reich. Caitlin Gregg blasted away with the men's lead pack and went on to win by over two minutes, Renae Anderson and Erin Bianco rounding out the podium. The 20K winners were Eli Andre and Dottie Anderson. Results linked in along with two photosets.
Wolf Track Rendezvous ResultsFebruary 4, 2023
Minocqua Winter Park welcomed over 200 skiers for the Wolf Track Rendezvous races Saturday. In the 42K freestyle, Tristan Schouten topped the men's field with Becky Burdick the top female. 42K classic titles went to Alexander Gude and Delaney FitzPatrick (3rd overall!). Fred Hubley and Johanna Craig (2nd overall!) won the 24K freestyle divisions, Henry Jacobson and Julia Olenchek the 24K classic.
World Cup Toblach: Freestyle Distance; Diggins Skis to SecondFebruary 4, 2023
An interval-start 10K freestyle race was the task at hand for World Cup athletes on Saturday, midway through the weekend stop in Toblach, Italy. Showing good form heading into World Championships, Sweden's Ebba Andersson claimed another distance victory in women's race, leaving a healthy gap between her and the rest of the field. For the US women, it was one of the best results yet this season, with Jessie Diggins on the podium again in second, and Rosie Brennan and Julia Kern both notching top-10 finishes in 5th and 10th respectively. With eight in the top-10 in the men's race, it was also Norway's day to shine as Paal Goldberg led the group, earning his third victory of the season. And for the American men, Scott Patterson was the first to finish, putting together another commendable distance performance with a 14th place result. A true test of team depth, team relays await athletes on Sunday for the third and final day of racing in Toblach.
City of Lakes Loppet Classic CoverageFebruary 4, 2023
Warming temperatures and bright sunshine made for great conditions Saturday morning as skiers raced in the City of Lakes Loppet winter festival classic technique events. Andrew Tilman strided to the men's title, pulling away from the pack to win by over a minute. Andrew Brown was second, David Chamberlain third. Vivian Johnson won the women's title, followed by Laura Cattaneo and Sarah Widder. In the 20K race, Sam Rabaey and Allie Rykken posted the top times. Results linked in, along with some photosets.
World Cup Toblach: Freestyle Sprints; Diggins Takes ThirdFebruary 3, 2023
Serving as a last chance to iron out any kinks before World Championships, the weekend's World Cup races in Toblach, Italy got off to a start on Friday with freestyle sprints as the opening event. The US women were in as fine of form as ever with four qualifying for the heats: Rosie Brennan, Jessie Diggins, Julia Kern, and Hailey Swirbul. Of the four, however, Diggins would be the only to advance, making it all the way to the final where she would fight back for a third place finish. Sharing the podium with her was the Swedish dominant duo of Jonna Sundling and Maja Dahlqvist who held nothing back in their respective first and second place finishes. Speaking of dominance, Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo produced yet another untouchable performance, topping the World Cup podium for the 14th time this season and tying the record. Two US men made the heats as well—Logan Diekmann and Ben Ogden—but neither could manage to find a way into the semifinals. Coming up on Saturday: freestyle distance racing in an interval-start format.
World Cup Racing: Toblach ScheduleFebruary 1, 2023
As the final Period III destination before the start of World Championships in Planica, Slovenia, the World Cup moves on to Toblach, Italy this weekend for three days of sprints, distance racing, and team relays. Sprints are up first on Friday, this time in the freestyle technique, with qualifiers beginning at 5:00 AM CST, and heats running at 7:30 AM CST. The following day (Saturday) athletes' endurance will be tested in an interval-start 10K freestyle race (women's field out at 6:00 AM CST, men's field out at 8:00 AM CST). Finally, Sunday will be a testament to team depth with teams of four lining up for a 4x7.5K relay, with the women's teams leading the charge at 4:00 AM CST, and the men's teams following suit at 6:00 AM CST.
Biathlon: Teams Named for World Championships, IBU Cup 6January 31, 2023
With some major competitions on the horizon, U.S. Biathlon has named its 10-person and 8-person teams for the upcoming World Championships, Feb 8-19th, and IBU Cup 6, Feb 2-4. For World Championships, notables from the Midwest include Deedra Irwin, Jake Brown, and Paul Schommer; and for IBU Cup 6, Amanda Kautzer, Margie Freed, Luke Brown, and Vaclav Cervenka all made the roster.
NNF: Third Virtual Speaker Lecture This Thursday, Feb 2ndJanuary 29, 2023
For the third installment of their virtual speaker series NNF announced Travis Tygart, CEO of the US Anti-Doping Association, as the lecturer for the upcoming event. Scheduled for this Thursday evening, Tygart's talk will focus on creating a culture of “clean sport” from the earliest levels of athlete development on up, with specific knowledge applied to US nordic skiing. As before, the lecture series is free to attend, although a $25 donation is recommended. Attendence is limited to the first 300 registrants, so don't wait to sign up!
Marine O'Brien ResultsJanuary 29, 2023
Undeterred by the recent cold snap, roughly 150 brave souls ventured out to William O'Brien State Park on Sunday for the 51st running of the Marine O'Brien ski races. In the 25K main event, titles went to Andrew Tilman and Rana Jaszczak in the classic division, and Andrew Schakel and Elena Cattaneo in the freestle division. Most of the races were decided well before the finish line, although the 25K classic race came down a tight finish for the men's field as each podium position was ultimately separated by just 8 seconds. At half the distance, the pair of Emmerson and Susan Ward claimed the crowns in the 12.5K classic race, while Nathan Swenson and Daria Terenteva were the fastest of the field in the 12.5K freestyle race.
World Cup Les Rousses: Classic DistanceJanuary 29, 2023
Bidding adieu to their time in France, World Cup athletes participated in a mass-start 20K classic race on Sunday to mark the final day of racing in Les Rousses. Sticking to tradition, the women's field went out first, quickly thinning out after the first accent of the course's prominent climb. When all was said and done, Ebba Andersson of Sweden stood atop the podium again after breaking away early with Finland's Kerttu Niskanen and leading for much of the race, although US athletes weren't far behind as Jessie Diggins and Rosie Brennan crossed the line in 9th and 12th respectively. Seeking vindication for the last two substandard races, Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo composed the other half of the day's victors after pouncing late in the men's race to out sprint what remained of the lead pack. A mirror of Brennan's performance, Scott Patterson also achieved a 12th place finish, the best by the US men on the day. Off until the following weekend, the next stop for the World Cup circuit is in Toblach, Italy for three days of racing, with freestyle sprints the first event on Friday.
Ski de She ResultsJanuary 28, 2023
The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation hosted the inaugural Ski de She races at the Birkie Trailhead in Cable on Saturday, with over 300 women participating in the events. Ingrid Thyr won the 30K skate, Josie Nelson the 20K classic, and Faye Braun scooped up the 10K freestyle.
Noquemanon ResultsJanuary 28, 2023
The mighty Noquemanon races saw large fields again this season for the annual point-to-point races in Marquette. The premiere 50K classic titles were collected by Ian Torchia and Julie Ensrud. Marathon distance freestyle victories for Mitchell Campbell and Hanna Derby. Lily Hubanks and Ethan Anderson won 24K classic division, Kaia Hilgendorf-Roost and Tait Myers were the freestyle winners. A complete set of results linked in.
World Cup Les Rousses: Classic SprintsJanuary 28, 2023
The second day of racing in Les Rousses, France brought classic sprinting to the fore as competitors battled it out on a tricky hillside course. Shakeups were abound, especially in the women's final where Norway's Kristine Stavaas Skistad fended off four Swedish skiers and one American, Julia Kern, to claim her first World Cup victory (and first podium nonetheless). Kern would go on to finish fifth in the final, capping off a solid team performance by the US women which included a 12th place finish by Hailey Swirbul and a 17th place finish by Rosie Brennan. Adding to the notion of home field advantage, the Frenchman Richard Jouve put in a hard day's work in the men's final, relegating Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo to a second place finish and a claiming a victory for himself in front of a jubilant home crowd. Ben Ogden was the best from the US once again, nearly breaking through to the final if not for a deviation of the side of the trail midway through his semifinal. One more day of racing in France awaits athletes as they prepare for a mass-start classic race on Sunday.
World Cup Les Rousses: Freestyle Distance; Diggins Back on PodiumJanuary 27, 2023
The World Cup season marched onward on Friday as it came to town in Les, Rousses, France. As the first competitions in Frances for over six years, there was a home field advantage for many of the French skiers in Friday's indiviual-start 10K freestyle races, including Delphine Claudel who skied to a second place finish on the coattails of the Swedish skier Ebba Andersson's fastest time of the day. The fastest time of the day up until that point had been set by American Jessie Diggins, who was bumped to third on the podium, with teammates Rosie Brennan and Julia Kern not far off either in 5th and 11th respectively. Home field advantage wasn't enough to put any French skiers on the podium in the men's race, but there were some new faces nonetheless as Harald Oestberg Amundsen of Norway collected his first career win. For the US, Scott Patterson was the fastest finisher among the men. A brief 24-hours later, athletes will be back on course again on Saturday for classic sprints.
US Elite Racing: Seeley Hills Classic SuperTour Recap, World Junior Championships PreviewJanuary 26, 2023
Athletes on the elite racing scene have been making splashes as we've progressed into the second half of the season, notably among those with Midwestern roots. The first SuperTour competition since US Nationals, the Seeley Hills Classic served as an unique opportunity for athletes to reaffirm their results from the Championships, and perhaps lock-in some starting positions at the international level. With the help of Adam Bodensteiner, we're taking a look at those results to see just how Midwestern athletes fared, and where we may see them in the weeks ahead, including at the upcoming World Junior Championships which start this weekend.
World Cup Racing: Les Rousses ScheduleJanuary 25, 2023
Six years on since they last played host, France will once again get an opportunity to hold World Cup races this upcoming weekend with the competition coming to town in Les Rousses. The festivities begin on Friday with an interval-start 10K freestyle race on the books—ladies first at 5:00 AM CST, and gents afterwards at 7:45 AM CST. Then it's on to classic sprints on Saturday, with qualifiers opening the day at 5:00 AM CST, and heats closing it out at 7:30 AM CST. Lastly, a mass-start 20K classic race caps off the weekend on Sunday, with the women's field out first at 5:45 AM CST, followed by the men's field at 7:45 AM CST.
World Cup Livigno: Team Sprints; Third for Brennan and KernJanuary 22, 2023
Closing out a weekend dedicated to sprinting, team sprints were the scheduled event for Sunday's World Cup races in Livigno, Italy. With all 14 teams from the qualifier making the final, the women's field was an all-inclusive event, and one for redemption as the Swedish team of Maja Dahlqvist and Linn Svahn were able to step out of the shadow of their teammates Jonna Sundling and Emma Ribom for the victory. Just a fraction of a second back, US athlete Julia Kern had her second success of the weekend, edging out Italy's team for third, bolstered by excellent positioning through her teammate, Rosie Brennan. With Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo sitting out the event, the men's race was also one for redemption as it became Richard Jouve and Renaud Jay's race to loose. The French team ultimately did enough to secure that win, although only after the team from Italy gave them a run for their money. Kevin Bolger and Will Koch had the best result for the US men with a 12th place finish in the final. After missing the opportunity to host last season, Les Rousses, France will get a second chance this weekend, opening with freestyle distance racing Friday.
Woodland Loppet ResultsJanuary 21, 2023
Over 100 skiers hit the trails at Woodlands in Elk River for 10K and 20K races. Matt Liebsch notched another victory in taking the 20K title with Andrew Brown second, and Alex Reich third. Julie Ensrud skied to the women's title with Nicole Eliasson second, Laura Cattaneo third. In the 10K race, Sergei Viskovatykh and Kaelyn Nelson had the best times.
World Cup Livigno: Freestyle SprintsJanuary 21, 2023
Freestyle sprints got Period III of the World Cup underway on Saturday, a day of firsts, with some athletes starting for the first time this season, some for the first time in over a year, and some for the first time ever. In a dramatic return to form, Jonna Sundling of Sweden took the victory in the women's final on her season debut, a final which also featured an appearance by one American, Julia Kern. The men's final was a continuation of form for the Norwegian Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, who held off a late surge by France's Richard Jouve for his 60th World Cup win. The top American performance among the men came from Kevin Bolger who concluded his day in the semifinals. Another bout of sprinting action awaits athletes tomorrow, with team sprints the focus for Sunday.
World Cup Racing: Livigno ScheduleJanuary 18, 2023
World Cup racing is back in action this weekend with a sprint doubleheader kicking things off for Period III of the season. Taking place in Livigno, Italy, Saturday of the opening weekend will feature freestyle sprints, with the top-30 athletes from the qualifiers working their way through the heats at 6:15 AM CST. Skiers will then pair up for team sprints on Sunday, with the top teams vying for a spot on the podium at 6:15 AM CST. A host of new names were nominated to the US roster for Period III, so keep an eye out for fresh faces including Midwesterners Margie Freed and Sarah Goble, and MTU's Adam Witkowski. In addition, the same group of Midwesterners from Period I and II will be returning as well: Kevin Bolger, Zak Ketterson, Jessie Diggins, and Alayna Sonnesyn.
Seeley Hills Classic SuperTour Sprints ResultsJanuary 15, 2023
The second day of racing for the Seeley Hills Classic SuperTour featured classic sprinting action on the Birkie Trials. After a late pileup in the women's final, Hannah Rudd strode away to become the back-to-back winner for the weekend, with Margie Freed and Mariah Bredal leading the rest of the pack in for second and third. The men's final was a cleaner affair, with Michael Earnhart taking his first victory of the SuperTour season, followed closly by the second and third place finishers, Zanden McMullen and Logan Diekmann.
Pre-Loppet CoverageJanuary 15, 2023
Over 200 skiers hit the trails at Theodore Wirth Saturday morning for the annual Pre-Loppet race. Winding it's way around the trails of North Wirth, the men's 18K field held to a pack of about seven before three broke off the front, Jonathan Saldin taking the victory, Andrew Brown second and Alex Reich third. Caitlin Gregg powered away with the women's title (and 12th overall), Sarah Widder took second and Kim Rudd third. Five kilometer titles were earned by Luke Jacobsen and Camille Friden. Results linked in, photos from the 18K race posted.
Seeley Hills Classic ResultsJanuary 14, 2023
The 33rd edition of the classic Seeley Hills Classic took place on Saturday with a new race date not the only change to the event. Now a SuperTour stop with the addition of its own 32K division, over 550 skiers took to the Birkie Trails for the now three different race distances. In the 42K men's race Matt Liebsch and Brian Gregg took it down to the wire in yet another photo finish, with Liebsch prevailing over Gregg by only one one hundredth of a second. By comparison, Hannah Olson won the 42K women's race comfortably, finishing a minute and a half ahead of the runner up. The 32K SuperTour races also produced tight finishes, with Peter Wolter and Hannah Rudd both escaping with wins by just a handful of seconds. Last but not least, Torsten Brinkema and Molly Watkins took home top honors as the 22K men's and women's champions, doing so with a over a minute to spare each.
Lapham Loppet ResultsJanuary 14, 2023
Over 130 skiers turned out for SE Wisconsin's big race of the season, the Lapham Loppet. Racing laps on the snowmaking course at Lapham Peak, Peak Nordic's Ben Dohlby and Anne Straka posted the top times in the freestyle division, Paul Timm and Annie Kleiber had the best classic times.
Luminary Loppet RescheduledJanuary 13, 2023
Due to difficult conditions on the Minneapolis lakes, the Loppet Foundation on Friday announced they are rescheduling the popular Luminary Loppet event to Saturday, February 18th. While the City of Lakes Loppet races are still on, organizers suggest courses may have to be altered.
Nordic Combined/Ski Jumping: Twin Cities Events this WeekendJanuary 11, 2023
The Central Division ski jumping and Nordic combined season is underway with a couple of event weekends already in the books. This weekend there are two major events in the Cities including big Saturday night jumping event in Bloomington and more Sunday in St. Paul. Read up on the details and upcoming events, and come out to cheer on some of these high flyers!
US Elite Racing: US Nationals RecapJanuary 10, 2023
From SuperTour points to ski team bearths, the US Cross-Country Ski Championships are a crucial stop for the US Elite racing crowd and a major focus of Period II of their season. Recapping each of the races from the past week and diving into the implications of the results, Adam Bodensteiner delivers a much needed report before our attention turns to the Birkie trails for the next bout of racing action on the Elite circuit.
Tour de Ski: Stage 7 Freestyle Distance; Laukli Summits in ThirdJanuary 8, 2023
With the end of Period II of the World Cup in sight, a mass-start freestyle race up the alpine runs on Alpe Cermis was all that was standing between athletes and the end of a week's worth of racing in the Tour de Ski. The women's field was up the slopes first, reaching the summit with yet another athlete earning a career first World Cup victory in France's Delphine Claudel. Improving on an already impressive 5th place finish last year, Sophia Laukli powered to a podium finish in third, leading a group of US women who placed three in the top-6 with Jessie Diggins 5th and Rosie Brennan 6th. Despite the strong efforts of other skiers, Sweden's Frida Karlsson would do enough to solidify herself as the overall Tour de Ski winner. Following the same 10K course, the men's race ended with fresh faces on the podium as well with the Norwegian Simen Hegstad Krueger getting his second individual victory of the season. Krueger would also earn a spot on the overall Tour de Ski podium, with his teammate Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo claiming his 3rd overall Tour de Ski title. Scott Patterson had the fastest time to the top for the US, finishing 14th, but Ben Ogden made a notable achievement with a 12th place finish in the overall standings, an all-time best result among the US men. Athletes now have two weeks off before the second half of the season begins in Livigno, Italy.
SISU Ski Fest ResultsJanuary 7, 2023
One of the first big Midwest marathons of the season, the Sisu Ski Fest in Ironwood, Michigan had nearly 800 skiers show up for their spread of events on Saturday. Titles in the 30K events were won by slim to wide margins, as David Joda and Benjamin Bauer won by 5 seconds or less in the men's freestyle and classic races respectively, while Sarah Widder won the women's freestyle race by over 20 seconds, and Delaney Fitzpatrick the women's classic by over 10 minutes. In the 15K events, Adam Zais and Rebecca Morales were the victors of the men's and women's freestyle fields; and Devon Byers and Joan Rundman the victors of the men's and women's classic fields.
Tour de Ski: Stage 6 Classic DistanceJanuary 7, 2023
As the final opportunity for athletes to jockey for more favorable positions heading into the final day, Stage 6 of the Tour de Ski was full of suspense and surprises. The 15K classic races began with the men out first en mass, and in which the Norwegian Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo pulled off another statement sprint finish, his 6th straight victory with just one separating him from a sweep of the Tour de Ski. Ogden was once again the best from the US with a top-20 finish in 19th. Also a mass-start, the women's race was much more strung out as the lead group narrowed down to a handful of athletes by the last lap. Germany's Katharina Henning would go on to notch a debut victory after a sprint finish that ending with US standout Rosie Brennan just off the podium in 4th. The 7th and final stage of the Tour de Ski takes place on Sunday with the infamous climb up Alpe Cermis awaiting all athletes in a freestyle distance race.
Tour de Ski: Stage 5 Classic SprintsJanuary 6, 2023
Classic sprints were on deck for Stage 5 of the Tour de Ski as the World Cup rolled into the final Period II venue, Val di Fiemme, Italy. It was another strong showing by US skiers with six qualifying for the heats, including a first-time appearance by the Midwest native Zak Ketterson. While Ketterson ended his day in the quaterfinals, Ben Ogden and JC Schoonmaker both advanced as far as the semifinals, displaying gutsy tactics that fell just short of seeing them through to the finals where Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway continued his winning streak in the Tour de Ski. For the US women, Rosie Brennan led the pack with another semifinals appearance, while Julia Kern and Jessie Diggins were tied up in the quaterfinals. The women's podium was an all-Norwegian affair, with the Weng twins taking the top spots as Lotta Udnes Weng added an inagural World Cup victory to her career. Stage 6 on Saturday will feature a mass-start classic distance race for all athletes.
World Cup Racing: Tour de Ski Stages 5, 6, and 7 ScheduleJanuary 4, 2023
Bringing the Tour de Ski to a close, and with it Period II of the World Cup, Val di Fiemme, Italy marks the last chance for athletes to make a move and take home the title. The first of the final three stages takes place on Friday with classic sprints (qualifying at 3:00 am CST, heats at 5:30 am CST), before turning to a mass-start 15K classic race on Saturday (women at 4:45 am CST, men at 6:30 am CST). Then it's on to the main event on Sunday: the infamous climb up Alpe Cermis. The women will face the music first in the mass-start 10K freestyle race starting at 4:00 am CST, followed shortly after by the men suffering the same fate at 5:45 am CST.
Tour de Ski: Stage 4 Freestyle DistanceJanuary 4, 2023
Consistency defined the US results on Wednesday as the World Cup concluded its stop in Oberstdorf, Germany for Stage 4 of the Tour de Ski. The race of the day was freestyle technique over a distance of 20K, with starting positions based on Tuesday's results. In opposite endings, the men's race boiled down to a mass finish as Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo came out on top of the heap to remain undefeated in this year's Tour de Ski, while Sweden's Frida Karlsson broke away late in the women's race to cap off back-to-back wins in Oberstdorf. Of the US camp, the men performed well again with three in the top-20: Ben Ogden (13th), Scott Patterson (17th), and Hunter Wonders (19th); and the women also shone as Jessie Diggins returned to form, rising from a 40th place start to a 8th place finish (the fastest time of the field), with Rosie Brennan (13th) and Julia Kern (17th) among the top-20 as well. Also worth noting, The Midwest's Alayna Sonnesyn had a breakout race clocking the 5th fastest time of the field. The closing stages of the Tour de Ski will take place in Val di Fiemme, Italy, beginning on Friday with classic sprints.
Tour de Ski: Stage 3 Classic DistanceJanuary 3, 2023
Warm and wet conditions in Oberstdorf, Germany overshadowed Stage 3 of the Tour de Ski, an interval-start 10K classic race. Tuesday's races opened with the men's field heading out first, with a trio of Norwegian skiers producing the sixth podium sweep for the nation this season as Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo stood atop it once again. A trio of US skiers, however, arguably had the most impressive performance of the day, with top-15 finishes coming from Ben Ogden, Hunter Wonders, and Gus Schumacher who finished 6th, 11th, and 15th respectively. On course shortly after the men, the best result from the women's field came from Frida Karlsson of Sweden, who crossed the line with a healthy lead over the rest of the pack, while Rosie Brennan led way for the US women with an 11th place finish. Stage 4 of the Tour de Ski will see athletes remain in Oberstdorf for a pursuit-start freestyle distance race on Wednesday.
World Cup Racing: Tour de Ski Stages 3 and 4 ScheduleJanuary 2, 2023
Midweek racing action takes the World Cup to Oberstdorf, Germany for Stages 3 and 4 of the Tour de Ski. The first half of the doubleheader takes place on Tuesday, with an interval-start 10K classic race scheduled to start at 4:45 am CST for the men's field, and 7:45 am CST for the women's field. Wednesday will feature the second half of the races at the Oberstdorf venue, with a pursuit-start 20K freestyle race closing out the Tour stop (men starting at 4:15 am CST, women at 7:30 am CST).
Tour de Ski: Stage 2 Classic DistanceJanuary 1, 2023
Athletes rang in the new year on Sunday with a helping of classic distance racing for the Stage 2 of the Tour de Ski. In a pursuit-start format based on the sprint results from the previous day, the women's field went out first, culminating in a tight finish that saw Tiril Udnes Weng claim her first career victory for the Norwegian women's team. Next up were the men led out by Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway, who raced unopposed for a weekend swep in Val Mustair, Switzerland. Standouts in the stars and stripes on the day were Rosie Brennan, who earned another top-10 finish in 7th, and Ben Ogden, who scored a top-20 finish for himself in 18th. After a day off, the World Cup moves on to Oberstdorf, Germany for Stages 3 and 4 of the Tour de Ski, with classic distance racing slated for Tuesday.
Tour de Ski: Stage 1 Freestyle SprintsDecember 31, 2022
Period II of the World Cup kicked off in Val Mustair, Switzerland on Saturday with freestyle sprints the opening event of the Tour de Ski. Leading the US in the results was Julia Kern, who made it as far as the semifinals before crashing out. Teammates Rosie Brennan, Ben Ogden, and JC Schoonmaker also made the heats, but were unable to progress any further. Extending her win streak to three straight in the sprints, Switzerland's Nadine Fendrich took a commanding lead midway through the women's final and never looked back, rewarding the home crowd with another victory. In the men's final, Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo bounced back from a surprise sprint defeat in Davos to once again stand on top of the podium. Stage 2 of the Tour de Ski takes place on Sunday in Val Mustair with a pursuit-start classic distance race at hand for all athletes.
World Cup Racing: Tour de Ski Stages 1 and 2 ScheduleDecember 28, 2022
After a two week hiatus for the holidays, international racing returns for Period II of the World Cup: the Tour de Ski. For the US, the roster remains relatively unchanged, with Kevin Bolger, Zak Ketterson, Jessie Diggins, and Alayna Sonnesyn the ones to watch from the Midwest heading into the competition. Coverage of the opening stages in Val Mustair, Switzerland begins on Saturday at 4:30 am CST for freestyle sprint qualifying, followed by the heats at 7:00 am CST. Athletes will then participate in a pursuit-start 10K classic race on Sunday, with the women on course at 5:00 am CST and the men at 6:15 am CST.
Nordic Combined/Ski Jumping: Season PreviewDecember 23, 2022
The Central Region (upper Midwest) Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping season kicks off next week with it's first meet at Mt. Itasca. Get the details on the events and clubs around the region in this season preview.
World Cup Davos: Freestyle Distance; History for Diggins, Third for BrennanDecember 18, 2022
Capping off an exciting block of racing, Davos, Switzerland hosted the final competitions of Period I of the World Cup on Sunday. Racing 20K over the course of three laps, the women were out first in the interval-start event. US superstar Jessie Diggins put it all on the line, collapsing in a heap at the finish after posting the fastest time of the day, with teammate Rosie Brennan not far off in an equally impressive third place finish, and Sophia Laukli also garnering a top-20 performance. With a total of 14 World Cup victories, Diggins is now the most decorated cross-country skier in US history. The men's race ended in a Norwegian sweep led by Simen Hegstad Krueger. Gus Schumacher and Ben Ogden were the standouts for the US men, finishing 18th and 22nd respectively. After a holiday break, World Cup racing resumes on New Years Eve for the start of Period II and the Tour de Ski.
Hoigaards Relays CoverageDecember 17, 2022
The snow continued to fall Saturday morning as the annual Hoigaards Relays were held at Elm Creek. The masters race came down to a duel between teams USCSA 4 Life and R & R, with Peter Carlen sealing the victory for USCSA 4 Life. Team Chuck Norris was third. Live, Laugh, Love was the topped mixed tandem, Flying Squirrels the winning women's squad. Forest Lake Bananas (boys) and The Ela's (girls) collected the titles in a spare high school division. Results posted along with photosets.
World Cup Davos: Freestyle Sprints; Diggins Stretches for SecondDecember 17, 2022
Homecomings and upsets accented the atmosphere in Davos, Switzerland on Saturday as athletes lined up for freestyle sprints. The US came out of the qualifiers in force, with seven skiers making the heats: Rosie Brennan, Jessie Diggins, Julia Kern, Alayna Sonnesyn for the women; and Ben Ogden, JC Schoonmaker, and Kevin Bolger for the men. Diggins and Kern would be the only ones to make the semifinals, with Diggins just sneaking in to the final. As a result, this lead to an exciting three-way finish where she would just outstretch Johanna Hagstroem of Sweden for second. Meanwhile, the winner of the women's final was the hometown hero, Nadine Faehndrich. In the men's final, another nail-biting finish saw Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo unseated in a come-from-behind win by Federico Pellegrino of Italy, his fourth at the venue. On tap for tomorrow: interval-start 20K freestyle races.
World Cup Racing: Davos ScheduleDecember 14, 2022
The final weekend of World Cup racing in Period I is just days out, with freestyle sprints and distance racing on deck in Davos, Switzerland. Saturday will feature the former, with athletes taking part in qualifying at 3:45 am CST, and the top-30 among each field advancing to the heats at 6:15 am CST. Then it's on to an interval-start 20K on Sunday, with the women's and men's starting times slated for 3:45 am CST and 6:15 am CST respectively.
Cook County: Norpine Fat Bike Classic is Back with Crazy Pine Criterium and Fat Bike ExpoDecember 15, 2022
With fresh snow falling, excitement is building for the Norpine Fat Bike Classic which returns to Lutsen with events beginning Sunday, Jan 1st and culminating with races on Saturday, Jan 7th. Registration is now open!
NNF: Second Virtual Speaker Lecture This Friday, Dec 16thDecember 13, 2022
The second lecture in NNF's virtual speaker series is this Friday, Dec 16th, at noon. Led by Norwegian researcher Øyvind Sandbakk, the talk is titled "Optimizing Long-Term Performance-Development in Endurance Sports" and will be available as a recording to the first 300 attendees who register beforehand. The lecture series is free to attend, although a $25 donation is recommended.
US Elite Racing: Sovereign Lake/Sun Valley SuperTour RecapDecember 13, 2022
With the first two weekends of SuperTour competitions done and dusted, Period I of the US Elite racing scene is drawing to a close. Gearing up for Period II, Adam Bodensteiner provides a comprehensive recap of the races that took place in Sovereign Lake and Sun Valley, including a focus on how athletes from the Midwest faired, and offers a brief glimpse at the big event on the horizon: US Nationals.
World Cup Beitostolen: Mixed Team RelayDecember 11, 2022
One final day of racing in Beitostolen, Norway called for a change of pace for athletes as they grouped up for a 4x5K mixed team relay. In a testament to their team depth, the Norway II team broke away late to be the first team to cross the finish line, followed shortly after by the Norway I and Sweden I teams. Resting a fair few athletes, the US only fielded one of their two teams, who finished 10th overall. Next weekend's races bring the World Cup to Davos, Switzerland for the final competitions of Period I, starting with freestyle sprints on Saturday.
World Cup Beitostolen: Classic DistanceDecember 10, 2022
It was another day of single-digit weather as classic distance racing took center stage for the second day of competition in Beitostolen, Norway. First out on the 10K course were the women, with the Finnish classic specialist Kerttu Niskanen besting the field, while an impressive US squad placed two in the top-10: Jessie Diggins in 6th and Rosie Brennan in 8th. The men's field got their chance shortly after the women, with Paul Goldberg of Norway bolstering his lead in the overall World Cup standings, and the US impressing again with two in the top-20: Hunter Wonders in 16th and Ben Ogden in 19th. Sunday marks the final day of racing in Beitostolen as the men's and women's fields will come together to compete in the second edition of the mixed team relay.
Skadi's Chase CoverageDecember 10, 2022
The Minnesota Nordic Opener festival kicked off their celebration of winter with Skadi's Chase freestyle races early Saturday morning at Elm Creek. Temps close to freezing and wet snowflakes falling provided an interesting mix on the snowmaking course. A lead trio of Matt Liebsch, Sam Holt and Jakob Ellingson broke away early, with Liebsch dropping the hammer in the final 500 meters to take the victory, Holt second and Ellingson third. Ingrid Thyr accelerated off the front and never looked back, winning the women's field by almost two minutes, with Jordan Schuster second and Nicole Cueno third. AJ Back and Jackie Larsen won the 4K high school race. Results linked in and photos from the 8K race posted.
World Cup Beitostolen: Classic SprintsDecember 9, 2022
Brisk racing conditions greeted World Cup athletes upon arrival to the classic sprint course in Beitostolen, Norway on Friday. With a growing list of notable absentees due to sickness, it was a day for others to step up as Switzerland's Nadine Faehndrich emerged victorious from the women's bracket for just the second win of her career, and Richard Jouve of France claimed his first win of the season in the men's final. Knocking on the door again for the US were Julia Kern and Ben Ogden who both made it as far as the semifinals, while Jessie Diggins and Rosie Brennan also qualified for the heats but didn't manage to advance. Tomorrow the attention turns to distance racing on a 10K classic course.
NNF: Return of the NNF Cup for 2022-2023 SuperTour SeasonDecember 8, 2022
The NNF Cup returns for the 2022-2023 SuperTour season as a celebration of the role clubs play in the development US skiers at the domestic level. A traveling trophy is awarded at the end of the season to the overall winner of the NNF Cup, with Alaska Pacific University the current defending champions.
Elm Creek Series Opening Night ResultsDecember 6, 2022
RJ Ochmann reports: Racers were greeted by good trail conditions with temps in the low 20s and almost no wind for the opening night of the ELm Creek weekly series. The classic race was won by Joe Martin and Maria Naslund while the skate race had Dennis Curran and Carolyn Brochman taking the top spots.
World Cup Lillehammer: Classic DistanceDecember 4, 2022
Classic distance racing was the final feature of the weekend's World Cup events as the men's and women's fields took on a challenging, rolling 20K course in Lillehammer, Norway. Both mass-start races ended as mass-finish races, with dozens of athletes finishing just seconds back from the winners, Frida Karlsson of Sweden and Paal Goldberg of Norway. The US had athletes in the mix in both races, with top finishes coming from Jessie Diggins who was only 5.5 seconds back in 9th, and Gus Schumacher who was only 6.6 seconds back in 17th. World Cup racing moves west to Beitostolen for the third stop of the season next weekend, debuting with classic sprints on Friday.
World Cup Lillehammer: Freestyle SprintsDecember 3, 2022
Saturday's World Cup races in Lillehammer, Norway continued a streak of standout performances by US skiers as four athletes posted top-10 results in the freestyle sprints, with a 5th making the heats. Jessie Diggins led the group with a 4th place finish in the women's final, while teammate Julia Kern was just held from advancing out of the semifinals in 8th. Of the the men, Ben Ogden and JC Schoonmaker also barely missed qualifying for the final, finishing 7th and 8th respectively, while Luke Jaeger ended his run in the quarterfinals, finishing 25th. Titles on the day went to the upcoming sprint star Emma Ribom of Sweden and the superhuman Norwegian Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo. Mass-start classic distance races will conclude the racing action in Lillehammer on Sunday.
World Cup Lillehammer: Freestyle Distance; First Victory of Season for DigginsDecember 2, 2022
There was a strong showing by US athletes on Friday as they took to the trails in Lillehammer, Norway for an interval-start 10K freestyle race. Showing immense grit, Jessie Diggins narrowly unseated Germany's Katharina Henning for the top spot on the podium in the women's race, claiming her first World Cup victory of the season. The next fastest time by the US women came from Julia Kern in 25th. Notably, Rosie Brennan did not start today. Also absent was the Norwegian Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo for the men's race, but fellow countryman Iver Tildheim Andersen stepped up in his place, earning his first win in only his second World Cup start as his country swept the podium. For the US men, Zak Ketterson registered the fastest time on the day, finishing 26th. Next up: freestyle sprints.
World Cup Racing: Lillehammer ScheduleNovember 30, 2022
All eyes are on Lillehammer, Norway this weekend for the second stop of the 2022/2023 World Cup season. The action kicks off on Friday at 4 am CST with the womens field leading out an interval-start 10K freestyle race, followed by the men tackling the same distance at 5:45 am CST. Saturday will then see athletes switch over to freestyle sprints, with qualifying starting at 2:30 am CST, and the heats getting underway around 5 am CST. And finally, a mass-start 20K classic race will close out the weekend on Sunday, with the women competing at 3:45am CST, and the men at 6am CST.
World Cup Ruka: Freestyle DistanceNovember 27, 2022
20K freestyle pursuit races on Sunday capped off the opening weekend of World Cup racing in Ruka, Finland. In a return to form, Frida Karlsson of Sweden broke away from teammate Ebba Andersson late in the women's race to reverse their finishing order from the previous day. Meanwhile, the men's race saw Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo complete his weekend sweep, comfortably sprinting away from the lead pack on the final climb. American standouts included Rosie Brennan in 6th and Jessie Diggins in 10th of the women's contingent, and Scott Patterson finishing 14th for the men after moving up 37 positions. The second weekend of the World Cup will take place in Lillehammer, Norway, beginning with freestyle distance racing on Friday.
World Cup Ruka: Classic DistanceNovember 26, 2022
The opening weekend of the World Cup continued in Ruka, Finland on Saturday with 10K classic races for both the men and the women. Sweden continued to headline the women's results with Ebba Andersson posting the fastest time of the field, while Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo claimed another decisive victory in the men's race, his career 50th. Crossing the line in 7th, Rosie Brennan had the best result among the US women, while Ben Ogden was the highest finisher among the US men in 28th. Midwesterners Jessie Diggins and Zac Ketterson put in strong performances as well, finishing 21st and 31st respectively. The final day of competition in Ruka will feature freestyle distance racing in a pursuit-start format.
World Cup Ruka: Classic SprintsNovember 25, 2022
With temperatures hovering in the teens, the 2022/2023 World Cup season officially got underway in Ruka, Finland on Friday with classic sprints. For the US, JC Schoonmaker and Ben Ogden, and Julia Kern and Jessie Diggins led the way in qualifying, making the heats. Kern would be the only one to advance out of the quarterfinals, finishing 11th on the day. Sweden's Emma Ribom would go on to win the women's final, a career first, while Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway continued to show no sign of slowing down, taking it for the men. The opening weekend of the World Cup continues tomorrow with classic distance racing.