Weekend Roundup: High Expectations

BrainspiralDecember 16, 2013
Kikkan Randall and Marit Bjørgen's photo finish (Photo: Fischer/Nordic Focus)
Kikkan Randall and Marit Bjørgen’s photo finish in Sunday’s Sprint in Davos, Switzerland. Bjørgen won it by a hair. (Photo: Fischer/Nordic Focus)

Extraordinary performances are becoming ordinary for the North American contingent this year as new stars emerge, historic results accumulate, and expectations continue to grow.

FasterSkier was on site in Davos, Switzerland, where five USST members raced to the top 30 in Saturday’s distance races. Kikkan Randall placed 18th in the women’s 15 k, followed by Liz Stephen in 20th, Holly Brooks in 25th, and Jessie Diggins in 30th. Noah Hoffman was 25th in the men’s 30 k.

Sunday’s Skate sprints brought even more excitement for the U.S. team with Randall skiing to a hard fought second place against powerhouse Marit Bjørgen. Sophie Caldwell, in a breakout performance, reached the World Cup semifinals and cracked the top ten with her ninth place finish. Diggins and Sadie Bjornsen, who both suffered falls, were 12th and 27th.

On the men’s side Simi Hamilton and Andy Newel advanced to the quarterfinals and finished in 14th and 17th.

The Canadian women jumping for joy after notching Biathlon Canada's best-ever finish in a relay. (Photo: Biathlon Canada/Matthias Ahrens)
The Canadian women jumping for joy after notching Biathlon Canada’s best-ever relay result of fourth. (Photo: Biathlon Canada/Matthias Ahrens)

North America shined in the IBU World Cup with the Canadian women’s relay team taking a historic fourth-place finish in the 4 x 6 k relay. The success continued throughout the weekend with four Canadian women qualifying for the pursuit, and Rosanna Crawford ultimately finishing 19th.

On the men’s side Canadian Nathan Smith finished 16th in the 10 k sprint and was followed by Americans Tim Burke in 28th and Lowell Bailey in 35th.  In the 12.5 k pursuit Smith impressed again with an eighth-place finish. He was followed by Bailey and Burke in 15th and 16th.

The action didn’t stop there with historic results from U.S. Nordic Combined. In Ramsau, Austria, Bryan Fletcher and Todd Lodwick skied the fastest combined time in the 2 x 7.5 k team sprint to place fourth, the best-ever result for the U.S. in the two-man event.

In Sunday’s individual 10 k competition, Fletcher and Billy Demong cracked the top ten by placing seventh and ninth.

With all the success happening across the pond it’s easy to forget that North America had some races of its own this weekend. Rossland, B.C. hosted the second set of NorAm races where Erik Bjornsen and Emily Nishikawa triumphed in the sprint, and Kate Fitzgerald and Kevin Sandau won Sunday’s 10 and 15 k.

The IPC World Cup also took place in Canmore, Alberta, with several North American standouts. Canadian Brian McKeever won the 10 k on the opening day and churned out another winning performance in the 20 k classic race. American Oksana Masters placed third in the women’s sit-ski 5 k and fourth in the 0.75 k sprint.

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

Cross-Country World Cup, Davos, Switzerland (Results)

Saturday’s 15/30 k skate individual start: Women’s report | Men’s report | U.S. women’s report | Hoffman Happy with Performance

Sunday’s 1.5 k skate sprint: Women’s report | Men’s report | Canadian report | One of USST’s ‘Best Days Ever’ | Randall’s Lesson for SochiUSSA CEO Shaw Spectates in Davos

Nordic Combined World Cup, Ramsau, Austria (Results)

Saturday’s 2 x 7.5 team sprint: Report

Sunday’s NH/10 k: Recap

IBU World Cup, Annecy, France (Results) 

Thursday’s 4 x 6 k relay:  Women’s report

Friday’s 4 x 7.5 k relay:  Men’s report

Saturday’s 7.5/10 k sprint: Women’s report | Men’s report

Sunday’s 10/12.5 k pursuit: Women’s report | Men’s report 

Black Jack NorAm, Rossland, B.C. (Results)

Saturday’s skate sprint: Report

Sunday’s classic 10/15 k: Report

IPC World Cup, Canmore, Alberta (Results)


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