This weekend was so jam-packed with action, it’s almost hard to keep straight. We’ll give you the rundown of everything that happened, both domestic and abroad, including the finish of the Tour de Ski and the start of the U.S. Cross Country Championships.
Friday marked the fifth stage of the Tour de Ski, which took the form of a 15 k freestyle pursuit for women and a 35 k for men. On the women’s side Astrid Jacobsen of Norway won the race and held on to the tour lead. Therese Johaug was in hot pursuit, but ultimately came up short in second. Aino-Kaisa Saarinen of Finland was third.
Americans Liz Stephen and Jessie Diggins fared well, placing 12th and 13th.
On the men’s side, Canadian Alex Harvey made his way back onto the podium in the pursuit by placing third. He was bested by Norway’s Martin Sundby, who won the race, and Petter Nortug who placed second.
American Noah Hoffman moved from 69th place to 27th by skiing the second fastest time on the 35 k course.
The sixth stage took place Saturday, and was a classic interval 5 k and 10 k . Johaug dominated the short course, greatly diminishing Jacobsen’s overall Tour lead. Diggins finished a career-best classic finish in 10th, and Stephen was 21st.
Northug took the men’s 10 k by roughly 9 seconds over Sundby, and fellow Norwegian Chris Jespersen. Harvey ended his tour by placing fifth. Fellow Canadian Ivan Babikov finished 27th. Both Hoffman and Kershaw had off-days, and placed 47th and 52nd.
The Tour de Ski concluded Sunday with the renowned Final Climb on the Alpe Cermis. It was Johaug who once again stole the show, winning both the day and the Tour. Three Norwegians joined her on the Tour podium with Jacobsen and Heidi Weng in second and third. This was the first time in the Tour’s history that a Norwegian had won.
Stephen produced the third fastest time of the day end ended the tour in seventh. Diggins finished in 14th overall.
It was Norway who swept the top two spots of the Tour podium in the men’s overall Tour with Sundby, and Jespersen going 1-2. Johannes Duerr of Austria was third. Babikov earned the fourth fastest hill climb time and finished the Tour in 19th. Hoffman ended his Tour in 25th, his best finish.
On the domestic front, the 2014 U.S. Cross Country National Championships kicked off on Saturday with the 10k and 15k classic individual. On the women’s side it was Becca Rorabaugh (APU) who won over Caitlin Gregg (Team Gregg/Madshus) and Caitlin Patterson (Craftsbury GRP). For the men it was Erik Bjornsen (APU/U.S. Ski Team), Reese Hanneman (APU), and Kris Freeman (Maine WSC) who had the fastest times of the day.
If Saturday was APU’s then Sunday was owned by the Bridger Ski Foundation as both Torin Koos and Jennie Bender won the freestyle sprints. Koos was followed by Ben Saxton (SMST2) and Hanneman. Behind Bender were Gregg, who narrowly finished second, and Rosie Brennan (APU) who placed third.
In biathlon action, the IBU World Cup continued this weekend with results that many North American’s were wishing they could forget. There were some shining stars, however, with Susan Dunklee finishing 25th in Saturday’s pursuit and Time Burke placing ninth in Sunday’s 15 k mass start.
Todd Lodwick was the talk of nordic combined news as he was chosen for his sixth winter Olympics, making him the first-ever American to compete in that many.
Tour de Ski Val di Fiemme, Italy
2014 U.S. Cross Country Championships, Midway, Utah
IBU World Cup Oberhof, Germany
10 k and 7.5 k sprint report
12.5 k and 10 k pursuit report
15 k and 12.5 k mass start report