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RUMFORD, Maine – Following a nail-biter of a skate sprint to open the U.S. Cross Country Championships, the athletes contesting Sunday’s classic sprint can be expected to finish out the week with another great race. And with important U23 Championship qualifying points still up for grabs, the younger skiers especially will be looking to fight to the top spot on the podium. Athletes have been racing and training on the 1.4  and 1.6 k sprint...

With two events down, the U.S .Cross Country Championships is now half over. Friday, January 6th, 2012 will kick off with the 20/30 k classical mass start events. Conditions appear to be remaining steady, making for relatively predictable glide, which allows coaches to concentrate on kick. This may prove to be useful as the event is the first classic event of these championships. We’re especially excited about the race because it’s the first domestic mass...

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  RUMFORD, Maine — Racing resumes at Black Mountain on Thursday at 9:00 am with the 10/15 k individual-start freestyle. With forecasts predicting temperatures to remain below freezing for the majority of the week, the upcoming races will likely all be held on hard-packed, fast courses. The Course On Wednesday, athletes and coaches were seen testing skis, training and acquainting themselves with the entirety of the 3.26 k lap of which the women with do...

The World Cup season kicked off last weekend in Sjusjoen, Norway with a 10/15km freestyle and a 4×5/10km relay, but in terms of a true “opener,” the now-annual Ruka Triple in Kuusamo, Finland provides for more drama, and a robust test for the athletes. Action starts on Friday with the first sprint of the season—a 1.4 kilometer classic affair, that give sprinters a chance to see how they measure up after a summer of training....

apparently likes running in one-piece suits. Renato Pasini turned back the clock to 2009, and finished in the top 10 three times on his way to 9th in the Sprint Cup. But it was young Pellegrino who punched his way onto the World Cup in style, winning qualification during the skate sprint in Davos, Switzerland, before ending his day last in the final. He qualified in the top 15 four other times, and also picked...

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Less than a week following the conclusion of the 2011 World Championships,in Oslo, the World Cup picks back up in Lahti, Finland. This is the last event prior to the World Cup Final, where only the top-50 ranked skiers and continental cup series leaders may enter. There are a number of interesting story lines as the season winds down, mainly revolving around standings. Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) has locked up the women’s overall World Cup but...

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On Friday morning at 9:30 a.m., the United States will hold its first World Cup race since 2004. The IBU World Cup circuit will be making stops in Presque Isle, Maine, this weekend, and then in nearby Fort Kent next weekend. While it might take almost as long to get to “The County” from the U.S. as from anywhere else, the races should be spectacular. If you can’t make it to Maine, the event will...

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The race season started off last weekend in Muonio, Finland, but that was just a preview. This weekend, the Olos resort will be hosting three more races, with a start list including over 600 skiers from twenty-two different countries. In addition, the Americans have arrived in full force: the Craftsbury Green Racing Project has been joined by the U.S. Ski Team (USST), and the Maine Winter Sports Center’s (MWSC’s) collection of athletes from around the...

The SuperTour Finals fits into a relatively new genre of competition – that of “mini-tour.”  The term derives from the Tour De Ski, the multi-stage World Cup event featuring eight races in ten days.  And while World Cup points are awarded for each individual race (half points actually), the big prize is the overall title. The success of the Tour on the global stage has led to the concept of the mini-tour, a similar format...

Stockholm, Sweden – The World Cup Finals begins in Stockholm with the last sprint competition of the year. Only the top-40 skiers in the world (by World Cup points) and Continental Cup leaders are permitted to start the World Cup Finals. This rule has an impact of the composition of the field, though the main difference we see is the inclusion of more distance skiers in the sprint competition – as they must race this...

Oslo, Norway – The World Cup has moved to Oslo, the site of the 2011 World Championships, and Saturday’s 30/50km freestyle will be a preview of that event. The Holmenkolen Ski Stadium has undergone a major renovation since the last World Cup races here in 2008.  The biggest change is the new Ski Jump overlooking the city. The women will race a single 5km lap and then three 8.3km loops.  The men will ski the...

Whistler, British Columbia – And so it all comes to an end.  Two weeks after the first 2010 Olympics cross-country ski race, the final event is just over an hour away – the men’s 50km classic. The weather is better today – but only in relative terms.  Instead of the heavy downpour of yesterday, the rain can be characterized as a light drizzle.  Conditions are slow again, and ski switching will again play a major...

Whistler, British Columbia – Heavy falling snow and the ability to swap skis during the race await the field in the final women’s cross-country ski race of the 2010 Olympic Games. 55 women will take to the start line in the 30 km classic mass start event at Whistler Olympic Park.  Despite the absence of two of the top skiers, the race should be hotly contested over the 3x10km course. Petra Majdic (SLO), who has...

Whistler, British Columbia – Olympic biathlon racing comes to a close today with the final event of the 2010 Olympic Games, the men’s 4×7.5km relay. More so than any other event, good shooting is critical to success in the relay, and strong performances are needed form all four athletes. In the biathlon relay, each skier gets three extra shots per shooting stage.  This means a biathlete has eight bullets to hit five targets.  The catch,...

Whistler, British Columbia – A day after the Swedish men skied to a clear victory in the men’s 4×10 relay, their female counterparts will attempt to match the feat in the 4x5km event. They will have their work cut out for them, however, and will have a tough time overcoming a very strong Norwegian team. Despite featuring multi-medalist Charlotte Kalla, Sweden is actually a long shot for a medal.  Anna Haag, who teamed with Kalla...

The 4×10 relay.  It is rarely raced outside of major championship events, yet is still the most prestigious cross-country event in existence.  There are no World Cup points to be won, no individual glory, just the hopes and dreams of an entire country resting on the shoulders of four men. Who can forget 1994, when Italy spoiled an otherwise perfect Games for host Norway in a race for the ages?  Or the rematch in 2002...

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The cross-country men will have a difficult time matching the women in today’s 30km pursuit.  An exciting fast paced race featuring a photo finish for third highlighted another beautiful day at Whistler Olympic Park. The men’s race will most likely remain tightly packed, with a lead group of 20+ for much of the race.  While the Whistler course features several large climbs, there is significant rest after each.  This coupled with flat rolling terrain will...

The Whistler weather continues to surprise – in a good way.  For the third consecutive day the sky is clear and the sun strong.  Temperatures are climbing rapidly and will be well above freezing at race time. The women’s 15km “pursuit” is set to start at 1:00PM local time with a field of 68.  Waxing for the classic portion should be relatively straightforward klister, and by the time the skate leg roles around, the course...