HomeTag Matt Whitcomb

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Fostering cultural change within complex organizations is painstaking. U.S. Ski & Snowboard is no different. Most often the most effective type of change comes less from edict and more from many a collection of stakeholder’s voice For the past decade, the U.S. cross-country team has had unparalleled success. Whether the metric is developing athletes to winning medals, most observers see a winning culture. That has not kept the minds at U.S. Ski & Snowboard from...

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As winter wanes and spring looms, many athletes choose to announce the bittersweet change of their own season of life, retirement from the sport to embark on a new pursuit. This March, after seven seasons on the U.S. Ski Team, 31-year-old Ida Sargent decided the time had come for something new. “I knew after Sochi that I wanted to go to one more Olympics,” Sargent told FasterSkier in a call. “So at that point, I...

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After two weeks away from competition, athletes revved their engines in Lahti, Finland for an individual 1.6-kilometer freestyle sprint, one of the final stops on the way to the World Championships. After a string of what he deemed “bad luck” in the first sprint races of the season in Ruka and Lillehammer, Norway’s Johannes Høsflot Klæbo came into the weekend with momentum from winning the last four individual sprints. Klæbo also arrived in Lahti on...

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In the first distance race after the Tour de Ski, it remained to be seen whether Norway’s Therese Johaug, undefeated in distance events, would be able to pick up where she left off in December. As Johaug sat out the TdS, her teammate Ingvild Flugstad Østberg entered the 10-kilometer interval start classic race with momentum, having taken the win in four distance stages of the Tour, including two 10 k classic victories. Østberg also posted the...

The white ribbon of snow created a stark contrast to the green grass and gothic architecture along the bank of the River Elbe for the second year of city sprints in Dresden, Germany. As is typical in these events, the 1.6-kilometer out and back course was predominantly flat with a few short hill punches and a 180-degree hairpin turn at the halfway mark, where the race seemed to truly begin. The nature of the course...

“It was just full speed to the finish and I am not stopping until the finish line now,” Johannes Høsflot Klæbo told the International Ski Federation (FIS) after his victory in Stage 6. With the 45 bonus seconds he gathered from his win in both the overall event and the bonus sprint in yesterday’s 15-kilometer classic race, Klæbo entered the final Stage of the 2018/2019 Tour de Ski with a bit of insurance on his...

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  With the ascent comes the end. On Sunday the 2018/2019 Tour de Ski (TdS) Stage 7 9-kilometer skate pursuit brought the Tour de Ski to a close atop Val di Fiemme’s Alpe Cermis. The basic Alpe Cermis stats are stout: the slope approaches a 30 percent grade in sections, and averages 12 percent,  and climbs 420 meters in 3.5 k. It’s a lung-buster. After the 60.67 k seven-stage Tour that began on Dec. 29...

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Temperatures near freezing, high humidity, and snow falling heavily in large flakes – a trifecta that can be difficult for kick waxing – greeted racers in Oberstdorf, Germany during Stage 4 of the Tour de Ski. The 15-kilometer classic race marked the first mass start of the World Cup season giving the racers the opportunity to face off head to head. It was close quarters on the 2.5 k loop. With a string of Norwegians,...

The threads of the thirty skiers who made the women’s heats of the 1.3-kilometer freestyle sprint during Stage 1 of the Tour de Ski (TdS) in Toblach, Italy on Saturday could weave a complex pattern. There are the lead changes. Skiers advanced. Skiers were eliminated. At the start of a seven-stage event, one race, and the first at that, simply established the early markings of a pattern. Nothing too complex to discern — but nascent...

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We hear a lot about the details of a cross-country ski racer’s day on race day, but what about those four or five days in between? What do World Cup racers do then, in the middle of the week? FasterSkier Norwegian contributor Aleks Tangen ventured to Lillehammer back in late November 2016 to find out.  *** LILLEHAMMER, Norway — FasterSkier spoke with Bjornsen, Jessie Diggins, Andy Newell and U.S. Ski Team Coach Matt Whitcomb to see how they...

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It seems there is something in the water in Davos for Maurice Manificat, as he earned his sixth podium there today in the 15-kilometer individual skate event, demonstrating his continued prowess on the course. It was the first race start of the season for the Frenchman, but he quickly made it clear that he was on form to be a contender for the win. Manificat was never lower than third place as he clocked in...

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For Norway, relays are often tallied not by wins, but how many wins have been missed. Back in 2009, Team Norway watched on as Team Sweden took the top spot of the podium for the women’s 4 x 5-kilometer relay event in Beitostølen, Norway. In the nine years after that second place finish in Beitostølen, the Norwegian women’s team has missed winning the World Cup relay–excluding team sprints–only one other time (FIS reports that as...

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As Emil Iversen took command of the field from the gun during the men’s relay in Beitostølen, Norway, striding smoothly up the first climb in the lead, the question quickly became, can anyone take down Norway? The team of Iversen, Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Sjur Røthe, and Finn Hågen Krogh must have liked their odds. Norway has claimed eight of the last nine men’s relay victories on the World Cup, falling only to Russia in Lillehammer’s...

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In sport, there’s the win and then there’s the story behind the win. In the sport of nordic skiing, some of these stories seem all too familiar, such as Sunday’s Norwegian victory in the men’s 15-kilometer classic pursuit. But even among the Norwegians in the sport of cross-country skiing, there are idiosyncrasies to the success. In the case of Didrik Tønseth, the Norwegian winner of Sunday’s 15 k pursuit in Lillehammer, Norway, the victory was...

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Here’s a sentence we might see routinely this season as the World Cup distance races transpire. Norway’s Therese Johaug wins again! In Sunday’s 10-kilometer classic pursuit race in Lillehammer, Norway, Johaug set an unmatched pace to win her second race of the weekend and the overall in Lillehammer’s three-race series. Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla lead off the race, starting a spartan two and a half seconds ahead of Johaug. Kalla led the first lap, with Johaug...

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“I have no secrets,” Alexander Bolshunov told FIS in regard to his back-to-back wins in Kuusamo, Finland. On Saturday, the Russian had won a drag race with Norway’s superstar Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo during Saturday’s classic sprint.  Bolshunov had a commanding victory in Sunday’s 15-kilometer classic race. He stopped the clock with a winning time of 36:17.8 minutes. Early in the race, Bolshunov’s splits mirrored those of Norway’s Emil Iversen during which the two skiers’ times never deviated...

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The most important story within the story was the fight within Sunday’s aerobic fight during the women’s World Cup 10-kilometer classic in Kuusamo, Finland. Each of the seventy starters in the women’s field wore a pink ribbon acknowledging the global fight against breast cancer and their friend, retired U.S. athlete Kikkan Randall. The aerobic fight on the 3.3 k loop in Kuusamo wasn’t well defined until Norway’s Therese Johaug skied through the stadium to begin...

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  This post in our long-running Wednesday Workout series takes the 10,000-foot view — almost literally. The nuts and bolts of it are this: we’re posting Simi Hamilton’s training log from Monday, April, 3oth thru Saturday, June 9th. Hamilton needs no introduction to FasterSkier readers. In any case, here are Hamilton’s basics. Thirty-one-year-old sprint specialist who popped a 12th last season in Seefeld, Austria in a loaded 15-kilometer mass start freestyle. The seventeenth ranked sprinter on...

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Big and bold. Published on the latest press release from Warren Miller Entertainment are the rarefied featured athletes in the season’s cinematic siren call that winter is imminent: The Warren Miller ski film Face of Winter. Of course, there’s the icon of the Iron Cross, Jonny Moseley. Listed along with the gravity side of skiing royalty are U.S. Cross Country Ski Team (USST) members Kevin Bolger, Paddy Caldwell, Sophie Caldwell, Jessie Diggins, Simi Hamilton, and...

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The following was written by Alayna Sonnesyn, a new member of the Stratton Mountain School (SMS) T2 Team who graduated from the University of Vermont (UVM) this past spring. Originally from Plymouth, Minnesota, Sonnesyn, 22, raced on the UVM Ski Team for four years and qualified for four NCAA Skiing Championships teams. She placed second and third in two races at 2017 NCAA Championships, and in her senior season, won the first five Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association...