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goatee’d wonder Axel Teichmann. He had his worst points total in ten seasons on the World Cup, finishing in the top five just once before the bronze medal in the relay at World Championships, and ending his season after Oslo. So if the Germans were that bad, how did they finish sixth? It was scoring World Cup points by committee for the red, yellow, and black suits, as 13 men and seven women chipped in....

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Stupid, nonsensical, and “completely in the wrong.” Those were the descriptions by elite cross-country skiers and coaches of German sprinter Josef Wenzl’s actions in the Dusseldorf team sprint on Sunday. Wenzl’s his own Wenzl-esque kamikaze attack against Swedish skier Marcus Hellner. “I moved in on him, when there was absolutely no reason to—and we both went down,” Kershaw wrote in an e-mail on Monday. “I had qualified first, and was poised to perhaps slot into...

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In the men’s classic sprint in Canmore on Saturday, there were all kinds of tactics in play. In the women’s version, there was just one: go like hell, and leave everyone else in the dust. That was Justyna Kowalczyk’s M.O. today. Using the massive engine she’s developed by racing every event in her path, the Polish dynamo crushed her competition in every single heat she skied on Saturday. In the final, she had more than...

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For the last few weeks, Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland has been training five to six hours a day. Seriously. We asked her four times, just to be sure. Granted, she said that only three to four of those hours were skiing—the rest were in the gym. But it’s still a lot of volume in advance of a World Cup. Kowalczyk’s approach to her training underscores athletes’ varying strategies during this final period leading up to...