Chris Jespersen

Closing the Gap: Competition Instincts

Editor’s Note: The following is part of a series proposed by Maks Zechel, a 20-year-old Canadian cross-country skier embarking on his first season training abroad. In August, he made the big move to Norway, where he’ll be training and racing with Team Asker for the entire winter. Through these updates, Maks hopes to share his personal “observations, stories and lessons learned” to help close the gap between North American and Scandinavian nordic skiing. Previous posts: 2, 4, 6, 8, and

Johaug Takes Sixth Skarverennet Title; Jespersen Holds Off Northug for Win

Just when you thought the ski season was over, Norway hosted one of the world’s biggest ski marathons, the 38 k Skarverennet, on Saturday morning. About 12,220 skiers competed in the race that runs from Finse to Ustaoset, high in the mountains. Therese Johaug won in 1:41:33, defeating Norwegian teammate Marit Bjoergen by 19.8 seconds. Martine Ek Hagen took third, one-tenth behind Bjoergen. Johaug took it out hard up a long incline out of Finse, and Bjoergen...