Out of 17 Norwegians in Saturday’s World Cup 15 k classic race, Pål Golberg wasn’t the favorite. The 23 year old ended up notching his first World Cup victory in Lillehammer, and lesser-known teammate Didrik Tønseth surprised (himself) in third.
Aided by an early bib and a mid-race snowstorm, Lars Berger – who was left off the Norwegian national team this year – earned his sixth win but the first in three years. He beat Martin Fourcade of France, who had two fewer penalties but was stuck in slow snow conditions. Ole Einar Bjorndalen of Norway was third.
Despite a mid-race snowstorm that put later starters at a serious disadvantage, Lowell Bailey finished 16th and Tim Burke 24th in the 10 k sprint in Hochfilzen. They were the only two Americans, men or women, to qualify for the pursuit races on Sunday. “We can’t control the weather,” shooting coach Armin Auchentaller said.
Switzerland has never won a biathlon World Cup race – and it was especially surprising that the first victory would come from its small women’s team. But Selina Gasparin has been close to the podium before and today she sealed the deal in the 7.5 k sprint, eking out a 1-second victory over Veronika Vitkova of the Czech Republic.
Because the Olympics only come around every four years, domestic races hold even more value in the months leading up to the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. In Canada, they’ll determine who will fill approximately four remaining spots on the Olympic nordic team. The fun starts this weekend at Sovereign Lake, British Columbia.
With less than a year of nordic experience, Tatyana McFadden — a three-time Summer Paralympian with 10 Paralympic medals and a marathon Grand Slam to her name — has her heart set on Sochi. “I have to just be relaxed and go with the transitions,” she says. “When it comes time for me to put my skis on the snow, I have to remember everything I’ve learned … and ski as fast as I can and hopefully make people proud.”
Bump up your strength routine with gymnast rings — and no, you don’t need to be the next Arthur Nabarrete Zanetti, (wait, who’s he?). FS contributor Katie Bono writes: “It’s fun, the rings are extremely portable and versatile, and the exercises develop strength, coordination, and stability. However, the main benefit is that ring training is HARD. Like REALLY HARD.”
Nutrition expert Georgie Fear explains how to ward off illness when training volume is at its highest. “As the season approaches, athletes want to be strong, fast, and lean, and putting in the hours to train is essential,” she says. “It’s also critical for good nutrition to be a part of your routine.”
The official beginning to the 2014 racing season didn’t disappoint with tons of exciting nordic action taking place across the globe. FasterSkier was on-site in West Yellowstone to cover the SuperTour opener, Kikkan Randall opened with her best classic-sprint finish of second in Kuusamo, Noah Hoffman notched the fastest men’s time in Sunday’s 15 k pursuit to end the Kuusamo Ruka Triple, and Tim Burke had his first podium of the biathlon season.