FasterSkier reported live at the IBU World Cup in Hochfilzen, Austria, and 2,000 kilometers north in Lillehammer, Norway, the U.S. cross-country and nordic-combined teams found success in Lillehammer. NorAm racing kicked off in British Columbia, and Bozeman SuperTour skiers braved the cold to get distance races in after Saturday’s sprints were canceled.
Fresh snow couldn’t keep the US women’s relay from matching their best ever 4.5 Classic/Free Relay time. Randall, Bjornsen Stephen and Diggins claimed a bronze medal despite near disaster and broken ski pole. A second US women’s relay team clinched 12th to close the second weekend of World Cup racing
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.
The fourth-fastest qualifier, Andy Newell went on to place sixth in the men’s 1.4 k skate sprint in Beitostølen, Norway, on Sunday — not exactly what he was hoping for, but not bad for his first skate sprint since August. Simi Hamilton qualified in 15th and had an unlucky break that put him 27th overall.
Liz Stephen tossed out all ideas of pacing and went for it in Saturday’s 10 k, capturing sixth in the freestyle FIS race, and Noah Hoffman listened to his “patience” cues to end up seventh in the men’s 15 k free in Beitostølen, Norway. Also on the USST, Holly Brooks came closer to the top 10 in 12th.