Highlights

NewWorld Cup Lahti: Relay

January 24, 2021
A foggy Sunday in Lahti, Finland, for the team relay races in the World Cup. Norway dominated the event with both the women's and men's teams easily taking the victories. The big story on the day was an altercation between Russia's Alexander Bolshunov and Finland's Joni Maiki in the final stretch as Maiki outfoxed Bolshunov, blocking him out of his lane preference and allowing Finland to take second. Because of Bolshunov's aggressive reaction, he was DQ'd, with the second Russian team moving up to take third. The Swedish women placed second, Finland third. The US squad was fifth in the women's event, seventh in the men's.

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Results: Relays

Skinny Santa Solstice Coverage

January 23, 2021
A fun, fast day of racing Saturday at Woodland trails in Elk River for the Skinny Santa Solstice events. Brian Gregg and Matt Liebsch broke away by the second lap in the 20K race and then dueled to the finish with Liebsch gaining victory by three seconds. Joel LaFrance topped the remaining field for third. Caitlin Gregg was the women's 20K champion with Bonnie Weiskopf second, Jennie Bentrup third. Victories in the 10K race went to Ryan Davis and Renae Anderson. Results posted along with photosets.

Pepsi Challenge Cancelled

January 22, 2021
Due to continuing concerns over the pandemic, the Pepsi Challenge directors have decided to cancel the 2021 event and begin plans for returning in March 2022.

Pre-Loppet Coverage

January 17, 2021
Hosting their first ski race of the season, the Loppet Foundation pulled off a beautiful Pre-Loppet event on Sunday using a mix of natural and snowmaking trails at Theodore Wirth. Matt Liebsch topped the men's field with Joel LaFrance second, Nathan Porath third. Kim Rudd posted the top women's time with Lisa Garretson second, Jan Guenther third. Results linked in, along with photos from the 15K race.

World Junior, U23 Championships Squads Announced

January 15, 2021
U.S. Ski & Snowboard has named deep and experienced teams to represent the United States at the 2021 U23 and Junior FIS Cross Country World Championships Feb 8-14 in Vuokatti, Finland. The lone representative from the Midwest is Renae Anderson, Loppet Nordic Racing.

Vasaloppet Online Auction Begins

January 14, 2021
Vasaloppet USA begins their annual fundraising drive with an online auction starting this Saturday, Jan 16th and running through Jan 23rd. Check out the wide variety of items, and if you're in the area you could stop in at the Nordic Center Friday night for a raffle and auction preview or join them on Facebook Live.

Tour de Ski: Stage 8

January 10, 2021
The Tour de Ski series wrapped up on Sunday with their epic hill climb event, this year in mass start format. Sweden put down a challenge in the women's race with Ebba Andersson heading to the front early, but Jessie Diggins never relented, keeping Andersson close as the pair finished 1-2, Diggins collecting her first overall Tour de Ski title! Russian Yulia Stupak was second in the overall, with Andersson moving up to take third. Rosie Brennan completed the series in sixth place as Hailey Swirbul scored a top 20. On the men's side, Russian Denis Spitsov won the hill climb with teammate Alexander Bolshunov taking the series victory, France's Maurice Manificat second, and Spitsov moving up to third. Gus Schumacher had another strong day for the American men, taking 19th on the stage and finishing 18th overall. With the Tour de Ski completed, Diggins takes over the World Cup lead with Brennan in third.

Tour de Ski: Stage 7

January 9, 2021
Classic sprints were the format for the penultimate event of the Tour de Ski series on Saturday in Val di Fiemme, Italy. While no American made the sprint finals, Jessie Diggins did make it into the semi-finals and retains her Tour de Ski leading by 54 seconds. Sweden had a strong showing in the sprints with Linn Svahn leading a podium sweep for the women and Oskar Svensson topping the Russians in the mens final. Sunday's hill climb finale should provide some great battles, especially for women's third place where five athletes start within 30 seconds. Gus Schumacher sits in 18th place overall (and potential top 15), poised for the best American finish ever. The women's event gets underway at 5:45 am CST, the men at 8:35 am CST.

Related:

Results: Classic Sprints

Bearskin Race Series January Update

January 8, 2021
Bearskin's Virtual Race Series continues, with Quinn McCloughan providing an update on the leaderboard and announcing the new Strava race segments for January!

Tour de Ski: Stage 6

January 8, 2021
It was another ground-breaking day at the Tour de Ski for the US squad, this time in a sign for the future. American Gus Schumacher continued his progress up the World Cup results, on Friday skiing to 8th place in the men's 15K mass start classic race and less than 10 seconds off the podium! A truly spectacular result for this 20 year old star. In the women's 10K, Jessie Diggins battled near the front all day before dropping back on the final lap, holding tight to finish 9th and retain the overall Tour de Ski lead. Rosie Brennan had a rougher go of it, getting tripped up early and then fighting to regain the lead group, she ended up 31st on the day. Saturday will be classic sprints, the heats starting at 6:05 am CST.

Related:

Results: 10K, 15K Classic

Virtual Lotvola Cup

January 6, 2021
Maplelag's Lotvola Cup is back! Come up and ski the Lotvola Cup course anytime between now and the end of the season and be eligible for prize drawings.

US Elite Racing: Early January Recap

January 4, 2021
Some actual head-to-head racing finally got underway last weekend across the US! Michaela Keller-Miller highlights top performances by Midwest skiers in events held on the MTU trails in Michigan and Soldier Hollow in Utah.

Tour de Ski: Stage 3

January 3, 2021
In an incredible showcase of US women's firepower, Jessie Diggins and Rosie Brennan dominated the Tour de Ski stage 3, finishing first and second in the 10K pursuit on Sunday in Val Müstair, Switzerland! Diggins now leads the Tour de Ski with Brennan in second, and Brennan continues to lead the World Cup standings. Hailey Swirbul also had a very strong day, finishing 13th. Gus Schumacher skied to 32nd place for the top American men's result. Skiers have a travel day on Monday before racing resumes Tuesday in Toblach, Italy with 10K and 15K freestyle races for stage 4.

Tour de Ski: Stage 2

January 2, 2021
Another fantastic day at the Tour de Ski for the US women as Jessie Diggins took third in the women's 10K classic mass start racing, with Rosie Brennan sixth. Diggins skied aggressively, pushing the pace hard on the third lap and was in contention right up to the end, only bested in the double pole sprint by Swede sprinter Linn Swann and Russian Yulia Stupak. The men's 15K race looked to be an all Russian affair until two teammates tangled up on the final downhill. Alexander Bolshunov easily took the victory, with veteran Dario Colnago, Switzerland, second and Ivan Yakimushkin of Russia third. Gus Schumacher was the top American, notching 36th. Sunday's stage 3 will feature a freestyle pursuit format with men's 15K livestreaming at 4:35 am CST, and women's 10K at 8:25 am CST, on Peacock Premium.

Tour de Ski: Stage 1

January 1, 2021
The mighty Tour de Ski stage race kicked off Friday in Val Müstair, Switzerland, with freestyle sprint races. The US squad got off to a great start as Jessie Diggins skied strongly all day, moving up to take second place after Anamarija Lampic was relegated for obstruction in the final. World Cup leader Rosie Brennan was in the mix all the way as well, taking fourth. Simi Hamilton led for the US men finishing 13th with Kevin Bolger 30th. Linn Svann, Sweden, and Federico Pellegrino, Italy, were the victors. Racing continues on Saturday with women's 10K classic mass start at 5:30 am CST and men's 15K at 7:45 am CST.

Related:

Results: Freestyle Sprints

Giants Ridge Hosts World Cup

December 31, 2020
Take a look back in history to the year 1985 when the World Cup came to Minnesota as writer Cole Johnson explores this event with images from Angela Nistler.

Midwest Citizen Basic Wax Protocol Proposal

December 25, 2020
Master blaster skier Andy Brown has developed a proposal to reduce the effort and health impacts of waxing, as well as aiming to provide a more level playing field.

US Elite Racing: Mid-December Update

December 21, 2020
Michaela Keller-Miller brings us up-to-date with the elite "racing" action from across the US as clubs and teams find inventive ways to get in race quality events during the ongoing pandemic.

World Cup Update: Dresden Recap

December 21, 2020
Jeremy Hecker discusses the Dresden sprint races from last weekend's World Cup start, and looks ahead to the Tour de Ski coming at the start of 2021.

World Cup Dresden: Team Sprints

December 20, 2020
The opening period of the World Cup wrapped up on Sunday with team sprint events in Dresden, Germany. Russia stole the show, pushing the pace hard in both the women's and men's events to take second and first respectively. The Swiss duo captured the women's title. The US squad of Jessie Diggins and Sophie Caldwell finished fourth for the women, while Kevin Bolger and Simi Hamilton took ninth. The next major event is the Tour de Ski starting on Jan 1st.

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Results: Team Sprints

World Cup Dresden: Caldwell Snares Second in Freestyle Sprints

December 19, 2020
Even with a number of top US stars sitting this weekend out, the US had another strong performance as Jessie Diggins and Sophie Caldwell made the women's World Cup sprint final in Dresden, Germany on Saturday with Caldwell taking second, Diggins fourth. The men's final also featured two Americans, with Simi Hamilton and Kevin Bolger finishing fifth and sixth. Racing continues on Sunday with freestyle team sprint races.

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Results: Freestyle Sprints

Nordic Combined: Historic Win for Geraghty-Moats

December 18, 2020
American Tara Geraghty-Moats made history Friday, skiing to a hard-fought victory by just 1.5 seconds in the first ever FIS Nordic Combined World Cup for women in an idyllic mountain setting at Ramsau am Dachstein, Austria.

World Cup Update: Davos, Dresden Preview

December 16, 2020
Jeremy Hecker discusses last weekend's incredible US results in the Davos World Cup, talk waxing, and look ahead to the Dresden sprints this weekend.

Registration Open for 2021 Great Bear Chase

December 15, 2020
The Great Bear Chase has announced registration is now open for the March 2021 event! Read up on their Covid changes and make your plans to participate!

Birkie 2021 Update and Q/A Session

December 15, 2020
The American Birkebeiner held a live event on Monday evening to bring folks up-to-date on the latest developments with the 2021 Birkie including Covid advice and details about upcoming milestones, and answered a number of questions from the audience. Watch the full replay and check out their FAQ for even more answers.

World Cup Davos: Brennan Wins Again, Takes World Cup Lead

December 13, 2020
Rosie Brennan completed a weekend sweep in dominating the women's 10K freestyle World Cup race in Davos, Switzerland, winning by more than 30 seconds! It was another good day for Team USA as Hailey Swirbul stepped onto the podium as well, taking third. Jessie Diggins was 7th, Katharine Ogden 22nd. The US men's squad was lead by Scott Patterson in 16th. Midwesterners Kevin Bolger, Adam Martin and Ian Torchia finished 33rd, 44th and 49th respectively. Racing action will continue next weekend with events in Dresden, Germany with sprint events.

Related:

Results: 10K, 15K Freestyle

Vasaloppet USA Offers Virtual Option

December 12, 2020
Skiers who may be uncomfortable participating in the Vasaloppet USA in-person races because of COVID can now sign-up for the Vasaloppet Virtual Event. Skiers may ski the their Vasaloppet virtual race anytime between Jan 30 and Feb 14 and on the ski trail of their choice.

World Cup Davos: Sprint Victory for Brennan!

December 12, 2020
An epic day for the US on Saturday as Rosie Brennan skied a tactful, fast final to take the women's sprint victory at the World Cup in Davos, Switzerland! The US team qualified ten skiers for the sprint heats, including Rosie Brennan and Sophie Caldwell posting the top two times. Jessie Diggins qualified 5th, Kevin Bolger 7th but were unable to advance. Sunday brings freestyle distance races.

Related:

Results: Freestyle Sprints

Bearskin Race Series December Update

December 10, 2020
Light snowfall hasn't slowed down the virtual racing opportunities on the Gunflint Trail. Bearskin has released two new segments to test your mettle for December, plus be entered in the season long raffle. The final prize list has been released with some amazing swag available!

Loppet Foundation Names New Executive Director

December 9, 2020
The Loppet Foundation Board of Directors have unanimously appointed Claire Wilson to serve as the Loppet’s new Executive Director. Wilson is a founding member of the Loppet and was their first full-time employee before leaving in 2005 to pursue leadership opportunities outside the organization. She'll start the new post on December 14th. Ray Aponte will stay on in a senior leadership role with responsibility for youth and adult outdoor programming as well as management of the Trailhead.

Virtual Hot Lap Competitions

December 9, 2020
With nothing active on the race calendar, and many skiers stuck on man-made snow, we thought it'd be fun to host a little virtual sprint competition. Record your best lap time, post a trail report with the details, and we'll get you on the board.

Midwest Racing Season Preview

December 6, 2020
After being delayed for months, we finally post the racing calendar and our look at what the season holds, especially with a pandemic still raging across the nation.

US Elite Racing: Season Kickoff and Updates

December 5, 2020
Michaela Keller-Miller continues to monitor the elite racing scene and Midwest athletes across the US. Rapidly evoling plans make it challenging to stay on top of every, but Keller-Miller provides a current snapshot as skiers begin to take in some racing action.

Vasaloppet Livestream Friday Evening

December 2, 2020
Vasaloppet USA organizers will be hosting a livestream session this Friday evening, Dec 4th, to discuss the latest plans for the 2021 Vasaloppet weekend. Tune in to catch all the details and ask your own questions.

World Cup Update: Ruka Recap, Davos Preview

December 2, 2020
Jeremy and Chris Hecker comment on last weekend's racing action in Ruka, Finland for the World Cup opener, and share news on what lies ahead on the World Cup calendar.

Biathlon: Brown Scores Career Best Top 30 in World Cup Opener

December 1, 2020
U.S. biathletes returned to the comforting confines of competition last weekend as the IBU World Cup got underway for the 2020-21 season in Kontiolahti, Finland. The U.S. team’s performance was highlighted by a career-best 30th by Minnesotan Jake Brown in Sunday’s men’s sprint. Midwest natives Leif Nordgren finished 48th and Paul Schommer 75th.

World Cup Ruka: Freestyle Pursuit

November 29, 2020
Another fantastic performance from Rosie Brennan on Sunday in Ruka, Finland, as she started the 10K freestyle pursuit in 11th place and moved up the field to finish 5th! Jessie Diggins started 21st and climbed to 15th. Brennan and Diggins posted the 3rd and 5th fastest times on the day! Gus Schumacher again led the US men's field, pushing through the field to finish 32nd after starting 41st. Therese Johaug easily took the women's victory while Johannes Klaebo had to use his sprinting prowess to hold on to the men's title.

Related:

Results: 10K, 15K Freestyle

World Cup Ruka: Classic Distance

November 28, 2020
Rosie Brennan scored a fantastic top ten finish on Saturday in the women's 10K classic race in Ruka, Finland, placing 8th and just over 20 seconds off the podium! Jessie Diggins was 22nd. Gus Schumacher lead the US men's squad, placing 39th. Norwegian favorites Therese Johaug and Johannes Klaebo took the victories in closely contested races. Sunday concludes the weekend racing with freestyle pursuit races.

Related:

Results: 10K, 15K Classic

World Cup Ruka: Classic Sprints

November 27, 2020
In the opening event of the 2020-21 World Cup season, held in Ruka, Finland, Rosie Brennan lead the way for the US squad finishing 17th, with Hailey Swirbul 18th and Jessie Diggins 24th. The US men failed to crack the top 30 to qualify for the sprint heats, as JC Schoonmaker topped the mens side in 35th. Sweden swept the women's podium with Linn Svahn taking victory. Norway collected all the podium spots on the men's side, leading with a first-time victory for Erik Valnes. Racing continues on Saturday with interval start classic races.

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Results: Classic Sprints

World Cup: Ruka, Finland

November 25, 2020
Rex Wax brings us up-to-date on the World Cup racing scene as Jeremy and Chris Hecker respond to some questions about the season and this week's opening races in Ruka, Finland. Racing action gets underway Friday (no official broadcast in the US).

Birkie 2021 Update and Q/A Session

November 16, 2020
The American Birkebeiner held a live event on Monday evening to bring folks up-to-date on the latest developments with the 2021 Birkie, especially toward race day selection, and answered a number of questions from the audience. Watch the full replay and check out their FAQ for even more answers.

World Cup Streaming on NBC Peacock Premium

November 6, 2020
Livestream coverage of the FIS World Cup Nordic races this season will be carried on NBC's new Peacock channel, under their Premium subscription. The channel will also carry biathlon, alpine, Nordic combined, ski jumping and more. Premium plans run $4.99 to $9.99 (no ads) per month.

US Elite Racing: Season Preview

November 1, 2020
Michaela Keller-Miller is one of a number of native Midwest skiers that will be making the transition from collegiate to elite racing this season. Keller-Miller will be covering US elite racing for us this season and to kick things off, has provided a solid breakdown on recent Midwest skiers racing on the elite circuit this winter across the US.

Trail Kids Loppet Games

October 29, 2020
Around 130 youth competed on Tuesday at Theodore Wirth in the Loppet Foundation's Trail Kids Loppet Games. The events included orienteering, obstacle course, capture the flag, hill run challenge and tug of war.

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Photoset from KME Photography: Loppet Games
Photoset from TMB Images: Loppet Games

Fall Rivet Run On Now

October 9, 2020
The Fall Rivet Run trail run/walk event is virtual this year, with participants able to complete their 5K anytime between Oct 8th and Nov 9th. Proceeds will go towards a new grooming sled at Pattison State Park.

Bangin In The Brush Results

October 8, 2020
The Duluth area held their annual Bangin in the Brush trail run as a virtual event with participants completing a 10K course between Sept 15th and 30th. Over 90 runners logged race times, including a number of families.

Midwest MTB Report

October 7, 2020
Jay Richards checks in this fall with updates on the recent Telemark Ascent MTB race and news and reviews on a number of new area trails.

Birkie Trail Run Showcases Covid Safe Practices

October 7, 2020
The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation has rolled out a feature video on the Birkie Trail Run event, showing how they implemented processes and procedures to ensure a pandemic safe event while still allowing participants to compete outdoors on the Birkie trails.

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Video: Birkie Trail Run Recap

Sisu Ski Fest Registration Now Open

October 6, 2020
Sisu Ski Fest is adapting for the coronavirus season with a virtual format event this year. Race on home trails or hit the course at ABR, record your event and upload, and you'll have your age factored into the results which could make you eligible for some amazing prizes!

Swedish Mile Trail Run This Weekend

October 5, 2020
The Vasaloppet Swedish Mile Trail Run is set for Oct 10th on the Vasaloppet Nordic Center trails in Mora, Minnesota. The annual Swedish Mile Trail Race is a 10K timed trail race and a 5K fun run to raise money for snowmaking operations at the Nordic Center.

Birkie Trail Run Recap

September 30, 2020
Nearly 500 runners turned out over two days for the Birkie Trail Run events last weekend in Cable with fall colors at their peak. The event implemented a variety of changes to ensure a pandemic safe format for all the races. USTAF half marathon champions were crowned in Andy Wacker and Dani Moreno. Marathon titles went to Evan Wetzel and Rachel Ragona.

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Results: Birkie Trail Run

Vasaloppet Announces Race Plans

September 29, 2020
Vasaloppet USA has announced their preliminary plans for racing this February, complete with the famous downtown finish. Races will be spaced out, with some field limits, and the classic races will now all be on Sunday. Get your registration in to ensure your place in the field!