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Notes and Quotes: Davos Round Two

USST's Sadie Bjornsen racing to 29th in the Davos World Cup 10 freestyle, Dec. 20, 2014. (Photo: Fischer/Nordic Focus)

The second weekend of racing in Davos, Switzerland wrapped up the first period of the World Cup, and there’s still a lot left to be said. Check out our Notes and Quotes to see what didn’t make it into our race reports this weekend.

Tour de Ski, Including Final Climb, In Jeopardy Due to Snow Conditions

Last year, the Oberstdorf, Germany, organizers had to harvest snow in order to pull off the opening stages of the Tour de Ski. Photo: Weltcup-Oberhof.de.

None of the venues slated to host stages of the Tour de Ski seem ready, given the warm temperatures and lack of snow in central Europe. FIS is reportedly in emergency meetings today to develop a backup plan for the event.

USST Stumbles to Best Results Since Ruka; Randall Feels More Like Herself in Davos

2014/2015 U.S. Ski Team member (Photo: USSA)

The USST was ready to make some big moves Sunday when five of its athletes had strong qualification in the 1.4 k freestyle sprint in Davos, Switzerland. However, with four of five athletes crashing, the American squad was left wanting more. Kikkan Randall led the day in 9th, making her first semifinal appearance of the year. “It was a weird start to the season so I’m glad to be feeling like I am coming back,” she said of the day.

Mäkäräinen Rallies for Pokljuka Mass Start Win; Crawford Caps Trimester Off in 12th, 8th Overall

Kaisa Mäkäräinen racing to second in Saturday's 10 k pursuit at the IBU World Cup in Pokljuka, Slovenia. (Photo: Fischer/NordicFocus)

Kaisa Mäkäräinen came back from a 29-second deficit and two standing penalties to win Sunday’s 12.5-kilometer mass start by 7.6 seconds over a very happy Anais Bescond. Rosanna Crawford capped off a string of career-bests in 12th, and Susan Dunklee was 22nd.

In Second-Ever Mass Start, Smith Clinches Ninth; Shipulin Causes Late Trip to Win in Pokljuka

Shipulin (3) leads Frenchmen Fourcade (l) and Beatrix (r) around 11.2 k during Sunday's 15 k mass start in Pokljuka, Slovenia.

Nathan Smith had never finished a mass start before Sunday, but he knew if all went according to plan, he could be in a competitive position. The Canadian found himself in sixth at one point, and with two penalties, secured his second-best World Cup result in ninth.

Bjørgen Holds Off Whippersnapper Nilsson to Sweep Davos Weekend

The women's World Cup 1.3 k freestyle sprint podium on Sunday in Davos, Switzerland: Norwegian winner Marit Bjørgen (c), Swedish runner-up Stina Nilsson (l) and Norway's Ingvild Flugstad Østberg in third. (Photo: FIS Cross Country/Twitter)

How much did Norway’s Marit Bjørgen have left and could anybody beat her? That was the question on Sunday in the women’s 1.3 k freestyle sprint on the last day of racing before the holiday break. One young Swede came close.

Valjas, Cockney Make Davos Sprint Quarterfinals for Canada

Lenny Valjas on his way to taking 12th in qualifiers and 18th overall during the World Cup 1.3 k freestyle sprint in Davos, Switzerland, on Sunday.

Canadians Lenny Valjas and Jesse Cockney skied well enough to finish in the points in the final race before the holiday break, a 1.3 k freestyle sprint on Sunday in Davos, Switzerland. It was Cockney’s best individual World Cup result in more than two years.

Pellegrino Delivers Much-Needed Win for Italy in Davos Skate Sprint

Pellegrino celebrating his win with Italian supporters. Photo: Liberec2013.

There was no shortage of action in the men’s 1.3-kilometer freestyle sprint on Sunday as 24-year-old Federico Pellegrino fought his way to his first-ever World Cup win and Italy’s first victory of the season. “I hope it’s a good omen,” he said after the race. “I hope it is the first in a long series of triumphs.”

Bjørgen Stays Vigil on an Icy Davos Course for 1st Distance Win of Season

The women's World Cup 10 k freestyle podium on Saturday in Davos, Switzerland: Norwegian winner Marit Bjørgen (c), German runner-up Nicole Fessel (l) and Norway's Heidi Weng in third. (Photo: Fischer/NordicFocus)

Marit Bjørgen had a lot of history riding on Saturday’s 10 k freestyle — if she or any other Norwegian woman won it, their team could go down in the record books with the longest World Cup winning streak. But mostly Bjørgen was looking for her first distance win of the season.

Stephen Just Out of Top 10, Leads Small U.S. Contingent in Davos

USST's Sadie Bjornsen racing to 29th in the Davos World Cup 10 freestyle, Dec. 20, 2014. (Photo: Fischer/Nordic Focus)

Liz Stephen entered Saturday’s 10 k freestyle in Davos, Switzerland with a goal of placing in the top-10. While she missed her target by 4.9 seconds and earned a 12th place on the day, the result was a promising step for the 27-year-old as she continues to improve with every race.

Shooting ‘So Easy’ for Svendsen; Burke Top North American in Pokljuka Pursuit in 21st

Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen on his way to a perfect 20-for-20 IBU World Cup pursuit, which he won on Saturday in Pokljuka, Slovenia.

Emil Hegle Svendsen won his second race of the season on Saturday, again with perfect shooting, in the 12.5 k pursuit in Pokljuka, Slovenia. Cleaning was easier said than done, especially for the North American men, all of which had at least three misses.

Canadians Finish Outside Points in Davos World Cup

Canadian Greame Killick skis to 54th in Saturday's 15 k freestyle  individual start in Davos, Switzerland, Dec. 20, 2014. (Photo: FIscher/Nordic Focus)

Canadians were well behind the leaders in Saturday’s World Cup 10/15 k freestyle in Davos, Switzerland. Ivan Babikov and Alex Harvey were the top men, finishing 34th and 38th, while Emily Nishikawa squeaked into the top 50, finishing 49th despite a crash.

In the Spotlight, Crawford Pulls Off Seventh in Pokljuka Pursuit; Domracheva Comes Out Strong (Updated)

Rosanna Crawford (Biathlon Canada) smiling for the camera before the start of the IBU World Cup 10 k pursuit on Saturday in Pokljuka, Slovenia. She started fourth and finished seventh.

Darya Domracheva was the big winner on Saturday in the IBU World Cup 10 k pursuit, but there were some personal victories Canadians Rosanna Crawford and Megan Heinicke achieved throughout the race as well. For one, Crawford clawed her way back into seventh after two early misses, and Heinicke went from 41st to 14th as one of two women to clean.

Gløersen Earns First World Cup Distance Victory as Alternate

Norway’s Anders Gløersen celebrates his win as he crosses the finish line (Photo: Fischer/Nordic Focus)

Anders Gløersen had planned to sit out Saturday’s World Cup 15-kilometer freestyle interval start in Davos, Switzerland in order to rest for Sunday’s sprint. However, as fate would have it, several teammates came down with illness and Gløerson was placed on the start list. It turns out fate was in the Norwegian’s favor, as he earned his first World Cup distance victory in convincing fashion.

Tahoe Donner Cross Country and Downhill Ski Areas Open for the Winter Season; Snowplay Open Daily for Holidays

All three of Tahoe Donner’s winter venues are now open for the 2014-2015 season.

Shipulin Finds His Mojo in Pokljuka Sprint; Bailey Cleans for 16th

Friday's sprint winner, Anton Shipulin of Russia (l) stands up after catching France's Martin Fourcade at the finish. Fourcade started 30 seconds ahead of him and ultimately placed fourth.

Not only was Russia’s Anton Shipulin 100-percent on-target in the men’s IBU World Cup sprint on Friday, he was also the fastest, leading him to a nearly 12 second win over Austria’s Dominik Landertinger. All but one man (Martin Fourcade) in the top nine cleaned, and Lowell Bailey shot flawlessly as well for 16th.

Scott Gow Lands on Podium in ‘Perfect Day’ in Obertilliach; Vaillancourt Cleans for 7th

Men's 10 k sprint at the North American Rollerski Championships at the Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vt.

Scott Gow found himself on the podium just 1.6 seconds behind the winner of Friday’s 10 k sprint on the third day of racing at the IBU Cup in Obertilliach, Austria. Audrey Vaillancourt also shot clean to lead the Canadian women in seventh in the 7.5 k sprint.

NorAm Preview: All About Racing the Best in Canada, and the U.S.

American Brian Gregg (l) and Canadian Andy Shields of the Thunder Bay National Development Centre ski alongside each other in the 11 k classic individual start last weekend at the NorAm opener in Rossland, B.C. Gregg went on to place fifth and Shields was 12th. (Photo: FRESH cafe & apres/Facebook)

With the second weekend of NorAm racing taking place Friday and Saturday at Sovereign Lake, here’s a look at who could be some of the top contenders on a regular basis throughout the season, and who could potentially earn race starts in Europe.

Crested Butte: The 29th Annual Alley Loop

AlleyLoop

The 29th Annual Alley Loop presented by Western State Colorado University will take place on Saturday, February 7th. Part of the American Ski Marathon Series and an American Birkebeiner qualifying race, the event is also Crested Butte’s largest costume party.

Interview with CXC President Oyvind Solvang

CXC President Oyvind Solvang (Photo: CXC)

By Peter Graves (CXC press release) *** First a bit of background, tell me about your skiing background please. I started skiing as a child. By the time I was in first grade, my brother and I had a 5k […]