US SuperTour (West Yellowstone, Montana): 10/15 k classic mass starts
The second day of SuperTour racing took place as originally planned at the Rendezvous Ski Trails in West Yellowstone, with 22-year-old Hedda Bångman, of the University of Colorado Boulder (CU), and 33-year-old Brian Gregg (Team Gregg) winning the women’s 10-kilometer and men’s 15 k classic mass starts, respectively, on Sunday.
Bångman, a Swedish freshman on the CU Ski Team, won the women’s race in 30:24.8, just ahead of two Craftsbury Green Racing Project (CGRP) skiers Kaitlynn Miller and Caitlin Patterson. While Miller placed second (+1.3) and Patterson was third (+3.4),
Rosie Frankowski of Alaska Pacific University (APU) finished another 10 seconds later in fourth (+13.5), and Katharine Ogden of the Stratton Mountain School (SMS) was fifth (+17.2). Caitlin Gregg (Team Gregg) followed in sixth, Felicia Gesior (CXC Team) was seventh, Anne Siri Lervik (CU) eighth, Erika Flowers (SMS Elite Team) ninth, and Corey Stock of the Bridger Ski Foundation (BSF) 10th.
In the men’s race, Brian Gregg pulled out a 1.9-second win over David Norris (APU), crossing the line first in 41:30.3. Ben Lustgarten (CGRP) reached the podium for the second-straight day (after placing second in Saturday’s skate sprint) in third (+4.6). Kyle Bratrud (CXC Team) finished fourth (+10.9) and Kris Freeman (Caldwell Sport) was fifth (+12.6). Tad Elliott (Ski & Snowboard Club Vail) followed in sixth, Eric Packer (APU) seventh, Ian Torchia (Northern Michigan University/U.S. Ski Team D-Team) eighth, Hunter Wonders (APU) ninth, and Martin Bergström (University of Utah Ski) 10th.
- Hedda Bångman (1st) | Kaitlynn Miller (2nd) | Caitlin Patterson (3rd)
- Brian Gregg (1st) | David Norris (2nd) | Ben Lustgarten (3rd)
FIS Cross Country World Cup (Lillehammer, Norway): 15/30 k skiathlons
Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla pulled out another dominant distance performance on Week 2 of the World Cup, racing to a 19.7-second win in the women’s 15-kilometer skiathlon on Sunday, ahead of three Norwegians and American Jessie Diggins.
Kalla led at the halfway point of the skiathlon when skiers transitioned from classic to skate, just ahead of Norway’s Heidi Weng in second. The two had broken away around 4 k into the classic leg and put more than 20 seconds into the rest of the field by the transition, when Diggins came through 21.6 seconds back in third, leading a large chase group with Finland’s Krista Parmakoski, Norway’s Marit Bjørgen, Austria’s Teresa Stadlober, Norway’s Kathrine Rolsted Harsem, Finland’s Kerttu Niskanen, Norway’s Ragnhild Haga, and Switzerland’s Nathalie von Siebenthal, respectively.
While Kalla and Weng continued to trade the lead over the next 5 1/2 kilometers or so, by the 13.65 k marker, Kalla had dropped Weng, with 12 seconds between the two, while the chasers remained 29 seconds behind Kalla.
Over the next 1.2 k, that time gap grew to 20 seconds and 46 seconds, respectively, and Kalla skied off to her second win of the season in 42:24.7 minutes.
Weng placed second, 19.7 seconds back, and Haga claimed third (+43.6), after skiing alone for the last 4 k of the race. Bjørgen finished just ahead of Diggins for fourth (+54.3) and fifth (+57.0), respectively, and Stadlober was sixth (+1:04.9), Parmakoski seventh (+1:07.8), Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Østberg eighth, Russia’s Natalia Nepryaeva ninth (+1:27.8), and Sadie Bjornsen 10th (+1:32.6).
Four Americans finished scored points in the top 30, with Kikkan Randall placing 16th (+2:06.5) and Rosie Brennan 29th (+3:07.7). Liz Stephen finished 36th (+3:25.7), Chelsea Holmes was 38th (+3:39.6) and Ida Sargent 55th (+6:41.1).
Cendrine Browne of the Canadian National U25 Team led Canada in 45th (+4:37.3), and Emily Nishikawa followed in 49th (+5:00.1). Katherine Stewart-Jones did not finish.
Klæbo Outlasts Sundby; Harvey 6th
In the men’s 30 k skiathlon that followed, Norway’s Johannes Høsflot Klæbo made it a five-peat, proving himself once again unbeatable, this time in the first multi-discipline distance race of the season.
Klæbo outlasted [edit: rocketed past] teammate Martin Johnsrud Sundby to beat him by 1.3 seconds for his fifth-straight win in 1:16:47.1, and Norway swept the top four with Hans Christer Holund in third (+6.8) and Simen Hegstad Krüger in fourth (+10.9).
France’s Maurice Manificat followed closely in fifth (+11.3) and Canada’s Alex Harvey was next in sixth (+13.1), ahead of Finland’s Iivo Niskanen in seventh (+16.2), and Russia’s Alexey Chervotkin, Sergey Ustiugov and Alexander Bolshunov in eighth (+37.7), ninth (+42.2) and 10th (+59.6), respectively.
Klæbo skied patiently in the pack for essentially the entire race. For instance, at 11 k he sat back in 18th, just seven seconds from Canada’s Devon Kershaw in the lead.
One kilometer later, Klæbo remained 5 seconds back in 13th while Kershaw was 8 seconds back in 16th.
At the ski exchange at 15 k, Niskanen led Sundby and Italy’s Francesco de Fabiani and a total of 10 men within three seconds of first. Klæbo clocked through 5 seconds back in 13th, just ahead of Harvey in 14th (+5.3). Sixteen men remained within six seconds and striking distance of first. Kershaw in 18th had fallen off the pace and was 36 seconds back at the transition, just behind Russia’s Andrey Larkov.
While Harvey continued to ski around third place during the first 5 kilometers of the skate leg, Klæbo worked his way closer to the front and led at 22.5 k. By then, the lead group had dwindled to six within two seconds of first. Harvey remained in fourth.
Over the next 7.5 k, the lead changed several times, with Klæbo hovering near the tail end of the group. With about 200 meters to go, however, it was down to Sundby and Klæbo, with the former leading by 2 seconds (and Holund skiing seven seconds back in third). Klæbo ultimately had the most finishing kick to take the win by 1.3 seconds over Sundby, while Holund crossed 6.8 seconds later for third.
Canada had two in the top 20 with Kershaw in 19th (+2:59.7). Last year’s NorAm winner Russell Kennedy (Team R.A.D.) placed 53rd (+7:30.7), and Canadian World Cup Team members Graeme Killick and Knute Johnsgaard finished 54th (+7:41.3) and 60th (+9:49), respectively.
Two U.S. men landed in the points with Erik Bjornsen (U.S. Ski Team) in 20th (+2:59.9; just 0.2 seconds behind Kershaw) and Noah Hoffman in 28th (+3:37.8). Scott Patterson finished 36th (+4:56.1) and Paddy Caldwell was 56th (+7:43).
IBU World Cup (Östersund, Sweden): Men’s and women’s pursuits
— IBU World Cup (@IBU_WC) December 3, 2017
France’s Martin Fourcade overcame an early penalty and his No. 2 starting position to take the men’s 12.5 k pursuit win on Sunday, 40.8 seconds clear of anyone with 19-for-20 shooting (1+0+0+0).
Fourcade started 1 second behind Saturday’s sprint winner, Norway’s Tarjei Bø, and took control of the race after cleaning the second shooting stage. Bø missed one on the first prone stage then five more later in the race (1+0+3+2) to slip to 19th (+1:49.5) while Slovenia’s Jakov Fak raced up from 10th to second, 40.8 seconds behind Fourcade, with two penalties (1+0+0+1). Just behind him, France’s Quentin Fillon Maillet took third (+42.1) with identical shooting after Fillon Maillet started 12th and skied with Fak for most of the race.
None of the 58 finishers cleaned the four-stage race. American Lowell Bailey improved from 22nd to 17th (+1:40.2) with two misses (0+1+0+1). Canada’s Christian Gow achieved a career best in 21st (+2:04.6), up from starting 26th, after shooting 19-for-20 (0+0+1+0).
Also for Canada, Nathan Smith slipped from 24th at the start to 42nd (+3:19.2, three penalties), Scott Gow finished 50th (+4:10.9; six penalties) after starting 16th, and Brendan Green placed 51st (+4:18.6; five penalties).
One other American qualified in the sprint top 60 for the pursuit, with Tim Burke finishing 48th (+3:52.7; four misses).
In the women’s 10 k pursuit earlier in the day, Germany’s Denise Herrmann tallied her second-straight win (and the second win of her IBU World Cup career). She started first and successfully held of France’s Justine Braisaz, who started 15 seconds behind her in second place, by 25.8 seconds. While Herrmann missed two on her third shooting (0+0+2+0), Braisaz was one of three women in the field to clean (0+0+0+0).
Norway’s Marte Olsbu raced up from seventh to third place (+48.0) with two penalties (0+1+0+1).
Canada’s Julia Ransom placed 23rd (+2:48.1), up from 29th at the start, with two misses (0+0+1+1). Two of her teammates also qualified for the pursuit, with Rosanna Crawford finishing 52nd (+5:25.1) with six penalties (0+3+1+2). In her first World Cup pursuit, Megan Bankes completed three shooting stages before being lapped (3+1+1).
No American women qualified for the pursuit.
With the conclusion of the first IBU World Cup in Östersund, the circuit moves to Hochfilzen, Austria, where racing kicks off again Friday, Dec. 8, with men’s and women’s sprints.