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Tahoe Donner Cross Country to Host 20th Annual Winter Trails Day

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Returning this year to Tahoe Donner is Winter Trails Day, a national event co-hosted by Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Area and REI.

Brooks Joins Norwegian Pro Team, Adds Swix Ski Classics to Season Schedule

Holly Brooks (c) poses with Team Santander manager Nils Marius Otterstad (l) and famed wax tech and coach Magner Dale (r) in Living, Italy.

When Holly Brooks traveled to Livigno, Italy, the former U.S. Ski Team member was focused on the La Sgambeda 42 k freestyle that marked the first FIS Marathon Cup race of the season. As fate would have it, however, Brooks exited the weekend as a member of a professional Norwegian team, Team Santander, alongside famed skier Anders Aukland, wax tech Magnar Dale, and manager Nils Marius Otterstad.

Wednesday Workout: Fast, Uphill V2

Author François Léger Dionne concentrates on short, fast V2 strides at L3 intensity.

There’s snow in Quebec, and FS contributor François Léger Dionne gives us a great way to burn off the holiday treats and work on skate technique with the following workout, which he recently did at the Far Hills Ski Center in Val-David, Quebec.

U.S. Biathlon to Send Six More Athletes to Europe in January

Sean Doherty (USBA "X" Team) smiling after winning a NorAm mass start in Canmore, Alberta, earlier this season. Photo: Jake Ellingson.

The U.S. Biathlon Association will reduce its World Cup team to just three men and three women in the beginning of January, ruling out relays in Oberhof, but it’s only temporary – seven men and women will race on the IBU Cup and potentially earn promotions to the top circuit.

Weekly Roundup: Good Vibes Before the Holidays

Crawford at the flower ceremony. Photo: Christian Manzoni/NordicFocus.com.

With their eyes on the prize of a holiday break (for biathletes and non-Tour de Ski participants, two weekends off of the World Cup), a number of North American skiers notched competitive results, and for some — even career bests — in the last week.

Waxing Recreational Skis; Toko Research and Development

Toko recreational-ski waxing video

    (Press release) Want to learn more about waxing cross country skis for simple recreational skiing? Check out these videos by clicking on the photo.   Want to watch a short presentation on Toko Research and Development?  Click the […]

Remembering Anchorage Ski Association President Lars Spurkland

Lars Spurkland skis to second-place in the 100-kilometer Homer Epic in 2013. (Photo: Don Pitcher)

The Anchorage community lost an extremely influential coach, skier and volunteer on Dec. 12 when Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage President Lars Spurkland unexpectedly passed away.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.