Welcome to The Rundown, your quick primer of need-to-know information about the day’s racing. We’ll be updating this digest as the day goes on with additional results, photos and quotes. The Rundown is NOT a race report; stay tuned for complete race reports later today with interviews from the day’s top racers.
Canadian NorAm/U.S. SuperTour at Sovereign Lake: Classic sprint
[UPDATE] U.S. skiers filled the open category podiums on the first fully North American NorAm event in recent years on Saturday at Sovereign Lake near Vernon, B.C. With NorAm points, SuperTour points and FIS points on the line there was a great turnout of the top skiers.
In the open women’s 1.2-kilometer classic sprint, Julia Kern of the Stratton Mountain School (SMS) won in 3:17.04 after qualifying fifth. Liz Guiney of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project (CGRP) finished second, 0.67 seconds back, and her CGRP teammate Kaitlynn Miller rounded out the podium in third (+0.91). Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt (Alberta World Cup Academy) was the top Canadian in fourth (+1.49) and the lone Canadian in the final. Jennie Bender (Bridger Ski Foundation) placed fifth (+3.8) and Heather Mooney was sixth (+19.84).
On the same 1.2 k course, Reese Hanneman (Alaska Pacific University) made up for his 15th qualifying time to take the men’s final win in 2:38.08. Cole Morgan of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) took second in the final (+0.87) after winning the qualifier, and Ben Saxton (SMST2) was third (+1.92). Matt Gelso (SVSEF) finished fifth (+3.88), after precipitating a semifinal crash that took three Canadians (Angus Foster, Simon Lapointe and Evan Palmer-Charrette) out of contention, but didn’t result in a protest. The lone Canadian man in the final, Antoine Briand (Pierre-Harvey Training Centre) placed sixth (+11.98).
IBU World Cup in Pokljuka: 10/12.5 k pursuits
Another day at the front of the pack, and another day of (nearly) perfect shooting for Susan Dunklee, who raced from 11th to fifth for her first flower ceremony (top six) of the season at the IBU World Cup in Pokljuka, Slovenia.
Dunklee (US Biathlon) cleaned the first three of four stages in Saturday’s 10-kilometer pursuit to move into second with one standing stage remaining. In that final shooting stage, she had her first miss of the day, yet still left the range in second, 22 seconds behind Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier in first. Dunklee finished out the race with the 21st-ranked course time on the last loop (her first-loop time was the fastest in the 56-woman field) and placed fifth, 24.1 seconds behind Dahlmeier — who won her second-straight race in Pokljuka. Dahlmeier finished first in 30:43.1 despite two prone misses on the second stage, which put her as far back as fifth (0+2+0+0). Finland’s Kaisa Mäkäräinen finished second, 16.8 seconds back, with two penalties as well (0+0+1+1), and Eva Puskarcikova of the Czech Republic reached the podium in third (+18.7) with a single miss followed by three clean stages (1+0+0+0). One spot ahead of Dunklee, reigning World Cup champion Marie Dorin Habert of France clawed her way up to fourth (+18.8) after starting 17th, with one penalty (0+0+1+0).
For Dahlmeier, it was her 10th World Cup victory and fifth in a pursuit.
“My motto is ‘Scheiß da nix, dann feid da nix’,” Dahlmeier told Germany’s ZDF, which vaguely translates to “Don’t worry be happy,” or “Just do it.”
“That was worth gold today. I was a bit surprised about my two misses in prone. Apparently I already had an aberration in the first stage, then I clicked [adjusted the sights] and was a bit surprised that the two misses still happened,” she added. “… Then came the standing shooting, and there I tried to keep calm again. The race is only over once you cross the finish line, and that became true again today. I am happy that the race flipped again like this.”
Canada’s Julia Ransom cleaned three consecutive stages before missing two on the last standing. She finished 34th for the second day in a row, 2:33.5 behind Dahlmeier. Rosanna Crawford placed 49th with three penalties (2+1+0+0) and Clare Egan of the U.S. was 56th with six misses (2+0+1+3). Canada’s Megan Tandy, with seven penalties (1+1+3+2) did not finish.
In the men’s 12.5 k pursuit, the first man out of the start, Martin Fourcade of France, held his lead to the finish, hitting all 20 targets and winning in 30:27.4. Norway’s Emil Hegle Svendsen rose from fourth at the start to second at the finish (+6.0) with clean shooting as well, and Russia’s Anton Shipulin placed third for the second-straight day (+6.2), with one penalty in the last stage (0+0+0+1).
Friday’s sprint runner-up, Johannes Thingnes Bø of Norway, ended up fourth (+48) with two misses on the last stage (0+0+0+2), Germany’s Simon Schempp placed fifth (+59.8) after starting sixth, and had one miss (0+0+1+0), and Michael Rösch of Belarus cleaned for sixth place (+1:21.0) after starting 16th.
Lowell Bailey (US Biathlon) finished 18th (+2:01.6) for the second day in a row, with one prone penalty in the first stage (1+0+0+0).
Biathlon Canada’s Christian Gow picked off two places for a new career best in 31st (+2:41.7) with a single prone penalty (0+1+0+0).
Tim Burke placed 42nd (+4:09.8) for the U.S. (after starting 53rd) with five standing penalties (0+0+2+3), Canada’s Scott Gow finished 48th (+4:39) with five misses as well (2+1+0+2), and the third Canadian in the race, Brendan Green was 57th (+5:36.4) with five penalties (+5:36.4).
FIS Cross-Country World Cup in Davos: 15/30 k freestyle
Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Østberg is back on top of the podium after a 7.9-second win in Saturday’s 15-kilometer freestyle in Davos, Switzerland, over — you guessed it — her teammate Heidi Weng.
Østberg started 38th (out of 59) and led at every split to take the win in 37:44.4, her first this season and her first in a 15 k. Weng started a minute ahead of her in bib 36 and ended up second, while Finland’s Krista Parmakoski notched third (+16.7) for her third podium of the season, ninth in her career and second skate podium.
The next fastest woman, American Jessie Diggins finished 37.6 seconds off the podium in fourth (+54.3), ahead of Russia’s Yulia Tchekaleva in fifth (+1:00.5) and Switzerland’s Nathalie von Siebenthal in sixth (+1:05.6). Ragnhild Haga of Norway was seventh (+1:10.8), Finland’s Riitta-Liisa Roponen eighth (+1:21.4), Italy’s Ilaria Debertolis ninth (+1:32.2), and Sweden’s Anna Haag 10th (+1:35.5).
The U.S. had two in the points with Liz Stephen in 28th (+2:17.5). Kikkan Randall was 2.3 seconds outside the top 30 in 33rd (+2:30.2), and Caitlin Patterson placed 44th (+3:21.6). Rosie Brennan did not start.
Emily Nishikawa led Canada in 34th (+2:33.5) for her best result this season, Dahria Beatty was 42nd (+3:15.2), and Cendrine Browne 54th (+4:07).
Weng remains the Overall World Cup leader by 70 points over Østberg, Parmakoski ranks third, and Norway’s Marit Bjørgen, who is not competing this weekend in Davos, is currently fourth.
[UPDATE] In the men’s race earlier on Saturday, Martin Johnsrud Sundby racked up another victory in Davos’s 30 k freestyle, beating his fellow Norwegian Anders Gløersen by 13.7 seconds with a winning time of 1:07:31.6 hours. Gløersen took second for his first podium in a year (he was third in the Davos 30 k last December) and Finland’s Matti Heikkinen reached the podium for his second-straight race in third (+25.7).
Canada’s Alex Harvey placed 12th (+1:29.4) and his teammate Graeme Killick notched 21st (+2:24.2) for his second-best World Cup result (after placing 19th in a skiathlon last March at the Ski Tour Canada).
Devon Kershaw was the next top North American in 43rd (+3:52.9), six seconds ahead of the lone American in the race, Noah Hoffman in 44th (+3:58.9). Canada’s Andy Shields placed 64th (+6:33.9).