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Joel Lafrance, Loppet Winter Triathlon, March 17, 2019

Practice round, LoppetX Ski Cross, March 2, 2019

Nick Ross skis off with the 10K title, Slush Rush, March 9, 2019

Nordic Cross National Championships, March 23, 2019


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great Bear Chase Countdown
February 24, 2019
Less than two weeks to go now for the annual Great Bear Chase races in Calumet, Michigan and course conditions are fabulous! There are seven events to choose from: 50K skiathlon, 50K skate and classic, 25K skate and classic, and 10K skate and classic.

Biathlon: Teams Named for Upcoming World Championships
February 24, 2019
U.S. Biathlon's International Competition Committee has announced the rosters for the upcoming IBU Biathlon World Championships in Oestersund, Sweden, March 7-17. The squad has three start spots in the women's races, and four start spots in the men's events. Midwest will be represented by Leif Nordgren and Jake Brown!

World Championships: Team Sprints
February 24, 2019
The World Championships resumed Sunday with classic team sprint races in Seefeld, Austria. The Swedish duo of Stina Nilsson and Maja Dahlqvist took the women's victory in a final drag race down the finishing stretch, Slovenia moving ahead of Norway for second, Norway third. The men's race showcased Norway's Johannes Klaebo laying down a tremendous final leg to easily take the men's championship, Russia second and Italy third. US squads made both finals, the women taking 5th and men 8th.
Results: Team Sprints Classic

World Championships: Skiathlon
February 23, 2019
Skiathlon was the format for the second skiing event of the FIS Nordic Championships Saturday in Seefeld, Austria. While some of the top US women did not complete, the US still scored some excellent results as Rosie Brennan finished 10th, Julia Kern 19th and Rosie Frankowski 24th! Scott Patterson was the top American male in 32nd. Norway's unstoppable Therese Johaug collected another victory for the women, Sjur Rothe took the men's title for Norway in a three way sprint.
Results: Skiathlon

American Birkebeiner Coverage
February 23, 2019
A fresh inch of snow and temps near freezing made for some slow glide in the 2019 American Birkebeiner races. The mens skate race came down to an exclusive three skier trio as Matt Liebsch, Brian Gregg, and Akeo Maifeld-Carucci skied together across Lake Hayward and took it down to a sprint on Main Street, Maifeld-Carucci bettering Gregg by a foot, with Liebsch (still suffering from car accident on Wednesday) trailing in for third. Former Korte champ Alayna Sonnesyn collected her first Birkie win, pressing the pace on the final hills to gain some separation and soloing in for the victory. Anja Gruber was second, Katie Feldman third. The classic champions were Peter Holmes and Cate Brams. Results linked in and nearly 1000 photos from the early waves.
Sonnesyn and Maifeld-Carucci Top the Podium in the 45th Slumberland American Birkebeiner

Kortelopet Coverage
February 22, 2019
Textbook perfect conditions Friday morning for the Kortelopet events, racing from Hwy OO to downtown Hayward. Sunshine, temps in the 20s, and fast firm trail conditions resulted in many smiling faces at the Main Street finish line. The men's 29K skate race came down to the lead pack of five that fractured in the final kilometer with McEwan Rodefeld taking the lead on the run up Main Street to collect the title, Drake Hacker second and Nick Niemi third. In the women's race, Olivia Dreger repeated as women's champion, taking the victory by over five minutes, with Sara Morse posting the second fastest time, Susanne Hill third. In the classic division, Lars Dewall strided to the top time on the day, with teammates Daniel Huhtala and Ryan Thieme dueling it out for second, Huhtala taking it. Johanna Craig cruised to the women's title, four minutes ahead of Liv Myers with Anna Schmidt notching the third fastest time. Results linked in, along with big photosets from the start and finish.

World Championships: Freestyle Sprints
February 21, 2019
The World Championships opened in Seefeld, Austria with freestyle sprint events on Thursday. The sprint finals exceeded expectations with some of the most exciting battles in recent memory. In the ladies final, Maiken Caspersen Falla, Norway, survived a triple threat from Sweden (which self-destructed) to take the victory, Stina Nilsson, Sweden, second and Mari Eide, Norway, third. The men's final was an epic battle between Italy's Federico Pellegrino and an angry Johannes Hosflot Klaebo, with Klaebo pulling ahead for the men's title with Russian Gleb Retivykh taking third. Jessie Diggins was the top US skier, advancing to the semi-finals before exiting. Simi Hamilton also made the semi-finals to lead the US men.
Results: Freestyle Sprints

Birkie Week Thursday Events Coverage
February 21, 2019
Quickly recovering from a half foot of snow Wednesday, everything was in place for the start of events Thursday for Birkie Week. Starting off on Main Street, the Barkebirkie events.
Photoset: Barkebirkie - 112 photos, Barnebirkie - 63 photos, Jr Birkie - U16/HS - 51 photos, Jr Birkie - U14 Boys - 56 photos, Jr Birkie - U14 Girls - 55 photos, Jr Birkie - U12 Boys - 46 photos, Jr Birkie - U12 Girls - 60 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)

World Championships in Seefeld
February 19, 2019
The 2019 World Championships start up this Wednesday, Feb 20th and run through Mar 3rd and are being held in Seefeld, Austria. A strong US squad, especially the women, are hopeful for a number of finishes in the medals. The Midwest is well respresented with Jessie Diggins, Rosie Frankowski, Kevin Bolger, Kyle Bratrud, and Adam Martin. There are qualifying races on Wednesday, then the first official races of the championships are freestyle sprints events on Thursday, with heats broadcast live starting at 7:30 am CST on Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Gold.
World Championships Schedule, Results

Woodland Loppet Coverage
February 17, 2019
A great example of one of many small organization fun races around the Midwest, the Woodland Loppet was held on Sunday morning in Elk River. The races featured expertly groomed, natural snow in great condition with temperatures in the mid 20s. Paul Olson received some minor consolation after breaking two poles during last weekend's Vasaloppet, taking victory today over Erik Hendrickson, Matt Zak coming in third. Brandy Stewart was the best of the womens field with Laura Cattaneo second and Cheryl Dubuois third. Josh Doebbert and Angie Robinson took the 10K titles, Robinson finishing second overall as well! Results and photos posted.

Minnesota Finlandia Coverage
February 16, 2019
Crisp temperatures with excellent course conditions Saturday morning for the Minnesota Finlandia races in Bemidji. Murray Carter won the big axe in the 50K freestyle, beating out Zach Nelson by 40 seconds in a close battle. Jenna Ruzich was the womens 50K champ. In the 25K freestyle, Craig Cardinal skated away with the title, Susanne Hill topped the women's field. Classic 25K titles went to Owen Baird and Kerrie Berg. Pursuit winners were Nick Youso and Anna Dehler. Results posted, along with photos from John Arenz, David Harrington and Monte Draper.
Tower Ridge 10K Results

World Cup Cogne Freestyle Sprints
February 16, 2019
Less than a week before the start of the World Championships and Jessie Diggins appears to be hitting top form just in time, on Saturday winning the women's freestyle sprint race! The US placed six women in the heats. Simi Hamilton made it to the mens final, just missing the podium in 4th. Racing continues Saturday with classic distance races.
Results: Freestyle Sprints

Rice Lake Birkie Shuttle
February 12, 2019
As an alternative to staying in Hayward, Rice Lake is offering a free Birkie shuttle bus for those staying in Rice Lake area hotels. Review the participating lodging and sign up for the bus.

Vasaloppet USA Coverage
February 9, 2019
Crisp temperatures were offset by a perfect race deck for the Vasaloppet USA ski races Saturday morning in Mora. Matt Liebsch dropped friend and training partner (and new dad!) Brian Gregg on the final lap of the 58K freestyle to ski home alone for his 10th Vasaloppet title! Felicia Gesior skied to the fastest women's time with nearly a 10 minute margin of victory. Nathan Porath collected another Vasaloppet 35K title, pulling away from the lead trio to finish solo. Mary Beth Tuttle continued the theme of repeat champions, taking the women's 35K skate race. Andrew Tilman won his first 42K Vasaloppet title, with Josie Nelson picking up another overall in her classic collection. Full results linked in, photos coming later tonight.
Pre-Birkie Results
Big Island and Back Results
Turtle River Pursuit Classic Results

Ironwood Skiers Selected as Inga and Warriors for Birkie 2019
February 7, 2019
The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation has announced the selection of the trio of cross-country skiers who will depict two Birkebeiner Warriors and Inga, the mother of baby Prince Haakon. William Andresen (Ironwood, MI), Carolyn Andresen Warren (Ironwood, MI), and David Andresen (Ironwood, MI) will portray Torstein, Skjervald, and Inga, respectively.
Kikkan Randall to Lead Fast and Female Champ Chat at Birkie 2019

World Cup Lahti Weekend Series
February 7, 2019
A sprint weekend on the World Cup circuit as skiers will participate in freestyle sprints Saturday and classic team sprints on Sunday, at the historic Lahti venue in Finland. Sprint heats Saturday start at 6:30 am CST, and same time on Sunday for the team sprints. Some of the US team will be skipping the races, electing to continue their preparation for the World Championships in roughly 10 days (Note: There will be no coverage on NBC Snowpass or Olympic channel this weekend.)
NBC Sports Gold Snowpass
World Cup Lahti Website

City of Lakes Loppet Freestyle Coverage
February 3, 2019
Warm weather overnight forced organizers to retract events to the snowmaking loop at Theodore Wirth for the City of Lakes Loppet freestyle races on Sunday morning. Brian Gregg completed the weekend sweep with a decisive victory in the men's marathon (three lap, 20K) event. Andrew Brown outsprinted Joel LaFrance to fill out the podium. Felicia Gesior also collected her second victory in as many days with teammate Hannah Cole second and Marit Sonnesyn taking third. In the shorter Puoli race (15K), winners were Jack Wenz and Susanne Hill. Results linked in, photos posted.
Lumberjack Jaunt Results

City of Lakes Loppet Classic Coverage
February 2, 2019
Racing for the first time from the lakes back to Theodore Wirth, the City of Lakes Loppet provided plenty of adventure for the classic marathon on Saturday. After a week of extreme cold, the weather couldn't be more perfect for the race as temperatures started in the mid teens and rose to the upper 20s with no wind and bright sunshine. Brian Gregg eased away from Nick Power to solo in for the men's 37K classic marathon title, with Andrew Brown taking third. Felicia Gesior cruised to the women's victory with BSF teammate Hannah Cole second, Vivian Hett scoring third. In the 21K Pouli classic, John Hallett and Maria Hauer captured the titles. Results linked in, photos from the marathon race are up.
Moraloppet Results
Mt. Ashwabay Summit Ski Race Coverage

Nordic Cross National Championships Coming to Duluth
January 31, 2019
Duluth is hosting the 2019 National Nordic Cross Championships as a part of Tour Duluth, Saturday, March 2nd.
DXC Snowball Set for Feb 9th

Biathlon: Beckrich Leads US at Youth/Junior Worlds
January 28, 2019
Minnesota high school Nordic skiing champion Garrett Beckrich was the top American finisher over the first two days of individual races at the 2019 IBU Youth/Junior World Championships in Osrblie, Slovakia.

Loppet Plans to Run Point to Point
January 28, 2019
Organizers for the City of Lakes Loppet Festival announced on Monday that with the new snowfall, they plan to run the race from it's new start on Lake Bde Maka Ska and race back to finish at the Trailhead. Exact course details are forthcoming and skiers are being asked to limit skiing to the snowmaking loops as they pack and set the natural snow.
Racing Outlook

World Cup Ulricehamn: Relays
January 27, 2019
Four person relays were the featured event with huge crowds lining the World Cup course at Ulricehamn, Sweden Sunday. Norway dominated the women's race with Therese Johaug spotting the team a big lead on the second leg. Sweden takes second in a tight duel with Finland. The US ladies were sixth. Russia crushed the men's relay field, as team II took the victory with team I right behind, Norway men taking third. US mens squad finished 9th.
Results: Relays

Nordic Spirit Results
January 26, 2019
Cold morning temperatures delayed the start of the Nordic Spirit races in Duluth on Saturday, as the thermometer struggled to rise above zero. Andrew Tilman won the mens 26K title in a sprint finish over Isaac Wieber with Jake Richards third. Sarah Grenberg was the top female.
Iola Norseman Challenge Results

World Cup Ulricehamn: Freestyle
January 26, 2019
Some exciting racing in Sweden on Saturday morning for the women's 10K and men's 15K freestyle races in Ulricehamn. Jessie Diggins cranked out one of her best results of the season, narrowly missing the podium and finishing 4th. Norway's Therese Johaug won once again, but a surprisingly Astrid Jacobsen, Norway, took second with Sweden's Ebba Anderson collecting third. Sadie Bjornsen also skied to a top 20 finish in 15th. The mens race saw veteran Maurice Manificat, France, taking the victory with Norwegians Simen Krueger and Didrik Toenseth completing the podium. Scott Patterson had the best result for the US men's field, taking 35th.
Results: 10K, 15K Freestyle
US Ski Team: Diggins Narrowly Misses Podium in Ulricehamn 10k

Borah Epic Kicks Off 7th Year
January 25, 2019
The Borah Epic has quickly become one of the premiere Midwest MTB races, and for the 2019 edition they've got some changes planned. One of the biggest changes is the direction -- the Full and Half Epic courses have been flipped and will now be finishing in Cable. The Full Epic will start at Hatchery Creek near Hayward and the Half Epic will start at Hwy OO.

2020 World Cup Announces New Festival, Major Sponsor
January 24, 2019
It was announced on Thursday afternoon that the Minneapolis 2020 World Cup event will expand to include a music festival, spectator and citizen sporting events, and more thanks to support from its new title sponsor, Fastenal.
Photoset: World Cup Press Conference

WJC/U23 Championships Recap Jan 20-23
January 24, 2019
The World Junior and U23 Championships are underway in Lahti, Finland, with a number of Midwest skiers competing. Caroline Brisbois provides a breakdown on the first few days of racing which included classic sprints and freestyle distance races.

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