With so much happening this weekend, it’s almost pointless to try to sum it up. But here’s the brief rundown: the World Cup kicked off for all three nordic disciplines, and the SuperTour started in West Yellowstone, Montana. FasterSkier had reporters on the ground both in West and in Gallivare, Sweden, where international cross country skiers saw how they stacked up for the first time this weekend.
Racing started on Friday on the plateau outside of West Yellowstone, where Matt Liebsch (Borton Volvo XC United) and Rosie Brennan (APU) claimed victories in the 9 k point-to-point. With sprint heats scrapped due to low snow, Ryan Scott (Team Homegrown) and Sophie Caldwell (SMS T2) won prologue-only sprint races on Saturday..
In Gallivare, Norway claimed all four victories: both relays, and individual wins for Marit Bjørgen and Martin Johnsrud Sundby in 10/15 k individual races. Both the U.S. and Canada had historic performances. The Canadian men’s relay placed fifth, just seconds from the podium, to tie its best-ever performance. But it was the U.S. women who stole the show, with Kikkan Randall and Holly Brooks placing third and fifth in the 10 k skate; it was the first distance podium by a U.S. woman, and the first distance podium by any American since 1983. The next day, the two teamed up with Liz Stephen and Jessie Diggins to place third in a hard-fought relay, earning the first relay podium ever by a U.S. women’s team. Meanwhile, Ivan Babikov of Canada was the only North American man to score points, placing 14th in the 15 k, and the Canadian women fielded their first relay team in, well, a while.
In Lillhammer, Norway, home town favorite Magnus Moan took home two nordic combined wins. Todd Lodwick led the U.S. in 24th on Saturday, and Bryan Fletcher placed 22nd on Sunday.
Finally, the IBU World Cup kicked off for biathletes in Ostersund, Sweden, where reigning Nations Cup winners Russia bested reigning world champions Norway in a mixed relay. Canada finished 16th and the U.S. 17th.
Links to reporting, photos, and results below, listed by event.
West Yellowstone SuperTour
FIS World Cup Gällivare
Chelsea Little is FasterSkier's Editor-At-Large. A former racer at Ford Sayre, Dartmouth College and the Craftsbury Green Racing Project, she is a PhD candidate in aquatic ecology in the @Altermatt_lab at Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. You can follow her on twitter @ChelskiLittle.