Highlights

NewMidwest MTB Report

June 3, 2020
Jay Richards MTB report this week includes updates on a record broken on the Kokopelli trail, World Cup MTB update, new trail along the Northshore, updates on lift service mountain biking in the area and a return of the Strava rides feature.

Midwest MTB Report

May 27, 2020
Jay Richards rolls out the first MTB report of the season, bringing us up-to-date on many of the major Midwest MTB race plans, trail controversies in Duluth, Battle Creek plans, and some of the bike trail systems in the area.

US Ski Team: Barton, Hecker Join U.S. Cross Country Team Staff

May 20, 2020
The U.S. Cross Country Ski Team welcomes two new staff members for the 2020-21 season, including Development Team coach Kate Barton, and to the World Cup Service Team, Minnesota's own Chris Hecker. Hecker is replacing Jean-Pascal Laurin, who stepped down following the 2019-20 season to dedicate more time to a booming farming operation.

CityTrail Loppet Coverage

May 15, 2020
The CityTrail Loppet, the Loppet Foundations urban spring running adventure, is being held as a virtual event this year. Runners register, pick a time to course the designated course, then upload their time afterwards. The full results should be published after the race closes on Sunday (still time to register and run it!).

Related:

Photoset: CityTrail Loppet Course
Photoset from Instagram: CityTrail Loppet Photos
Photoset from Loppet Foundation: CityTrail Loppet Photo Album
Results: CityTrail Loppet
CityTrail Loppet

CityTrail Loppet Goes Virtual Next Week

May 6, 2020
The Loppet Foundation will hold their popular spring urban trail run, CityTrail Loppet, as a virtual race over six days next week (May 12-17). Log your best time on the designated 10K race course, post the results and then check back to see how you fared.

US Ski Team: Over 20 Skiers Nominated for the US Ski Team

May 4, 2020
U.S. Ski & Snowboard has announced nominations for the 2020-21 season. Nominations include those active athletes who qualified based on published selection criteria in the prior season. Jessie Diggins and Kevin Bolger are the Midwest representatives in the line-up.

Birkie Registration Opens May 1st

April 30, 2020
Registration for the 2021 Slumberland American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet, Prince Haakon, Birkie Tour, and Fat Bike Birkie opens May 1st. Secure your wave placement and get in on ground floor pricing -- but act quickly, the new tiered pricing structure means there are a limited number of openings at this price level.

BIathlon: 2020-21 National Team Rosters Announced

April 17, 2020
The US Biathlon board of directors have named athletes to the National Team and Junior National Team for the 2020-21 season. The Midwest is very well represented as Leif Nordgren, Jake Brown, Paul Schommer and Deedra Irwin return for the A team, Luke Brown earns a spot on the X team, and Junior National team members include Vasek Cervenka, Sam Stertz and Garrett Beckrich.

Birkie Membership Drive and Early Registration Underway

April 2, 2020
Support the American Birkebeiner and start your 2021 Birkie training by taking out a American Birkebeiner membership! As an added bonus, your membership gives you early access to race registration and a custom bib.

Birkie: Stronger Together

March 21, 2020
The Birkie Team has been gathering insightful and inspiring resources to help keep us moving and staying positive during this time of social distancing. Check out their 'Stronger Together' page for activities, articles, podcasts, videos, and workouts you can do from home.

Borah Teamwear Official Jersey Supplier for Intelligentsia Cup

March 16, 2020
Borah Teamwear announces they will supply the Chicago based cycling race series Intelligentsia Cup with the coveted custom winner’s jerseys for the next three years. The Intelligentsia Cup is the largest attened race series in the country.

MNJRC Kickoff Meeting Friday April 3rd

March 15, 2020
Minnesota Junior Cycling (MNJRC) will hold their annual kickoff meeting on Friday, April 3rd, at the Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge in St. Paul. MNJRC welcomes all junior cyclists, including those racing the Minnesota high school MTB series.

Biathlon: US Biathlon National Championships Canceled

March 14, 2020
The 2020 US Biathlon National Championships and the North American Championships, planned to be held in West Yellowstone, Montana, March 27-29, are officially canceled due to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic.

Fastenal Parallel 45 Festival and Minneapolis World Cup Cancelled Due to Coronavirus Concerns

March 12, 2020
The growing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak has forced the cancellation of the Parallel 45 Festival, including the Minneapolis World Cup at Theodore Wirth!

World Cup Recap: Norway, North America

March 10, 2020
Off the plane from Europe, Rex Wax tech Chris Hecker reports on last week's World Cup races in Norway and previews the exciting North American remaining races.

Fat Bike Birkie Results

March 7, 2020
Birkie organizers report: It was a bright bluebird sky and sunshine-filled day at the 2020 Fat Bike Birkie, presented by Freewheel Bike, for the world’s largest on-snow fat bike race, held at the American Birkebeiner Trailhead near Cable, Wisconsin. Nearly 1100 riders competed with riders hailing from 17 states and 3 countries. Big Fat 47K champion in the men’s category was Corey Stelljes with Chris Stevens second and Peter Olejniczak third. Women’s 47K Big Fat 2020 winner was Leia Schneeberger with Sonia Pond second and Heather Stelljes third.

Great Bear Chase Results

March 7, 2020
A huge field of more than 800 skiers hit the Swedetown trails on Saturday for the Great Bear Chase events. Team Gregg ruled the day in the 50K skiathlon as Brian and Caitlin took the mens and womens titles. Zach Nelson and Anna Engel skated to 50K freestyle victories, Eric Patterson and Elspeth Ronnander the 50K classic crowns. Minnesota high school stars Charlie Grabow and Ethan Erickson battled it in the 25K freestyle, Grabow winning by less than two seconds! Inga Wing, in the under 17 category, topped the women's 25K field. The 25K classic titles went to Cedric Keller and Jane Straka.

Biathlon: Cervenka Garners First Career Medal at IBU Junior Cup

March 7, 2020
Vaclav Cervenka (Grand Rapids, MN) was one of only six athletes in the field of 93 to shoot clean, helping him earn the silver medal in the men's 10-kilometer sprint on Saturday at the IBU Junior Cup in Arber, Germany. It marked the first IBU medal of Cervenka's career.

Slush Rush Results

March 7, 2020
Jason Dalebroux reports: The 2020 Hoigaard's/Breadsmith was held Saturday morning on the Hyland manmade snow loop, under sunny skies, warming temps, and fast snow. A quick group of three broke away early, with JoJo Baldus taking the Masters men's 9K win over Ben Creagh and Erik Hendrickson. Other winners included Abigail Turman in the Masters women's division, as Declan Rodefeld and Jackie Larsen took victories in the shorter 4.5K Juniors race.

World Cup: Holmenkollen World Cup Races Go Spectator Empty

March 5, 2020
Due to the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, organizers at this weekend's World Cup races in Holmenkollen, Norway, have decided to close the event to spectators.

Still a Chance for Snow Ball in Hell

March 4, 2020
Come be part of the Parallel 45 celebration, there are still openings for ski cross and bike cross events called Snowball In Hell! The Minnesota Vikings are sponsoring the event which will feature Vikings decor including a 20 foot tall Viking and cheerleaders on the downhill course. Plus there is great swag for contestants, with the winner receiving a genuine Vikings helmet!

World Cup Recap: Lahti, Norway

March 3, 2020
Chris Hecker of Rex Wax reports in from the World Cup, this week recapping the action from Lahti, Finland, and looking ahead to racing action this week in Norway.

Vasaloppet USA Winners Compete at Swedish Vasaloppet

March 2, 2020
A number of Vasaloppet winners competed at the Swedish Vasaloppet last weekend, including Caitlin Gregg and Felicia Gesior, as well as top skiers like Brian Gregg and Kikkan Randall.

Related:

Results: Swedish Vasaloppet

Loppet Winter Triathlon Results

March 1, 2020
A fairly fast ski course gave way to softer conditions as temperatures quickly rose into the 40s for the Loppet Foundations Winter Triathlon race at Theodore Wirth on Sunday. Joel LaFrance posted the top ski and fat bike times to hold off a late challenge from Jacob Keehan and take the victory, repeating their finishing places from last year. Jan Guenther also repeated as the women's champion, logging the 8th fastest ski time (overall) in the process.

Pepsi Challenge Results

February 29, 2020
More than 300 skiers turned out Saturday for the Pepsi Challenge races at Giants Ridge. In the 50K freestyle race, Bryan Cook bested Nick Matelich for the victory by just over 30 seconds with Samuel Olson third. Hannah Olson cruised to nearly a 10 minute margin over Elaine Nelson in winning the women's division, Bethann Chamberlain taking third. Andrew Tilman strided away with the men's 50K classic title, Brandy Stewart led the spare women's group. The biggest field on the day was for the 25K freestyle race which came down to an exciting finish between Forest Lake high school stars Ethan and Noah Erickson vs master champ Andy Schakel, with Ethan taking the sprint, Schakel second and Noah third. Maja Peterson was the women's champion with Rana Kraftson second and Sara Kylander-Johnson third. 25K classic titles went to Logan Jenson and Courtney Gregory.

Trail Kids Superski Age Gap Classic Relay Coverage

February 28, 2020
Kim Rudd reports: TRAIL KIDS Superski Age Gap Classic Relay race had close to two hundred youth and parents out for the event Thursday night! Guest World Cup racer and 2019 Birkie winner Alayna Sonnesyn paired up with one of the TRAIL KIDS for the relay event along with speaking after the race about her recent World Cup races! Some lucky TRAIL KIDS won some of her World Cup race bibs as door prizes! Thank you Gear West for sponsoring the event with incredible Bjorn Daehlie prizes!

Related:

Photoset from Todd Anderson: Superski Age Gap Classic Relay
Results: Superski Age Gap Classic Relay

NorthStar Development Cycling Programs

February 26, 2020
NorthStar Development is excited to announce its Junior Road Cycling Program for 2020 and are welcoming new and returning riders. Represented locally, regionally, and nationally, NorthStar Development delivers coaching, training, and racing for all abilities age 9-23.

Great Bear Chase Countdown

February 25, 2020
The Great Bear Chase events in Calumet, MI, are less than two weeks away! Trails are in top condition and there are seven races options to choose from.

World Cup Report: Ski Tour Stages 4-6

February 25, 2020
Chris Hecker of Rex Wax reports on the final stages of the Ski Tour, including some epic change ups on the final day of racing.

Minnesota Canoe Association Annual Meeting Monday

February 23, 2020
The Minnesota Canoe Association's Annual Meeting is this coming Monday evening, Feb 24th. Bob Vollhaber and Kendra Liebel will be giving an exclusive presentation about their recent Border Route adventure where they archived a fastest known time.

American Birkebeiner Coverage

February 22, 2020
Beautiful conditions Saturday for the giant American Birkebeiner races from Cable to Hayward. The men's race came down to a pack of eight, with six hitting Main Street for a sprint to the finish. Norway's World Cup veteran Niklas Dyrhaug took the victory just ahead of Minnesota native Ian Torchia with Robin Duvillard, France, third, and Adam Martin, Norwegian Anders Nostdahl Gloersen and Erik Bjornsen round out the top six. Jessica Yeaton, Australia, broke away from the field by Hwy OO and finished 41 seconds ahead of Finnish Olympian Riitta-Liisa Roponen to take the win. Erika Flowers was third, and the top American finisher. Classic titles were won decisively by Peter Holmes and Wisconsin native Nichole Bathe. Results linked in, along with photos from the midway point for the early waves.

Kortelopet Coverage

February 21, 2020
A beautiful winter day for the Kortelopet races as the field raced out of the new Korte start at Hwy OO and finished in downtown Hayward. Veteran Murray Carter planned his final push perfectly, outsprinting the younger pack of four and fending off a late charge by Kieran Mullen to take the win, with Noah Straka taking third, as Zach Nemeth and Sam Stertz all finished within five seconds. Wisconsin Mia Case cruised to a relatively easy victory for the women, more than two minutes ahead of Ingrid Halverson, with Nina Chosy third. Classic titles went to Jacob Rochell-Share and Johanna Craig. Results linked in, along with eight photosets from the races.

Birkie Week Thursday Events Coverage

February 20, 2020
Thursday brings a whole ramping up of events for the big Birkie week festival as Barkiebirkie (skijor), Barnebirkie (youth), Junior Birkie, and Giant Ski events all take place in downtown Hayward, culminating Thursday evening with the Birkie Bash featuring Kikkan Randall.

Biathlon: Leif Nordgren Takes Career Best 8th Place at World Championships

February 19, 2020
Minnesota native Leif Nordgren shot his way to a career-best finish in the men's 20-kilometer individual on Wednesday at the IBU World Championships in Antholz, Italy. The two-time Olympian was the only competitor in the 104-man field to shoot a perfect 20-for-20 on the range, propelling him to a career-best eighth place. Nordgren's previous best was a 16th-place finish in the same event at last year's world championships.

World Cup Report: Ski Tour Stages 1-3

February 19, 2020
The FIS Ski Tour is underway and World Cup wax tech Chris Hecker of Rex brings us a recap on the first three stages, plus notes on the upcoming events this week.

Frankowski: Minnesota World Cup (aka FIS Sprint Tour) Qualification

February 17, 2020
Rosie Frankowski follows up her World Cup article with details on what it takes to qualify for the Minnesota World Cup in March. Read all the details, and discover the different pathways athletes might be taking.

Minnesota Finlandia Coverage

February 15, 2020
Beautiful weather Saturday for the annual Minnesota Finlandia events in Bemidji. Craig Cardinal collected another rose-mailed axe in taking the premiere 50K title with Jenna Ruzich the women's champion. Soren Dybing pulled ahead for the 25K freestyle victory with Susanne Hill the top female. Classic 25K titles went to Kerrie Berg and Nicholas Youso. And the skiathlon winners were Logan Jenson and Anna Dehler. Results posted, plus some photos from Monte Draper.

Biathlon: Susan Dunklee Takes Silver at World Championships

February 14, 2020
American Susan Dunklee earned a surprising silver medal Friday at the World Biathlon Championships in the 7.5K sprint event. Dunklee pulled off a very similar peak with a second place in the 2017 Worlds.

Birkie Reveals Handcrafted Champion Awards

February 12, 2020
The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) has revealed the 2020 overall champion awards which will be awarded to the top three male and female winners in the Slumberland American Birkebeiner (male/female, skate/classic), the Kortelopet (male/female, skate/classic) and Prince Haakon (top three overall winners) during podium ceremonies next week.

World Cup Report: Falun Recap, Ski Tour Preview

February 11, 2020
Rex World Cup Wax Tech Chris Hecker recaps last weekend's racing action in a very warm and slushy Falun, Sweden, and then provides a brief preview of the new Ski Tour series which will race across Sweden and Norway over the next week.

Biathlon: World Championship Teams Announced

February 11, 2020
The U.S. Biathlon International Competition Committee has announced the rosters for the upcoming IBU Biathlon World Championships in Antholz-Anterselva, Italy, Feb. 13-23, as well as the teams competing at the IBU Open European Championships in Otepaeae, Estonia, Feb. 26-March 1. From the Midwest, Leif Nordgren, Jake Brown and Paul Schommer along with Deedra Irwin as alternate will be headed to the World Championships. Luke Brown and Raleigh Goessling have been selected for the Open European Championships.

US Nordic Cross World Championship Set for March 21st

February 10, 2020
Stay Skinny, Get Sendy: The third annual US Nordic Cross World Championship race is set for March 21st at Spirit Mountain in Duluth, MN. The course will be mostly downhill with obstacles (including big jump) as well as a short but steep climb. Plus, bring those rocks skis for the big air competition.

Vasaloppet USA Coverage

February 8, 2020
A big turnout on Main Street Mora for the annual Vasaloppet USA races on Saturday. While utilizing many common trail segments, the major races all had their own variations to build 50K freestyle, 44K classic and 34K freestyle distances. Matt Liebsch, Brian Gregg and Garrett Beckrich broke up the main 50K lead pack on the second lap, with Liebsch pulling away for yet another Vasaloppet title. Gregg edged out Beckrich in a sprint finish for second. Caitlin Gregg won the women's division, over four minutes ahead of second place's Claire Trujillo with Jan Guenther third. Nathan Porath and Paul Olson, both previous champions of the Dala race, made it a two-man race early on and took it down to the Main Street finish with Porath besting Olson for the 34K victory. Nicholas Youso collected third. The women's 34K race was a tightly contested affair as the top five all came in one pack for the downtown finish. Margaret Nelson collected the title with Mary Mckelvey second, Angie Robinson third as Sara Kylander-Johnson and Mindy Benton completed the group finish. The men's 44K classic was another tense battle as the lead pack of four double-poled in a finishing frenzy, Karl Holub taking the top time followed by Andrew Tilman, Thomas Kenderick, and David Chamberlain. Classic queen was once again Josie Nelson, with Elspeth Ronnander second, Kerrie Berg third. Full results linked in and photosets posted.

Pre-Birkie Results

February 8, 2020
Nearly 700 skiers turned out Saturday for the annual Pre-Birkie races, based out of Hwy OO trailhead on the Birkie trail. Joel LaFrance took the men's 42K freestyle with Zach Varty and Nick Ross rounding out the podium. Hannah Olson was the women's marathon freestyle champion, followed by Patti Harvieux and Elaine Nelson. 42K classic titles went to Evan Wetzel and Bonnie Weiskopf. The 26K freestyle races were won by Stephen Wilbers and Annalisa Peterson, classic crowns for Gregory Shuster and Brandy Stewart.