HomeTag Len Valjas

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Redemption. As the old saying goes, it is sweet, particularly in sport, even if the occasion only arises every two or four years. Or perhaps the wait makes it savory. Two winters ago, Norwegian Team Sprint finalists Johannes Høsflot Klæbo and Emil Iversen had been on their way to a potential gold or silver World Championships medal in Lahti, Finland when Iversen crashed taking out Finland’s Iivo Niskanen and putting Norway out of medal contention. ...

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FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Seefeld, Austria Women’s/Men’s Classic Team Sprint The furious pace of the World Championship racing schedule continued on Sunday in Seefeld, Austria with the women’s and men’s classic team sprint. Sweden’s Stina Nilsson and Maja Dahlqvist won the women’s 6 x 1.2-kilometer classic team sprint final in 15:14.93 minutes. Katja Visnar and Anamarija Lampic of Slovenia placed second (+0.37), with Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Maiken Caspersen Falla taking the final...

2019 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Seefeld, Austria 1.2 k/ 1.6 k freestyle sprint Welcome to The Rundown, your quick primer of need-to-know information about the day’s racing. We’ll be updating this digest as the day goes on with additional results, photos and quotes. The Rundown is NOT a race report; stay tuned for complete race reports later today with interviews from the day’s top racers. The women’s 1.2-kilometer freestyle sprint at the 2019...

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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...

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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...

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FIS World Cup Davos, Switzerland  10k/15k Freestyle Individual Start Women’s Report | Men’s Report On Sunday, the final day of racing on the World Cup before a two-week break prior to the start of the Tour de Ski, the early season trend for women’s distance skiing continues. Norway’s Therese Johaug won the 10-kilometer freestyle individual start in Davos in a time of 26:06.9 minutes. She led the race at every intermediate time checkpoint. The only...

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Frozen Thunder (Canmore, Alberta) 7.5k/10k Freestyle On Tuesday, Frozen Thunder at the Canmore Nordic Centre in Canmore, Alberta hosted women’s and men’s individual start freestyle races. The women raced 7.5 kilometers, the men 10 k. Canada’s Emily Nishikawa (AIAWCA/CNST) won the women’s 7.5 k skate race in a time of 21:05.9 minutes. Nishikawa’s pacing was peerless as she skied the fastest splits at every checkpoint. Dahria Beatty (AIAWCA/CNST) placed second, stopping the clock 24.0 seconds...

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The North American season kicked off today with classic sprints at Frozen Thunder in Canmore, Alberta. Most of the top athletes were treating this as a chance to do some race intensity and were more focused on training and process goals than on actual results. The day’s results are summarized in the rundown. Chief of Competition Thomas Holland had expected a smaller turnout this year, partly from fewer people traveling to Frozen Thunder in a...

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  Day 1 Frozen Thunder (Canmore, Canada) Classic Sprint  The first day of race season at Canmore Nordic Centre’s Frozen Thunder began with a classic sprint. Frozen Thunder is an annual on-snow event at the Canmore Nordic Centre run on a ski loop crafted from last season’s stored snow. The tracks are open to both high-performance athletes and the general public depending on training and race schedules. In the senior men’s category, Russell Kennedy (Team...

Canadian World Cup B-team member, Len Valjas was beaming. Valjas, along with podium-regular teammate Alex Harvey, had won a World Cup team sprint in Toblach, Italy. The next weekend, Valjas and three teammates (including Harvey) rocketed to individual classic sprint and ended the day in seventh for his best result at his second Olympics. Canada’s Olympic sport-funding system emphasizes championship medals and results. Harvey and Valjas set new Olympic benchmarks this February for Canadian men’s cross-country...

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One hundred and fifty kilometers from the city of Whitehorse, if you are adventurous enough to hike through the troves of white spruce and over the two mountain passes to get there, you may come across Knute Johnsgaard’s family trapline. Traverse the 100 square kilometers of land where his family holds the rights to trap, and you may even catch a glimpse of Johnsgaard himself. Johnsgaard, a native of the Yukon Territory’s Mount Lorne community,...

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press release. Notably, the World Cup A-team is made up of one man — Alex Harvey — after three athletes from Devon Kershaw, Jess Cockney and Knute Johnsgaard). Graeme Killick, of last season’s World Cup B-team, also retired. Len Valjas was nominated to the B-team, a demotion, he said, that was a result of him ending his season immediately after the PyeongChang Olympics. “The reasoning is that I … didn’t show up to [the World...

FasterSkier would like to thank Fischer Sport USA, Concept2, Americans Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins capture the first Olympic gold for the U.S. in cross-country skiing. It was motivating and inspiring, even confidence-boosting, Bjornsen reflected after his race in an in-person interview with FasterSkier. But he and Hamilton had their own medal hopes to tend to. Like most of the men’s finalists, they weren’t able to watch the women’s race beforehand and came out onto...

FasterSkier would like to thank Fischer Sport USA, Concept2, Norway’s lineup of Didrik Tønseth, Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Simen Hegstad Krüger, and Klæbo in a time of 1:33:04.9. The ninth place ties the country’s second-best Olympic relay result, which was set at the Calgary Games in 1988. Canada’s best relay finish was in 2010 when the team placed seventh with Devon Kershaw, Alex Harvey, Ivan Babikov, and George Grey. Harvey opted not to race Sunday’s relay,...

FasterSkier would like to thank Fischer Sport USA, Concept2, International report Full report Martin Fourcade is the champion once again. Six days after he won the 12.5-kilometer pursuit for his first gold in PyeongChang, the 29-year-old Frenchman did it again in the men’s 15 k mass start on Sunday, winning in a photo finish at the line. He took charge on the first loop, leading the field into the range for the first prone shooting. There, Fourcade shot...

FasterSkier would like to thank Fischer Sport USA, Concept2, event’s gold-medal. Diggins was the leading U.S. skier in qualification, slotting into seventh place, 7.02 seconds off Nilsson’s time. Sadie Bjornsen placed ninth (+7.38) and Sophie Caldwell 12th (+8.32) in a qualifier featuring a 15.28-second spread from Nilsson to 30th-place Aino-Kaisa Saarinen of Finland. The fourth U.S. starter, Ida Sargent, just missed the quarterfinals in 33rd. She finished 17.06 seconds behind Nilsson’s time. Three American Women in the...

FasterSkier would like to thank Fischer Sport USA, Concept2, had said of the injury last year in Lahti. “The race starts well and I die immediately.” The Canadian continued to work at rehabilitating his back through the spring and summer. In the fall, however, he experienced relapse. For the most part, leading up to that point had been able to work through any discomfort. A tweak in November left him turning to various medical tests...