Despite Petter Northug’s greatest efforts, he couldn’t catch Sergey Ustiugov during Saturday’s four-lap 15 k freestyle pursuit in downtown Quebec City. The Russian held Northug off by 17 seconds for the win to keep the Ski Tour Canada leader’s bib heading to Canmore, Alberta. Behind them, Alex Harvey outlasted Martin Johnsrud Sundby for fourth place, 44.5 seconds behind Emil Iversen in third.
Picture little Martin Johnsrud Sundby, “nine years old and tenting in the forest.” That’s when he knew he wanted to win in Holmenkollen. After four podiums in the world-famous 50 k mass start, he won the classic race outside his hometown on Saturday and set a record in the process.
Martin Johnsrud Sundby won his third-consecutive Tour de Ski by a record-breaking 3 minutes and 15 seconds and another Norwegian, Finn Hågen Krogh, bested a tight chase pack for second overall. Russian Sergey Ustiugov captured third, and Alex Harvey led the North Americans in 14th at the end of the eight-stage Tour.
Always the bridesmaid no more; Heidi Weng ended a streak of 37 World Cup podiums without a win on Saturday at Stage 7 of the Tour de Ski, beating out her teammates Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Therese Johaug in the 10 k classic mass start. American Sadie Bjornsen placed ninth and Jessie Diggins 17th to head into the final stage in 12th and 10th, respectively.
Martin Johnsrud Sundby double poled all 15 k of Sunday’s classic race in Toblach, Italy, for his fifth win in as many World Cup distance races this season. Russia’s Alexander Bessmertnykh rivaled him for most of the race, but finished 12.6 seconds back on kick wax. Canada’s Alex Harvey placed 16th and Devon Kershaw was in the points in 28th.
Looking for a workout you can do year-round, with or without snow? Momentum Northwest’s Sam Naney has one for you, and it incorporates strength, speed, endurance, and agility/technique, all in one.
The Norwegians may have won the race, but the Americans stole the show in the women’s 4 x 5 k relay on Sunday in Lillehammer, Norway. For the U.S. women, placing third marked their first time back on the World Cup relay podium since December 2013. (Updated)
At one point in Saturday’s World Cup skiathlon, Alex Harvey wanted to give up. He didn’t and ended up 10th, and what’s more, Canada placed 21st, 23rd and 24th with Graeme Killick, Devon Kershaw and Ivan Babikov. Noah Hoffman rebounded from 36th at the ski change to finish 25th.
What’s hot this winter? FasterSkier took inventory of some of the latest gear and equipment displayed at this year’s West Yellowstone Expo, including seamless suits, Kikkan poles and Diggins-designed race wear.
Two Canadians landed in the top four in Sunday’s 15 k freestyle FIS race in Gällivare, Sweden, with Alex Harvey reaching the podium in second and Devon Kershaw missing it by 23 seconds in fourth. Noah Hoffman finished sixth for the U.S., Canada’s Ivan Babikov was eighth, and Erik Bjornsen (USA) notched his second-straight top 10.
This week, grooming began on the Methow Trails in anticipation of the earliest opening in the nordic center’s history. This kind of start to the season is warmly welcomed by Washington state’s Methow Valley community, which endured two consecutive summers of record-setting wildfires.