FasterSkier Continental Skier of the Year
The Continental Skier of the Year is given to the skiers who race primarily in North America with top results on either the US SuperTour or the Canadian Nor-Am series.
Continental Skier of the Year (women):
Kristina Strandberg (SWE). Strandberg, racing for XC Oregon and the Saab Salomon Factory Team, is the first repeat winner, dominating the US SuperTour for the second consecutive season. Strandberg more than doubled the score of SuperTour runner-up Lindsey Dehlin (USA) while winning both the sprint and distance titles. She had six SuperTour victories and four 2nd place finishes, scoring points in all 21 events.
She also raced in four Canadian Nor-Am events, winning one and finishing in the top-10 in the other three. Her performance in the SuperTour earned her two World Cup starts in early March. She finished 34th in the 30km classic in Trondheim. And while not eligible for medals, she has finished on the podium six times during her career at US Nationals.
Continental Skier of the Year (men):
Lars Flora (USA) & Graham Nishikawa (CAN). This award represented another challenging decision, with two deserving candidates – Canadian Nor-Am winner Nishikawa and US SuperTour Winner Lars Flora (USA). Both men had a similar number of Continental starts (SuperTour, Nor-Am, Canadian and US Nationals) – 19 for Nishikawa and 18 for Flora. In four head-to-head individual meetings, they split. Both had 7 podium finishes. Nishikawa had two victories, Flora had one. Nishikawa almost got the nod due to the fact that three of Flora’s top results, including his victory, came in the Team Sprint – while all of the Canadian’s top results come in individual races. But ultimately it was just to close to call. Both skiers had excellent seasons and deserve to be recognized as the top Continental skiers in North America.
The 31-year-old Flora races for APUNSC and the Saab Salomon Factory Team. He is a two-time Olympian and competed in three World Championships. Flora also won the SuperTour in 2007 and was 2nd last year. He has 33 career World Cup starts, with a top finish of 30th coming this season in the 30km pursuit in Whistler.
Nishikawa is a member of the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club and trains with the Centre National D’Entrainement Pierre Harvey. At 25, Nishikawa has competed in eight World Cup races – all in Canada. This season he scored his first World Cup points, finishing 26th in the 30km pursuit in Whistler. He also made 4 starts in Alpen Cup races in Europe this season, finishing in the top 10 twice.
Kristina Strandberg (SWE)
Ivan Babikov (CAN)
FasterSkier Award Schedule