Whether it was Sadie Bjornsen leading the race at 5 k, Liz Stephen scoring the best result ever for a U.S. women in a World Champs 30 k by finishing 11th, or Rosie Brennan outsprinting Justyna Kowalczyk for 16th, the American women ended Falun World Championships on a high note.
Therese Johaug did what she had to do to beat Norwegian teammate Marit Bjørgen on Saturday in the final women’s race of 2015 World Championships: the 30 k classic mass start. She did so by inadvertently attacking around 7 k: “I thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s early. I have 23 kilometers to the end,'” Johaug recalled.
When the French won bronze in the Sochi relay, it was the first championships-level relay medal ever in their history. But Norway had struggled then. Today they did not, and the French were still bronze. “Maybe we have some place in the newspaper tomorrow, but a little one,” Jean-Marc Gaillard said. “But that’s not the most important for us. The most important is to have fun with the team.”
That was a great Birkie! We sure got lucky with the weather. Had race day been as cold as it was two plus days earlier or the days after, it would have been a major challenge to simply hold the event. We were also fortunate not to have had a warm up at all in the month leading up to the event as it had been quite a while since we had received substantial new snow. The race went off smoothly and with superb conditions!
JAKROO Custom Apparel Sponsors Nordic Junior Nationals for a Second Year and Offers New Options for Nordic Customers
Jakroo Custom Apparel, who entered the Nordic custom apparel market in 2013, continues to invest in the sport of Nordic skiing. For the second year in a row the custom garment manufacturer has come on board as a “Major Partner” in sponsoring the biggest Junior Cross Country event in North America. This year, Junior Nationals is at Auburn Ski Club Training Center and Far West in Truckee, California, only three hours from Jakroo headquarters. The National Championships will draw 400+ top junior skiers, age 14-19, from across the country.
ONE WAY Sport USA came away from the 2015 American Birkebeiner feeling even more excited for the future. American athletes Torin Koos and Thomas Seidel finished 2nd and 3rd in the 54k Classic race on their ONE WAY Sport poles in a near photo finish as all podium positions finished within seconds of each other.
Bryan Fletcher leapt into contention in the large hill/10 k individual at 2015 World Championships with the 13th-best jump to start the race within 44 seconds of first. In the fight for third until the last few hundred meters, he placed fifth for U.S. Nordic Combined’s best individual result at World Championships since 2009.
Johan Olsson skied to a convincing victory in Wednesday’s 15 k freestyle in Falun, Sweden in front of a home crowd. The 34-year-old who focuses solely on championship race overcame what he called a “mission impossible” after facing a year of illness and time apart from his family. He was followed by Maurice Manificat who won France’s first medal in 10 years. Anders Gløersen of Norway finished third.
Ivan Babikov couldn’t believe what he was hearing early in the 2015 World Championships 15 k freestyle. Two years after placing fourth in that race, he was in danger of finishing near last if he didn’t speed up. Babikov turned it on for his second lap, which ended up being 24 seconds after than his first, to place 20th. Also for Canada, Graeme Killick placed 32nd and Jess Cockney was 57th in his first distance race in almost three months.
Just how anomalous was the podium in the women’s 10 k freestyle at FIS World Championships on Tuesday? We find that FIS points still provide a great overall correlation to the results – and that while the five unseeded early starters had an advantage, the biggest losers in terms of snowstorm effects appeared to be the Germans, not the Norwegians.