One down, two stages to go. Sweden's Calle Halfvarsson has both the Lillehammer mini tour's early lead with a win on Friday's sprint, and an increasingly firm grip on the World Cup Overall. Canada's Alex Harvey is happy to lurk in 12th heading into tomorrow's skate distance race.
Devon Kershaw was the lone Canadian with the option to compete last Sunday in Gällivare, Sweden, after the race dates were rescheduled. While the field was small, he explained it was a great opportunity "to put a bib on and blow out the cobwebs."
On the final days of the FIS Nordic Combined Summer Grand Prix, Taylor Fletcher raced to 15th overall for the U.S. while teammates Ben Berend and Ben Loomis proved they can fly. "Throughout the two-week Grand Prix Tour I had some of the furthest jumps on the hill," Berend told FS. “By the time we got to Oberstdorf my confidence was through the roof."
For the fourth year in a row, Germany's Eric Frenzel was crowned the Nordic Combined World Cup overall champion after three days of competitions in Val di Fiemme, Italy. The long weekend started off with Americans Bryan and Taylor Fletcher racing to sixth in the team sprint for the best U.S. result in the event since 2013.
Last Friday through Sunday, three days of Nordic Combined World Cup competitions took place in Lahti, Finland, with Germany's Eric Frenzel retaining the overall World Cup lead. Norwegian wünderkind, Jarl Magnus Riiber, missed out on his second World Cup win, as he made a wrong turn at the finish.
Norway's Petter Northug showed his versatility as an all-rounder, winning Wednesday's classic sprint in Drammen, Norway. His quick double pole and quicksilver skate skis won out the day. The U.S. Ski Team's Simi Hamilton placed 11th overall while Canada's Alex Harvey posted his second-best sprint result of the season in 20th.
It's been a steady climb of success for the U.S. women's cross-country team. On Sunday in Nove Mesto, they took a collective step higher in the 4 x 5 k relay, placing second to a hard-charging Norway, while besting Finland by nearly 14 seconds.
Maurice Manificat has been waiting for this win all season despite being on the podium twice in the last two months. On Saturday, he beat Norway's Martin Johnsrud Sundby for his first World Cup victory since 2013. For Sundby, it was a small speed bump on his way to seize control of the 2015/2016 World Cup overall.
Martin Johnsrud Sundby showed he's still got it, winning Saturday's 15 k classic mass start ahead of Norwegian teammate Niklas Dyrhaug and Kazakhstan's Alexey Poltoranin, for nearly a 1 1/2-minute head start in Sunday's final climb. Alex Harvey notched seventh on the day for 12th overall heading into the final stage.
Despite starting 26th in Sunday's final stage of the Tour de Ski, nearly 10 minutes back from the leader, Noah Hoffman is excited for the opportunity ahead of him. "You couldn’t design something that could be more to my strengths," he said of the infamous 9 k freestyle hill climb up Alpe Cermis.
Finn Hågen Krogh knows a lot about ups and downs, and has formed somewhat of a pattern at this year's Tour de Ski. However, the Norwegian had one of his career-best races on Friday, winning the 10 k freestyle by 3.6 seconds ahead of teammate and overall Tour leader Martin Johnsrud Sundby. Noah Hoffman placed 19th to lead the U.S., and Canadian Alex Harvey finished 37th and is now 15th in the Tour.
Canada's Alex Harvey started seventh and finished ninth to maintain his place in the top 10 of the Tour de Ski after three stages, and American Noah Hoffman posted the 17th-fastest time of the day to finish in the top 25 for the second-straight day in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
After rebounding from separate scary incidents, APU's Scott Patterson and Eric Packer showed their desire to be back on top of the SuperTour, placing first and third in Sunday's 15 k classic mass start in Sun Valley. Patterson won by more than 30 seconds and CU's Mads Strøm edged Packer for second.
Alex Harvey’s second place on Saturday remains a single drop in the bucket, but it’s a reminder that his quest for the World Cup overall is for real. With "new" legs post-surgery, the 27-year-old Canadian is now a contender in strenuous skate races as well as classic sprints and distance events.
Records were destroyed this Fourth of July in Seward, Alaska at the 88th edition of the annual Mount Marathon. In impressive fashion three runners bested previous course records, with international running stars Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg claiming the men’s and women’s titles, respectively.
In a shortened 30 k competition, Holly Brooks of APU placed 10th in the Ugra Ski Marathon in Khanty-Maniysk, Russia, not enough to hold onto the FIS Marathon Cup lead. She finished third overall, the best ranking ever for a North American skier. Tatjana Mannima of Estonia and Petr Novak of the Czech Republic took home the titles.
Inge Scheve's take on racing at her fifth Masters World Cup, which took place last month in Syktyvkar, Russia. In all, eight members of Team USA collected seven medals at this year's championships.
Sadie Bjornsen (APU/USST) claimed her second victory in two days in the 1.2 k freestyle sprint at the 2015 SuperTour Finals in Sun Valley, Idaho. She was followed by a strong performance from Middlebury College's Kelsey Phinney, who earned her first podium at the domestic elite level.
Marit Bjørgen proved once again why she is the world's best, saving one last attack to skate past Norwegian teammate Therese Johaug to take victory in the Holmenkollen 30 k and make it a clean sweep of the sprint, distance, and overally World Cup titles. Astrid Jacobsen outsprinted Sweden's Charlotte Kalla for third place.
Norway's Sjur Røthe studied the tapes of Holmenkollens past, including how Petter Northug has taken some of his many wins. He had a plan, and executed flawlessly, beating Switzerland's Dario Cologna by just a toe length to earn his first ever World Cup victory.