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Russians Go 1-2 in 15 k Classic; Canadians All Land in Top 8 in Gällivare Distance Race

Russia went 1-2 in the men's 15 k classic FIS race in Gallivare on Sunday with Evgeniy Belov (pictured) taking the win by more than 20 seconds. (Photo: SportEventGallivare)
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Sunday was for the distance racers in Gällivare, Sweden, with five Canadians — four men and one woman — getting a chance to test their form in the 10/15 k classic races. Alex Harvey notched his second-podium performance in third, Emily Nishikawa was fourth, Devon Kershaw fifth, Ivan Babikov sixth, and Graeme Killick eighth.

Jones Tops Gällivare Women’s Classic Sprint; Harvey Second and Three Canadian Men in Final

Canada's Perianne Jones en route to the 1.2 k classic sprint victory at an opening FIS race in Gallivare, Sweden. (Photo: SportEventGallivare)

Regulars for the last week in Gällivare, the Canadians put themselves in the mix in Saturday’s classic sprints with Perianne Jones winning the women’s final, Alex Harvey taking second to Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov in the men’s final, Lenny Valjas placing fourth and Jess Cockney bringing it home in sixth.

Wednesday Workout: Throwback ‘Freaking Hard’ Rollerski Intervals with Kershaw

Devon Kershaw going "freaking hard" at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, B.C.

Good workouts never get old. This week, we bring back a Pro Workout of the past, which Devon Kershaw wrote almost exactly four years ago, just before leaving for Europe in early November. “A great workout this time of year – especially if you are coming off some volume (at altitude or not) and feel your body needs that lactate tolerance work to ‘shock’ the system,” Kershaw writes.

Bouchard-Harvey Duo Prep in Switzerland Before Meeting Canadian Team in Sweden

Alex Harvey training last week in Gällivare, Sweden. (Photo: Louis Bouchard)

Alex Harvey and personal coach Louis Bouchard were the first from the Canadian World Cup Team to arrive in Gällivare, Sweden, last Thursday. They spent the earlier part of the month acclimating to altitude in Davos, Switzerland.

Kershaw, Crawford Earn Victories in Frozen Thunder Distance Races

Scott Perras (l) with Devon Kershaw on his heels in Monday's Frozen Thunder distance race at the Canmore Nordic Centre. (Photo: Noel Rogers/Bow Valley Photography)

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.

Sargent, Newell Climb to Top in Frozen Thunder Classic Sprint (with Photo Gallery)

Ida Sargent (U.S. Ski Team/CGRP) leads Perianne Jones (Canadian NST) in round 2. The two went on to place first and second among women in the Frozen Thunder classic sprint on Friday. (Photo: Angus Cockney)

There are a couple things one can count on in Canmore, including solid tracks and quality snow, even in October. At the first unofficial sprint of the North American season on Friday, more than 120 racers found both for the Frozen Thunder classic sprint, and organizers added what could be a new tradition to the mix: a zero-elimination format.

What a Little Success Can Do: Lunder Boosted by World Cup Debut in Push for 2015

Emma Lunder competing in the World Cup pursuit in Pokljuka, Slovenia, in March. Photo: NordicFocus.com

Emma Lunder placed 30th in her World Cup debut last season. The Canadian biathlete has since gained funding, training partners, and motivation: “Anytime I’m doing a really brutal workout, I just think to myself, if you can get through this, you’re one step closer to racing in Pokljuka again!”

Canadians Head South to Stratton for New Camp, Combine with SMST2 (with Photo Gallery)

Andy Newell (l) and Alex Harvey (r) lead an over-distance rollerski past the Stratton Mountain School on Aug. 15 in Stratton, Vt.

With the help of U.S. Ski Team head coach Chris Grover and Canadian National Team Head Coach Justin Wadsworth, Tor-Arne Hetland and the Canadian World Cup Team ended up in Vermont last month. “Andy Newell can train here for many years … That’s the reason we are here,” Hetland explained.

VIDEO: Canada/SMST2 Combo Workout

Canadians Alex Harvey (r), Devon Kershaw (front left) lead six others, including Ivan Babikov (third from l), Kris Freeman (second from l) and Andy Newell (l), during a combi over-distance rollerski near Stratton, Vt.

FasterSkier tagged along with the Canadian World Cup Team and Stratton Mountain School T2 squad for a morning over-distance rollerski on Aug. 15 in Stratton, Vt.

Two Dozen Canadians Seek Summertime in Bend

Ivan Babikov (l) and Jesse Cockney during a bounding/trail running workout near Bend, Ore. (Photo: Cross Country Canada)

The Canadian World Cup Team and about 23 training-centre skiers ventured south to Bend, Ore., in late June for a 12-day camp that was more about finding good pavement than snow. “We felt like it was the best place for an all-around camp with a big group,” coach Justin Wadsworth says.

Extirpé de L’ombre: Yves Bilodeau, Technicien en Chef de L’équipe Canadienne

Former Canadian National Team member Yves Bilodeau racing in Calgary. (Photo: Cross Country Canada)

Nous avons joint Bilodeau à sa demeure savoyarde, battue derechef par une forte pluie contraignant le passionné de pêche à délaisser temporairement le Rhône. L’homme revient avec humour sur ses débuts en 1995, nous présente ses compagnons d’armes oeuvrant au sein de l’équipe canadienne et se prononce sans détour sur les déconvenues de Sochi.

After Two Home Olympics, Gaiazova Transitions to Next Phase of Her Life

An excited Dasha Gaiazova at the women's 0.85 k World Cup classic sprint in Liberec, Czech Republic. The Canadian was fourth for a career best and narrowly missed the podium in a photo finish. (Chandra Crawford photo)

Dasha Gaiazova was on the fence about continuing her ski career after the 2014 Olympics.The Russian-born Canadian had competed at back-to-back home Olympics, and in May, she wasn’t named to Canada’s World Cup or senior development teams. “I felt like I wanted to keep racing,” she recalled. “The team got announced and I didn’t get on the team, and I was like, I gotta think about some things.”

CCC’s New President, Jamie Coatsworth Talks Business and the Board’s Role

In his first week as president/chair of Cross Country Canada, Jamie Coatsworth — a longtime financial supporter of Canadian nordic skiing — talks about the position and how he ended up filling the vacancy left by Richard Lemoine. “Sort of looking up around the room, I spoke to some of the other board members,” Coatsworth said. “And I said somebody’s gotta do it.”

Post-Retirement, Crawford Hits the Books Hard, Gets into Calgary’s MBA Program

Fast and Female founder/president Chandra Crawford retired from competitive-nordic racing this spring after 14 years in the sport (and five more in biathlon). She was recently accepted into the University of Calgary's business school. (Photo: Chandra Crawford/ http://chandracrawford.com/ive-never-met-anyone-so-excited-to-write-the-gmat-before/)

Chandra Crawford stuck with skiing long after winning gold as a U23 at the 2006 Olympics because she remembered when Beckie Scott and Sara Renner explained “it would take ten years to get good.” She committed, and after three Olympics, Crawford, 30, retired from the sport to pursue higher education — cutting right to the chase with an MBA to better serve Fast and Female.

Canada’s Newest Coach, Tor-Arne Hetland Gets Dose of Canadian Ski Life at Sunshine Camp

Tor-Arne Hetland, Swiss sprint coach from 2010-2014 (Photo: FIS) http://www.fis-ski.com/cross-country/news-multimedia/news/article=tor-arne-hetland-nor-become-world-cup-team-coach-for-canada.html

Tor-Arne Hetland is officially part of the Canadian crew after wrapping up his first training camp with the Canadian World Cup Team in May. Onboard since April, he says he’s eager to give the perspective and stability that Cross Country Canada wants. “It is asked for new ideas into the team and I’m ready to give this,” Hetland says. “And also more stability in the World Cup.”

Wadsworth on Coaching, Development Changes: ‘The Main Thing is to Get Our Country to Work Together’

Canada's Head Coach Justin Wadsworth was giving out splits during the men's 15 k freestyle pursuit at the World Cup Finals in March in Falun, Sweden.

In an interview on Friday, Canadian head coach Justin Wadsworth discussed how he will work with Tor Arne Hetland in the coming year for Canmore-based World Cup athletes – “I’ve already had fun talking training with him” – and the other part of his new job, getting the national training centers aligned with the World Cup team to improve the development pipeline.

Cross Country Canada Unveils New Coaching Leadership Structure

Cross Country Canada coaches Justin Wadsworth (l) and Louis Bouchard will continue to lead the Canadian cross-country ski team at the national and World Cup levels. (Photo: Cross Country Canada/Twitter)

Cross-Country Ski de Fond Canada (CCC) has changed its leadership structure in an effort to ramp up for the 2018 Winter Olympics, with Justin Wadsworth overseeing all national-team programs and training centres, and Louis Bouchard and Tor-Arne Hetland as World Cup Team coaches.

Wadsworth Says Nothing’s Final on Hetland, Rest of CCC Team-Staffing Decisions

Justin Wadsworth’s not sure how it got out there, but he said incorrect information reached the press on Tuesday regarding the Canadian World Cup Team’s coaching and waxing staff for the 2014/2015 season.

Canadian National Team Changeup: De Nys No Longer Women’s Coach, Starts Junior Program

Coach Eric Denys and Sara Renner at SilverStar, spring '09

Canadian Women’s World Cup Coach Eric de Nys is in the process of starting a new junior-training program in Canmore after parting ways with the national team. “With the World Cup team being what it will be next year, it just can’t justify having that many coaches there,” he says. “We had to do some restructuring and part of that was eliminating a job.”

Ammar Gets Coveted Gold at Canadian Nationals in 30 k Classic; Babikov Tops Sandau in 50 k

The junior men's 30 k classic mass start on the last day of Canadian Nationals last Saturday in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.

Canadian Nationals came to a close last Saturday, with Ivan Babikov rolling to a 41-second victory over Kevin Sandau in the 50 k classic and Amanda Ammar notching a coveted senior title with a 54-second win over Emily Nishikawa in the 30 k at Blow Me Down Trails.