HomeTag Bob Thompson

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Around and around they go. Due to lack of snow in Falun, Sweden, the men again wheeled their way around a manmade ribbon of snow, skating six icy 2.5-kilometer laps. Reduced from 30 to the 15 k distance and without the long, steep climb for which the course is usually known, how athletes would fare was yet to be determined.   Along the way, two sets of 15 bonus points were available for the top ten...

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Thousands of spectators, slate skies, and a manmade loop of snow laid down in the otherwise green-brown Falun, Sweden ski stadium greeted the World Cup on Saturday. After a weekend hiatus last week, racers contested a 1.4-kilometer classic sprint in one of Sweden’s skiing epicenters. The main World Cup sprint star, Johannes Høsflot Klæbo, was absent. The twenty-three-year-old Klæbo broke two fingers last week. According to Norwegian broadcaster NRK, he will be reevaluated on Feb....

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Sunday’s men’s 1.5-kilometer classic sprint course in Oberstdorf, Germany deserves some recognition. Site of the 2021 FIS Nordic Ski World Championships, racers were offered a glimpse into how the world’s foremost sprinter, Johannes Høsflot Klæbo of Norway, would navigate it’s kicker climbs, steep descents, and roughly three minute and thirty-second effort.  The sprint course offered three distinct climbs, one at 0.2 k, the largest at 0.52 k, and the third starting at 1.1 k. The...

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Canada took a step back from the World Cup circuit this weekend and focussed attention into development series. As the country tries to build momentum in a post Alex Harvey world, the focus has moved away from World Cup podiums and towards a consistent presence in the top 30. The road to the World Cup goes through local and regional races on the way to national/continental races. One of the development challenges in Canada is...

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It was dizzying in Dresden for the skate team sprints. The man-made loop of lightning-fast snow had skiers going literally round and round for a total of 11 exchanges between teammates. Each skier skated a single 0.7-kilometer lap, for a total of 7.8 k. Each skier raced six laps. Turn your head dizzy. The Women’s Final The finals consisted of ten teams. Sweden I animated the race with its display of pull ahead speed late...

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The NorAm circuit moved east to the Nakkertok trails for three days of racing jointly hosted by Nakkertok Nordic, Club Skinouk, Chelsea Nordiq, and Kanata Nordic. Friday featured classic sprints, Saturday interval start free, and Sunday interval start classic. The event was also the Candy Cane Cup for the younger categories, as well as Ontario Cup 1 and Coupe Québec 1. 374 athletes in the U16, U18, and Open categories competed on Friday with many...

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Nordiq Canada hosted the annual kick-off to the race season at Canmore Nordic Centre on November 13th. The ‘Nordiq Thunder’ races are an opportunity to put on a bib and test fitness and are not being used for trip selection this year. The full press release follows the two winner’s interviews, below. Results for both days are on zone4.ca — Press Release — CANMORE, Alta.—Antoine Briand and Maya MacIsaac-Jones were crowned the king and queen...

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This article has been updated to correct an interpretation of the selection criteria. Day two of nationals was day two of the pursuit at Nakkertok trails in Gatineau, Québec. The two-day pursuit format (classic interval start on day one, free technique pursuit start day two) was held for the second time at nationals. With both national titles and starts at World Cup Finals in Québec City up for grabs, it was always going to be...

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Canadian Ski Championships, better known as ‘nationals’, kicked off today at the Nakkertok trails in Québec with individual start classic racing. 342 men started the 10km and 293 women started the 5km, both using the same 5km loop on an overcast day at -8C. The field is more stacked than usual, with only two athletes (Alex Harvey and Jack Carlyle) in Europe right now. Lenny Valjas (CNST) won the 10km in 25:09.3, 9.9 seconds ahead...

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If Norway’s Johannes Høsflot Klæbo felt any nostalgia stepping out onto the men’s 1.6-kilometer classic sprint course in Otepää, Estonia–it is where he earned his first World Cup sprint victory back in 2017–it by no means slowed the 22 year old down. After winning Saturday’s qualifier in a time of 3:21.99, Klæbo went on to win both his quarter and semi. He eventually crossed the final first in a time of 3:20.05 to complete his...

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FIS World Cup Otepää, Estonia 1.3 k / 1.6 Classic Sprint Starting the day’s performance benchmarks off was Stina Nilsson of Sweden with the fastest qualifier in the women’s 1.3-kilometer classic sprint in Otepää on Saturday. She stopped the clock in 3:07.62 minutes. The U.S. Ski Team’s (USST) Jessie Diggins was the top-qualifying North American in 18th (+5.37). Sadie Bjornsen (USST) qualified 20th (+5.71), and Ida Sargent 27th (+8.38). On a course rewarding patience and...

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A strip of imported snow along the Elbe river, iconic architectural reminders of old-world Europe’s city-scape in Dresden, Germany, Lycra, speedy skiers, and teams of two: all the ingredients for the men’s 1.6-kilometer freestyle team sprint. With tight pack skiing a function of the the relatively flat Dresden ski loop, the ten teams in the final attempted to play stay-out-of-trouble-skiing for the six total laps. But with a crowded tag area and tight corners where...

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FIS World Cup Dresden, Germany 6 x 1.6 k Freestyle Team Sprint The first World Cup team sprint of the season was run amidst drizzle and the Dresden, Germany city-scape as the women raced a total of six 1.6-kilometer laps. Round and round on the looping course, the pace was a mix of tactically subdued speeds with sustained bursts of energy to break the pack. After all the speed changes and exchanges with one athlete...

FIS World Cup Dresden, Germany 1.6 k Freestyle Sprint The city of Dresden resting alongside the River Elbe hosted a 1.6-kilometer freestyle sprint for the second year running. Hannah Falk of Sweden, last year’s sprint winner in Dresden, won the qualifier in a time of 3:41.85 minutes. The U.S. Ski Team’s (USST) Sophie Caldwell was the second fastest qualifier (+0.49), with Falk’s teammate, Stina Nilsson, qualifying in third (+0.80). Canada’s Dahria Beatty placed 20th (+8.72) in...

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FIS World Cup Stage 5 Tour de Ski 10 k/15 k Mass Start Classic Val di Fiemme, Italy Women’s Report | Men’s Report The clear outcome from the women’s 10-kilometer classic mass start was Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Østberg’s fitness. The TdS leader began the day with a 35.4 second lead on second overall skier Natalia Nepryaeva of Russia. The time back to Nepryaeva at the end of Stage 6 only grew. Østberg’s form became evident around...

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The crux of today’s Tour de Ski (TdS) Stage 5 15-kilometer freestyle pursuit came down to a simple yet taxing pulse of energy. That move occurred well into a race as the day’s main narrative was established by the two charging off-the-front. Norway’s Johannes Høsflot Klæbo began the pursuit in the blue bib as the Tour’s overall leader. Under overcast skies, free from the snowstorm that pummeled Stage 4, Klæbo started 15 seconds ahead of the...

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FIS World Cup Tour de Ski Stage 5 15 k/10k Freestyle Pursuit Oberstdorf, Germany Men’s Report | Women’s Report  Today’s Tour de Ski (TdS) Stage 5 15-kilometer freestyle pursuit in Oberstdorf, Germany began and ended simply enough: Norway’s Johannes Høsflot Klæbo wearing the Tour’s blue leader’s bib started first with a 15 second lead over second overall skier Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov.   By 2 k into the race, the pair had linked up and ceded...

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FIS World Cup Tour de Ski Stage 3 1.4 k Freestyle Sprint Val Müstair, Switzerland Women’s Race Report | Men’s Race Report In the third stage of the Tour de Ski (TdS), there was no doubt who was in control after the qualifier. Sweden’s Stina Nilsson, who skied the fastest qualification time in 3:30.52, won the 1.4 k freestyle sprint in Val Müstair, Switzerland on Tuesday. Nilsson made a clean sweep of her quarterfinal, semi-final,...

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For the World Cup seasons 2016-2018, along with Norwegians like Martin Johnsrud Sundby and Johannes Høsflot Klæbo, the name of Russian Sergey Ustiugov was a regular at or near the top of the results sheet. In 2016 Ustiugov marked 11 World Cup podiums. He had another 11 in 2017, and five last season along with the Tour de Ski (TdS) overall title. Ustiugov didn’t exactly suffer a shattering fall from grace. His five podiums last...

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FIS World Cup Tour de Ski Stage 10 k/15 k Freestyle Interval Start On Sunday, Stage 2 of the Tour de Ski (TdS) offered a 10-kilometer freestyle interval start for the women in Toblach, Italy. Russia’s Natalia Nepryaeva won the race in a time of 25:12.8 minutes. Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Østberg skied to a razor-thin second place, clocking in 0.3 seconds behind Nepryaeva. Another Russian, Anastasia Sedova, placed third (+10.9). This was Nepryaeva’s first career...