NorAm/SuperTour (Sovereign Lake near Vernon, British Columbia): 10/15 k freestyle
VERNON, B.C. — The combined NorAm and SuperTour event at the Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre continued with individual-start distance races and continued with the theme of U.S. domination of the leaderboard.
Ian Torchia, of Northern Michigan University (NMU) and the U.S. Ski Team D-team, started the day with a big victory in the men’s 15 k freestyle, finishing in 36:29.7 minutes and on the heels of Canadian Para-Nordic guide Graham Nishikawa, who started 30 seconds ahead of him and ended up sixth. Jack Hegman of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) placed second, 19.0 seconds back, to complete his good weekend. Canadian Para-Nordic superstar Brian McKeever rounded out the podium in third, 22.6 seconds back.
The women were next to get some time in the sunshine with two laps for 10 k. Caitlin Patterson of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project (CRGRP) upgraded from Saturday’s silver to gold on Sunday with winning time of 27:13.0. Rosie Frankowski of Alaska Pacific University (APU) snatched second, 30.7 seconds back. Caitlin Gregg (Team Gregg) raced to third, 1 second behind Frankowski.
Former Canadian national-team biathlete Zina Kocher started her new cross-country career as the top Canadian in seventh (+1:31.2).
The weather was a repeat of Saturday: -2 degrees Celsius, windless and sunny. Smiles were evident everywhere, even for athletes who didn’t quite nail the pacing on an unforgiving course.
FIS Cross Country World Cup (Davos, Switzerland): 10/15 k freestyle
After a day of sprinting, cross-country racers returned to the Davos World Cup venue on Sunday for the women’s 10-kilometer and men’s 15-kilometer freestyle individual start competitions.
For his first World Cup win in almost two years, France’s Maurice Manificat took the men’s 15 k race title in a time of 33:56.2. Exactly 4 seconds flat behind Manificat in second place was Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov. Ustiugov’s teammate Alexander Bolshunov, finished 10 seconds behind Ustiugov and 14.6 seconds behind Manificat for the men’s third and final podium spot.
The remainder of the men’s top ten included Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krüger in fourth (+21.3), Switzerland’s Dario Cologna in fifth (+26.5), Sweden’s Marcus Hellner in sixth (+35.4), Russia’s Denis Spitsov in seventh (+36.1), Hans Christer Holund of Norway in eighth (+36.9), Russian Alexey Chervotkin in ninth (+54.2), and Alex Harvey of Canada in 10th (+1:01.2).
The next best male North American finisher was American Patrick Caldwell in 41st (1:50.2).
Canada’s Devon Kershaw placed 44th (1:59.8), Graeme Killick 59th (+2:27.8), Russell Kennedy 68th (+2:43.4), and Julien Locke in 94th (4:27.5). Knute Johnsgaard did not start.
For the U.S., Noah Hoffman finished 48th (2:05.5) and Scott Patterson 88th (3:46.2). Simi Hamilton did not start and Andy Newell did not finish.
In the women’s 10 k, 75 starters finished the 10 k course with Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Østberg claiming first in a time of 25:28.5. Her Norwegian teammate, Ragnhild Haga finished 5.9 seconds behind her for second place. Krista Pärmäkoski of Finland raced to the third and final podium spot, 7.9 seconds back from Østberg’s winning time.
Rounding out the women’s top ten was Heidi Weng in fourth (+14.5), Austria’s Teresa Stadlober in fifth (+16.4), Switzerland’s Nathalie von Siebenthal in sixth (+16.4), Finland’s Kerttu Niskanen in seventh (+24.9), Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla in eighth (+26.8), Norwegian Marit Bjørgen in ninth (+35.9), and Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen in tenth (+37.6).
Leading the U.S. women was Sadie Bjornsen in 12th (+44.6), seven seconds outside the top ten. The next two Americans finishers were within 3.1 seconds of each other, with Kikkan Randall finishing 14th (+56.8) and Jessie Diggins in 15th (+59.9).
Also scoring World Cup points for the Americans, Rosie Brennan finished in 17th (+1:11.2) and Chelsea Holmes in 29th (+1:32.9).
The U.S.’s Liz Stephen and Sophie Caldwell finished in 40th (+1:58.5) and 52nd (+2:20.1), respectively.
For the Canadians, the team was led by Cendrine Browne in 45th (+2:05.9), followed by Emily Nishikawa in 50th (+2:18.4). Dahria Beatty placed 73rd (+2:53.0) and Katherine Stewart-Jones 79th (+3:44.6).
IBU World Cup (Hochfilzen, Austria): Men’s and women’s relays
Men’s and women’s relays took place on the final day of racing in Hochfilzen, with Norway winning the men’s 4 x 7.5 k and Germany topping the women’s 4 x 6 k by considerable margins.
Norway’s Ole Einar Bjørndalen, Henrik L’Abée-Lund, Erlend Bjøntegaard, and Lars Helge Birkeland raced to first in 1:21.21.8 hours, nearly two minutes clear of Germany in second, after taking the lead on L’Abée-Lund’s second leg. They avoided the penalty loop and used a total of nine spares, and never lost hold of first place for the rest of the race.
Germany raced to second (+1:54.9) with Erik Lesser, Benedikt Doll, Arnd Peiffer, and Simon Schempp, with zero penalties and 17 spares, after Peiffer lifted them from fourth to second on the third leg. Schempp held them there, despite using a maximum of three spares on each of his shooting stages, in the final leg.
France claimed third (+2:34.0) with Jean-Guillaume Béatrix, Simon Desthieux, Emilien Jacquelin, and Quentin Fillon Maillet, despite three penalties and 13 spares. Two of their penalties came on Beatrix’s first leg and another in Fillon Maillet’s final shooting. After being tagged in fifth, Jacquelin raced them up to third on the third leg and Fillon Maillet held onto that position for the last spot on the podium.
The U.S. men finished ninth (+3:38.3) with Lowell Bailey, Leif Nordgren, Tim Burke, and Sean Doherty, after they combined for three penalties and 13 spares. Bailey avoided the penalty lap and put them in third at the first exchange, while Nordgren slipped to seventh after a penalty, Burke remained in seventh with one penalty as well, and Doherty had one more penalty to anchor the team to ninth.
Canada placed 15th (+6:22.5) with six penalties and 20 spare rounds, with Christian Gow, Scott Gow, Nathan Smith, and Brendan Green. After being tagged in 21st, Smith raced them up to 13th, using just two spares to clean. Green anchored them to 15th after using six spares and skiing the 15th-ranked time on that last leg.
In the women’s relay that followed, Germany won by 44.9 seconds over Ukraine, with Vanessa Hinz, Franziska Hildebrand, Maren Hammerschmidt, and Laura Dahlmeier using nine spares while staying out of the penalty lap.
After Hinz raced them into first, Hildebrand slipped to fourth after using four spares on the second leg. Hammerschmidt raced the fastest third leg to put them back in first, and Dahlmeier held them there to the finish, crossing first in 1:14:36.4.
Ukraine (0 penalties, 5 spares) took the lead on the second leg but ultimately settled for second with Vita Semerenko, Yuliia Dzhima, Valj Semerenko, and Olena Pidhrushna. Dzhima put them in second heading into the race’s halfway point, but Valj Semerenko lost two places to tag Pidhrushna in third. Pidhrushna used just two spares on the final leg to bring them to second, about 20 seconds ahead of France in third.
Despite a tough first leg for Marie Dorin Habert, in which she had two penalties and tagged off in 14th, France rose to third place at the finish (+1:04.5) thanks to strong skiing and shooting from anchor Anaïs Bescond.
The team had a total of two penalties and 13 spares. Celia Aymonier used four spares to put them in ninth after the second leg, and third-leg Justine Braisaz lifted them one more place to seventh before Bescond skied the fastest last leg to pick off four more places.
Canada placed ninth (+2:31.6) with Emma Lunder, Rosanna Crawford, Megan Bankes, and Julia Ransom, with no penalties and nine spares. Crawford put them in fifth after the second leg, Bankes lost one place on the third leg, and Ransom slipped three more with three spares on her final shooting to finish ninth.
The U.S. did not enter a women’s team.