Fredrik Lindström, a biathlon World Championships medalist, hadn’t done a ski race in six years. But he beat out the Swedish national ski team in the Bruksvallarna 15 k, and had them joking about adding him to a relay team. In the women’s 10 k, Charlotte Kalla skied to a 52-second win over Maria Rydqvist.
For reasons as wide-ranging as fairness of competition, stress on athletes, health of coaches, and saving money, several North American ski and biathlon organizations have policies limiting the use of high-fluoro waxes at some competitions. And they have nothing but positive feedback from their experiences.
Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle appealed the IBU’s 2-year ban for testing positive for a prohibited stimulant, which she argued was ingested accidentally in a supplement. The Court of Arbitration for sport agreed, saying that a six-month suspension was sufficient. Six months is up and the star can return to competition.
U.S. Biathlon, unlike some national teams, doesn’t select its World Cup team each spring. Certain team members prequalify, but there were at least two spots up for grabs at the four-race rollerski trials held in August and October in Jericho, Vt. The final team was announced Tuesday, one month before the season starts in Sweden. (Updated)
While two Americans won Friday’s Frozen Thunder sprints, Canada had its revenge on Monday, taking four of six podium spots. In the men’s 10.8 k skate race, Devon Kershaw bested Kris Freeman by five seconds to take the win. In the Women’s 7.2 k race, biathlete Rosanna Crawford edged Liz Stephen for the win.
Newly-minted Biathlon Canada national team member Macx Davies talks season prep and Frozen Thunder: “When you have a long ski, catching up with friends is one of the few things that can shorten the long hours on the track,” he writes. “Finally I am skiing. Finally the season is here. Finally it is winter.”
Retirements were expected after an Olympic season – but the women’s biathlon field will be shaken up even more, as several top competitors are taking the season off for babies or injuries. Plus, Darya Domracheva has switched her coach and Ukraine stars face a funding crisis. All the updates inside – the World Cup is on in less than two months!
“You know we do other workouts,” Tim Burke says with a laugh more than halfway up the 4,867-foot Whiteface Mountain. Minutes before, the U.S. biathlete completed Tuesday’s big effort in 13 minutes, 21 seconds, finishing about 1,300 feet higher than he started for a new record in the hill climb named after him.
U.S. Biathlon’s Max Cobb also chaired the IBU Technical Committee for the past several years – and he just passed rule changes at the IBU Congress that include a system-wide qualification points system and added Wild Card entries to major events. “People voted in favor of a more fair, open, and sporting system – I was really gratified,” Cobb said.