The Yellowstone Ski Festival officially kicked off on Tuesday, with numerous athletes and clubs out skiing the trails. Longtime keeper-of-the-gates at the Rendezvous trailhead, Thor Godar, sets the scene so far.
A Norwegian development-pipeline skier, Kari Øyre Slind spent this summer largely training alone, but it’s worked for her. “I choose to think of the Beitostølen weekend as a performance out of the ordinary,” she told FasterSkier about her recent double podium. “But now I know that I can perform with the best on a good day.”
Alexander Os, a 35-year-old Norwegian ex-Olympian who founded “Team Feskslogs” after being left off the national team, almost won today’s mass start – but Germany’s Simon Schempp got him at the end. Juliya Dzhyma of Ukraine won the women’s race. Leif Nordgren (USA) placed 19th and Megan Tandy (CAN) 40th in their respective races.
In their first race of the season, Jessie Diggins and Sophie Caldwell of the U.S. Ski Team finished first and second, respectively, in the FIS classic sprint in Gällivare, Sweden. “It’s the best I’ve seen Jessie classic sprint ever,” coach Matt Whitcomb said. “It gives us a big boost as we move into the World Cup season next week.”
Devon Kershaw arrived in Beitostølen, Norway, last week without any teammates, team wax or coaching support, and worst of all, no skis. He also didn’t have a race suit. “That added to the hilarity of the situation,” the Canadian World Cup Team veteran explained. And then he raced on klister when most everyone else double poled.
While “a high VO2max is never a disadvantage — ever!” Dr. Dan Heil of Montana State University explains that honing in on upper-body strength may be the way to go. “If [an athlete is] interested in being able to track their training progress, maybe all they need to be able to track is changes in upper-body power.”
For the second time this weekend, a Norwegian was disqualified during a race in Beitostølen, Norway, and missed out on a victory because of it. Maiken Caspersen Falla was first across the line in the women’s classic sprint final, but subsequently relegated, leaving Russia’s Natalia Matveeva with the win.