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Exel Poles -- Back in the USA!


Elm Creek Wednesday evening race series kicks off, December 3, 2014

Zak Ketterson powering to the Junior Mens win, Classical sprints, US Nationals, January 6, 2015

South Suburban Conference Meet at Hyland, December 2, 2014

Rana Kraftson, Holiday Relays, December 20, 2014

Henry Jarvinen goes for the victory, Lake Conference Meet, January 13, 2015

Siri Bohacek, Twin Cities Championships, January 24, 2015

Highlights

Junior Birkie 2015 Changes
January 29, 2015
The 2015 edition of the Junior Birkie includes a number of changes, including a new venue, new race format, and online registration system. The Junior Birkie has three race divisions for juniors/youth, and will be held Feb 20th.
Related:
Junior Birkie History

Vasaloppet Moves to Mora Lake
January 29, 2015
With the low snow conditions, Vasaloppet officials have announced next weekend's ski races will be held on Mora Lake, right next to downtown Mora (not Knife Lake). The race will use a 3.2K loop, with shortened event distances. The Moraloppet, scheduled for this weekend, will now be a walking event at the beautiful Nordic Center.

IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships Report
January 28, 2015
Michael Jorgensen reports from Cable and his experiences with the incredible athletes and inspiring stories that make up the International Paralympics Nordic World Championships going on this week. There are still some events left -- don't miss your chance to see this unique international event here in the Midwest.

Excellent Conditions for Wolf Tracks Rendezvous
January 27, 2015
The Wolf Tracks Rendezvous, set for this Saturday, Jan 31st, is reporting excellent conditions for their 42K and 24K races. Registration has been rising quickly, with a field limit set at just 300 skiers.

US Ski Team: Strong XC Team Named for World Champs
January 26, 2015
Liz Stephen, Kikkan Randall, Jessie Diggins and Simi Hamilton lead a team of 16 cross country athletes named by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association to compete in the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships Feb. 18 – March 1 in Falun, Sweden. In addition to Diggins, Caitlin Gregg and Kyle Bratrud were selected from the Midwest!
Related:
NNF Pledges $8K Support for World Championships Team

World Cup Rybinsk: Skiathlon
January 25, 2015
Sunday wrapped up the weekend series in Rybinsk, Russia, with the unusual skiathlon format events. Racing 7.5K classical, then switching to skate for another 7.5K, Jessie Diggins capped a fantastic weekend finishing 5th! Teammate Liz Stephen was just less than 10 seconds back, in 7th, with Sadie Bjornsen 13th and Rosie Brennan 20th. Matt Gelso was the lone American in the mens 15K/15K race, finishing 48th. Champions were Russian's Yulia Tchekaleva and Maxim Vylegzhanin.
Related:
Results: Skiathlon 15K, 30K

Noquemanon Results
January 24, 2015
Another epic Noquemanon is in the books as skiers completed the point-to-point races Saturday morning, finishing in Marquette. The 50K classical titles went to Tad Elliott and Natalia Naryshkina, while Robert Douglas (NY) and Vicki Asmus won the 50K freestyle races. In the 24K races, Benjamin Wright and Joan Rundman won the classic divisions, Logan Zueger and Erica Ohearn the freestyle events.
Related:
Baker Shaker Results Posted

Nordic Combined: Dramatic Podium for Taylor Fletcher
January 24, 2015
Brothers Taylor and Bryan Fletcher worked together to move up in a FIS Nordic Combined World Cup in Sapporo Saturday, with Taylor coming out on the podium in dramatic fashion. Taylor was third, Bryan eighth as the USA picked up its first World Cup podium in two years.
Related:
Biathlon: Dunklee Races to 6th at Antholz World Cup pursuit

World Cup Rybinsk: Classical Sprints
January 24, 2015
Jessie Diggins posted her best result of season Saturday in Rubynsk, Russia, making the women's classical sprint final and finishing 5th! Sophie Caldwell just missed the finals, taking 7th. Ida Sargent qualified 5th overall, with Jessie Diggins 13th, Sophie Caldwell 16th, Sadie Bjornsen 17th. The US men also had great qualifying times: Simi Hamilton 6th, Andy Newell 16th, Erik Bjornsen 20th. Sweden's Jennie Oeberg and Italy's Frederico Pellegrino took the titles.
Related:
Results: Classical Sprints

Sleeping Giant Loppet Early-Bird Deadline Fast Approacing
January 24, 2015
The Sleeping Giant Loppet, in Thunder Bay, Canada, March 7th, is having their next price hike on Feb 2nd. With 20K, 35K and 50K distance events, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Big Island and Back 2015
January 23, 2015
The Big Island and Back race is on for 2015! This year, the race on Lake Minnetonka will include professional chip timing, prizes including brew from Excelsior Brewing Company, pint glasses, and more. Lake conditions are currently good, and official grooming will begin the week before the race.

World Cup Rybinsk: Freestyle Races
January 23, 2015
Liz Stephen skied into the history books Friday finishing second in the Rybinsk 10K freestyle World Cup, her career first podium! Jessie Diggins had a great day as well, finishing 12th with Rosie Brenann 13th. Norway's Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen won. Dario Cologna collected the mens 15K title. Erik Bjornsen was the top American at 40th. (Photo: Getty Images-AFP/Alexander Nemenov)
Related:
Results: 10K, 15K freestyle
Biathlon: Dunklee posts season-best 8th at World Cup sprint in Italy
Nordic Combined: Fletcher Jumps Into Contention in Japan

Win An Opportunity for a 2015 Birkie Entry
January 22, 2015
The Birkie office is running a special offer on 10 entries to the 2015 Birkie, Kortie or Prince Harkon races. Be one of the first 10 people to comment on an upcoming Facebook post, make a donation to benefit Life Link lll, and you'll earn one of the prized entries.

Vasaloppet Update
January 22, 2015
Vasaloppet USA has issued an update on their early February race. While still hoping for some major snow, they are making backup plans to hold the race on Knife Lake, which currently has plenty of snow cover.

Skiwerx Series and Cities Cup Near Halfway
January 20, 2015
The Skiwerx and Cities Cup series are near the midpoint, and this weekend presents a double-points opportunity in the Twin Cities Championships events. Plus updated standings are now online.

Boulder Lake Ski Race Results
January 18, 2015
A light turnout for the Boulder Lake ski race Sunday, as just under 100 skiers crossed the finish line on a very busy weekend for racing in the Midwest. Anders Osthus and Annalisa Peterson won the 32K freestyle titles, Matt Lee and Elspeth Ronnander the classical crowns. Shorter 11K freestyle victories for Joe Rauzi and Sarah Allen, classical to Kendall Hill.

Marine/O'Brien Coverage
January 18, 2015
Defying the low snow winter in the Twin Cities, the Marine/O'Brien race was successfully held on thin conditions at William O'Brien State Park Sunday morning. Organizers did trim two hill sections from the race loop, revising the distances to 10K and 20K. In the 20K classical, Tyler Gilbert and Nate Rhode broke away with Gilbert winning by nearly two minutes. Kathleen De Wahl was the womens champion. For the 20K freestyle race, Alex Reich cruised off the front to also win by nearly two minutes. Sara Graves topped the womens field. The 10K skate race featured a crop of fast Stillwater high school skiers, lead by Shad Kraftson and Fredrika Von Essen. The 10K classical titles were awarded to Jack Lange and Rachel Peterson. Results plus photos posted.
Related:
King Boreas Results Posted

Holly Brooks Wins Dolomitenlauf
January 18, 2015
American Holly Brooks, racing on the WorldLoppet circuit, won the Dolomitenlauf in Lienz, Austria on Sunday.

World Cup Otepää: Team Sprints
January 18, 2015
Sunday on the World Cup circuit brought out the unique team sprint events, with pairs of competing in relay freestyle sprints, in Otepää, Estonia. The reign of Norwegian dominance ended, as Sweden team of Ida Ingemarsdotter and Stina Nilsson took the womens title and a pair of Russians, Alexey Petukhov and Sergey Ustiugov, won for the men. The US women nabbed sixth place with the surprising duo of Ida Sargent and Rosie Brennan (fresh from US Nationals). US men were 11th.
Related:
Results: Team Sprints

Seeley Hills Classic Coverage
January 17, 2015
Racing with near perfect conditions, the Midwest unofficial classic crowns were handed out Saturday morning in the Seeley Hills Classic. The mens 42K race was a tight affair with Tad Elliott pulling away from Matt Liebsch and Brian Gregg to take the win. Natalia Varyshkina collected the womens 42K title. In the shorter 22K event, Santi Ocariz topped John Bauer, while Kim Rudd topped the womens field. Results linked in, along with a photoset from Kelly Randolph.
Related:
Lapham Loppet Results Posted

World Cup Otepää: Classical Sprints
January 17, 2015
After the big Tour de Ski series, the World Cup picked up the action again with classical sprints Saturday morning in Otepää, Estonia. Sadie Bjornsen was the top US finisher, posting the 15th fastest qualifier, with Sophie Caldwell 31st. The US men also placed two in the sprint heats as Andy Newell was 21st, and Simeon Hamilton qualified 30th. None of the US skiers were able to advance from the quarterfinals. Even with a number of the Norwegian superstars absent, the Norwegians still dominated the event as Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg took the womens victory, with teammates taking third and fourth. And for the men, it was Petter's younger brother, Tommas Northug sprinting to the mens title as Norwegians put five in the finals!
Related:
Results: Classical Sprints
Nordic Combined: Strong Race for Bryan Fletcher
Fischer: Tomas Northug celebrates surprising victory in classic sprint in Otepää

Farview Sprints Coverage
January 16, 2015
On Wednesday evening at Theodore Wirth, the Loppet Foundation held the Farview Sprints with nearly 60 Middle school racers coming out from Anwatin, Nellie Stone Johnson, Northeast, and Minnehaha Academy teams. Warm weather and good conditions made for a memorable event.

World Cup Otepää Weekend Series
January 14, 2015
The World Cup resumes this weekend with a pair of sprint races in Otepää, Estonia. Saturday will feature classical sprints, and then Sunday has Team Sprint freestyle format. The US squad should be back in action this weekend, seeking some strong results, especially in the Team Sprints.
Related:
Video: Tour de Ski Highlights

Marine/O'Brien Race On for Sunday
January 12, 2015
The long-running Marine/O'Brien ski race is still planning to go on this Sunday at William O'Brien State Park, despite the challenging winter so far. The event features 12.5K and 25K skate and classic races, as well as some great kids events.
Related:
Racing Outlook

CXC Marathon Team Embodies SISU in Ironwood
January 12, 2015
Andrew Poffenberger provides a report on the CXC Marathon Team's racing experience at the Sisu Ski Fest, including the course confusion that caused three of the CXC elite to ski an extra 12K.

Pre-Loppet Results
January 11, 2015
Over 200 skiers turned out Sunday morning for the Pre-Loppet event at Theodore Wirth. The race used a combination of the snowmaking loop and some of the backwoods natural snow trails to form an 8K loop, skied twice for the 16K freestyle race. The overall title was decided in a sprint finish with John Wessling holding off Erik Fagerstrom for the win. Kim Rudd posted the top ladies time.

Tour de Ski: Stage 7
January 11, 2015
The Tour de Ski wrapped up Sunday in Val di Fiemme, Italy with the exciting 9K hill climb pursuit. Liz Stephen captured fifth place (with the fourth fastest time), as Marit Bjoergen held onto her lead to win the series overall. The mens race proved to be a thriller as Martin Johnsrud Sunby overhauled Petter Northug to take the victory and series title. Stephen's performance was the best result ever by an American in the multi-stage event.
Related:
Results: 9K freestyle uphill pursuit
Nordic Combined: Two Fletchers in Top 10

Sisu Ski Fest Results
January 10, 2015
Cold weather forced a delay and some course shortening for the Sisu Ski Fest races Saturday morning in Ironwood. In the 31K freestyle race, Matt Liebsch and Claire Luby were crowned champions. Eli Brown and Sarah Allen won the 31K classical races. The 17K freestyle titles went to Thomas Meyer and Jenna Ruzich while Seth Mares and Kate Ellis topped the 17K classical fields. Some confusion on the course for the classical race had a couple of elite skiers logging an extra 11K, but overall skiers reported great conditions and were very thankful for the delayed start, allowing for warmer temperatures.
Related:
Snekkevik Results Posted

US Nationals: U23 Team Named
January 10, 2015
With the conclusion of racing at US Nationals Saturday, the U23 World Championship teams were named. Earning their place on the squad from the Midwest: Kyle Bratrud, Ben Saxton, Annie Hart, and Paige Schember.

Tour de Ski: Stage 6
January 10, 2015
The Tour de Ski enters the final weekend with racing action at Val di Fiemme, Italy. Saturday's events were mass start classical races. Liz Stephen, the only US skier still participating in the series, had a phenomenal race finishing 5th! Marit Bjoergen finally lost an event as she was edged out by fellow Norwegian Therese Johaug. The mens race came down to an exciting sprint finish with a nearly five wide spread as Tim Tscharnke took the victory. Sunday concludes the series with the epic hill climb pursuit.
Related:
Results: 10K, 15K classical (mass start)
Nordic Combined: Career Best for Loomis

Tour de Ski: Stage 5
January 8, 2015
The Tour de Ski ran stage 5 in Toblach, Italy, featuring a freestyle pursuit event. The US ran a much smaller squad as they pull races out to prepare for events later this season. Liz Stephen provided the top performance for the US women, coming in 14th. Kikkan Randall took 25th, Jessie Diggins did not start due to illness. Overall victories went to Marit Bjoergen and Petter Northug.
Related:
Results: 15K, 25K freestyle pursuit

Tour de Ski: Stage 4
January 7, 2015
Stage 4 of the Tour de Ski brought skiers to Toblach, Italy, for classical races on Wednesday morning. The US women continue to push the cusp of the podium, as Sadie Bjornsen finished 8th today, Jessie Diggins another solid race in 19th, with Liz Stephen 29th. Erik Bjornsen lead the US men, finishing The Norwegian women were once again dominate, sweeping the podium led by Marit Bjoergen. Alexey Poltoranin edged out Evgeniy Belov for the mens victory.
Related:
Results: Classical 5K, 10K

Tour de Ski: Stage 3
January 6, 2015
The Tour de Ski resumed Tuesday with freestyle sprint races in Val Müstair, Switzerland. The US women had some great qualifying times, with Sophie Caldwell 7th, Sadie Bjoergen 8th, Kikkan Randall 12th and Jessie Diggins 26th. Simi Hamilton lead the US men, qualifying 30th. In the heats, Caldwell, Randall and Hamilton all advanced to the semifinals before getting knocked out. Marit Bjoergen and Federico Pellegrino took the sprint titles.
Related:
Results: Classical Sprints

Belgium Adventure 2014-15: Final Days
January 4, 2015
Corey Coogan-Cisek wraps up her Belgium cyclocross adventure, recapping her final two races and looking ahead to the US National Championships next week.

Como Championships Results
January 4, 2015
Racing in very cold and windy conditions on the snowmaking loop at Elm Creek, the Como Championships titles were handed out Sunday. Andy Brown bounced back from near miss at Ahvo Klassic to take the victory for the mens race. Kathleen DeWahl scored her second victory of the week in topping the womens field.
Related:
Peter Westra Sprints Results

Tour de Ski: Stage 2
January 4, 2015
Day 2 on the Tour de Ski circuit featured classical pursuit races, based on the skiers prologue times. Canadian Alex Harvey had a spectacular race, finishing less than a second behind winner Petter Northug, to take second place! Erik Bjornsen was the top finisher for the US men, notching 60th. USA women held their own, with Sadie Bjornsen taking 14th and Liz Stephen 15th. Marit Bjoergen extended her series lead with another victory. The Tour de Ski now moves to Switzerland, with the next event freestyle sprints on Tuesday.
Related:
Results: Classical Pursuit
Nordic Combined: Top 10 for Fletcher in Schonach

Tour de Ski: Stage 1
January 3, 2015
The Tour de Ski event began Saturday morning in Oberstdorf, Germany with freestyle prologue races. The US women showed some of their best performances of the season to date as Sadie Bjornsen and Liz Stephen went 7th and 8th, with Jessie Diggins 14th and Kikkan Randall 22nd in the 3K race. In the mens 4K event, Simi Hamilton was 26th, with Canadian Alex Harvey 13th. Saturday's leaders were Marit Bjoergen and Dario Cologna. Sunday's day 2 events are classical pursuit races.
Related:
Results: Prologue
FIS Tour de Ski Competition Guide

Biathlon: Teams for Youth/Junior World Championships, European Championships Named
January 1, 2015
The teams for the Biathlon Youth/Junior World Championships in Minsk-Raubichi, Belarus, and the Open European Championships in Otepää, Estonia, have been announced. From the Midwest, Siena Ellingson and Amanda Kautzer, along with Jakob Ellingson and Cam Christiansen, will all compete at the Youth/Junior World Championships in late February.

Ahvo Klassic Coverage
January 1, 2015
Reviving a Twin Cities New Year tradition, the Univ of MN Nordic ski club held their first annual Ahvo Klassic at Theodore Wirth Thursday afternoon. Course conditions proved to be a little challenging for classical skiers as 1.5K was run on the man-made snowmaking loop, and another 2.5K run on the Back 40 trails, which had a thin and bumpy natural snow coating. The race appeared to be headed for a sprint finish between Andrew Brown and Tyler Gilbert, but Brown was upended in the final corner, allowing Gilbert to coast in for the victory. Kathleen DeWahl took the women's victory just ahead of Lindsey Marshall. Results and photos posted.

Belgium Adventure 2014-15: Diegem and Loenhout
December 31, 2014
Corey Coogan-Cisek reports on epic races in Belgium, Superprestige Diegem on Dec 28th and Azencross Loenhout on Dec 30th, and is especially grateful for the support crew she is working with this trip.

Elm Creek Series - Special Team Edition Coverage
December 31, 2014
The Elm Creek series hosted a special event Tuesday evening, offering a one-time team division format and the opportunity to win (and/or sample) Fulton Beer. Team Vakava came away with the winning combination, with Gustavus second and Fulton third. Top individual times went to Andy Brown in the skate race, and David Joda in the classic. Mattie Watts posted the fastest womens times for both events. Nearly 100 skiers helped to set a new record field for the Elm Creek series. Results and point totals posted, along with a few photos.

Tour de Ski Starts this Weekend
December 31, 2014
The FIS Tour de Ski event starts this Saturday, Jan 3rd. The event compasses four venues, six races over eight days, culminating in the epic hill climb at Val di Fiemme on Jan 11th.
Related:
FIS Tour de Ski

Happy New Year from the Birkie
December 30, 2014
Ringing out the old year, the Birkie is almost half way to their fundraising goal for Phase I. Your year-end contribution could help them cross that threshold.

Biathlon: World Junior Biathlon Trials Day 2
December 30, 2014
The US World Junior Biathlon Trials continued Monday with the pursuit format, 10km and four shooting stages for both men and women on the trails at Mt Itasca. Top midwest results included Siena Ellingson, 2nd, Amanda Kautzer 3rd youth women; Jakob Ellingson, 2nd, Gerrit Garberich, 3rd junior men; Cam Christiansen, 1st youth men.

Biathlon: World Junior Biathlon Trials Day 1
December 29, 2014
Mt. Itasca is hosting the US Biathlon World Junior Trials after the event was moved from Anchorage, Alaska, due to a lack of snow. SUnday was opening day, with some Minnesotans posting top results. Jakob Ellingson placed 2nd in Junior Men, Cam Christiansen 3rd Youth Men, with Siena Ellingson and Amanda Kautzer placing 2nd and 3rd respectively for Youth Women. Racing continues Monday and Tuesday.

Belgium Adventure 2014-15: First Days
December 27, 2014
Corey Coogan-Cisek reports in from Belgium, covering her training days in Europe and the first race.

Belgium Adventure 2014-15: Introduction
December 25, 2014
Corey Coogan-Cisek, former Maine State Nordic skiing champ and these days one of the top Midwest cyclocross riders, is heading back to Europe, to race in winter cyclocross events in the Belgium. Coogan-Cisek updates her season and some of the obstacles she's overcome to reach new heights, and preparation for the return to the Euro circuit.

Birkie Tour, Seeley Hills Combo
December 25, 2014
The Birkie and Seeley Hills have teamed up for a combo event weekend. Come put those striding skills to the test on Saturday with the Seeley Hills Classic, then relax Sunday with a fun event on the Birkie trails. Register by Dec 31st to save some cash before the next price hike.

NorthStar Development Cycling Info Session Dec 29th
December 23, 2014
NorthStar Development Cycling, an organization dedicated to developing youth cycling, is holding an information meeting next Monday, Dec 29th in Saint Paul, MN. Learn about their programs, planned trips and races, and past performances.

Biathlon: January World Cup and IBU Cup Teams Named
December 22, 2014
The U.S. Biathlon International Competition Committee has announced the teams for IBU Cups 3 and 4 and for World Cups 4, 5 and 6. Included on the list are Minnesotans Wynn Roberts (IBU) and Leif Nordgren (World Cup).

World Cup Davos: Freestyle Sprints
December 21, 2014
The US skiers put it into high gear Sunday morning for the Davos World Cup freestyle sprints. In the womens qualifying round, the Americans posted some of their best results this season as Sophie Caldwell and Kikkdan Randall went 8th and 9th with Jessie Diggins 17th. Simeon Hamilton lead the US men with a 17th place qualifying time. Randall and Caldwell both made it to the semifinals but had spills on the tricky snow conditions, finishing the day 9th and 11th respectively.
Related:
Results: Freestyle Sprints

Gear West Holiday Tuneup Results
December 20, 2014
Hammering out the laps in some sugary snow at Elm Creek, St. Scholastica skier Joe Dubay outsprinted Andrew Brown and Cory Ellertson to take the win in the mens 10K. Ingrid Leask topped the womens field, with Jan Guenther and Mata Agre rounding out the podium. The 5K titles went to Nathaniel Johnson and Molly Wilson. Results and an interview with Joe Dubay, posted.

World Cup Davos: Freestyle 10K/15K
December 20, 2014
The World Cup resumed action in Davos, Switzerland, Saturday with a pair of distance freestyle races. The American women continue to improve as Liz Stephen notched a 12th place finish with teammates Jessie Diggins 27th, Sadie Bjornsen 28th. Norway remains unbeaten with Marit Bjoergen taking the victory. Germany's Nicole Fessel snuck in for second, with Norway's Heidi Weng third. In the mens race, Norway swept the podium: Anders Gloeersen, Petter Northug, and Chris Jespersen. Erik Bjornsen was the lone American, finish 54th.
Related:
Results: Freestyle 10K/15K

Biathlon: Two Top 20 Results at Pokljuka World Cup
December 18, 2014
US Biathlon reports: The U.S. Biathlon Team got off to a strong start on Thursday as the third IBU World Cup of the 2014-15 season kicked off with the women's 7.5-kilometer sprint in Pokljuka, Slovenia. Hannah Dreissigacker and Susan Dunklee both posted top 20 finishes with Dreissigacker ending up tied for 17th and Dunklee right behind her in 19th.
Related:
Biathlon: Bailey 16th in Pokljuka World Cup Sprint

Birkie Matching Challenge Grant Announced
December 18, 2014
The Birkie Foundation has announced a challenge grant, matching all donations made by December 31st, up to $10,000. Every dollar you donate will be doubled -- please consider help to fund Phase 1 of their future development.

World Cup Davos Weekend Series Redux
December 17, 2014
Rescheduled from La Clusaz, France, the World Cup FIS series repeats again this weekend in Davos, Switzerland. The lineup this weekend includes a womens 10K and mens 15K skate race Saturday, with freestyle sprint races on Sunday.
Related:
Video from Ahvo Taipale: Bjorn Daehlie Interview
NNF: Davos Double Poling Distance with Chris Grover
US Ski Team: Davos Redux - 8 Things to Watch this World Cup Weekend

Nordic Spirit Registration Open
December 15, 2014
The Nordic Spirit race, Jan 11th, at the Spirit Mountain trails in Duluth, is open for registration. They are also offering Facebook promo prize for the 100th "like" to their page.

Biathlon: US IBU Cup Trails / MN Cup #2 Results
December 14, 2014
Mt. Itasca hosted two days of biathlon racing this past weekend, featuring some of the top junior and senior skiers in the country.
Related:
Results: U.S. IBU Cup Trials / MN Cup #2

World Cup Davos: Freestyle Sprints
December 14, 2014
Sunday featured freestyle sprints in Davos, Switzerland for the World Cup. Norway continues to dominate, sweeping both podiums (including the top five women!). The US women qualified three for the heats: Ida Sargent 16th, Kikkan Randall 20th and Sophie Caldwell 22nd, but none were able to advance. Andy Newell qualified 15th, but did not make beyond the quarterfinals. The World Cup will remain in Davos for a pair of weekend races, rescheduled from France (due to low snow conditions).
Related:
Photoset from Ahvo Taipale: Race Day - 15 photos
Video from Ahvo Taipale: Bjorn Daehlie Interview
Results: Freestyle Sprints

Hoigaards/Breadsmith Relays Coverage
December 13, 2014
Even with a bit of fog and temperatures around 40F, the Elm Creek snowmaking loop still provided a good, reasonably fast course for the Hoigaards/Breadsmith relays Saturday morning. The tandem of Leo Hipp and Zak Ketterson, both high school skiers, dished out a little lesson in dominance as they first won the masters race, then repeated again in the juniors event. A pair of Gustavus skiers Marit Sonnesyn and Mata Agre showed some college power in taking the masters womens title. Forest Lake stars Kate Schaaf and Rocci Wohlk combined for the girls junior title. Photos, videos, Facebook photos and results are posted.

World Cup Davos: Classical
December 13, 2014
Racing on a lap course involving man-made snow and snow trucked from the mountains, the World Cup skiers in Davos competed for the classical titles on Saturday. In the womens 10K race, Norwegians Therese Johaug and Marit Bjoergen took first and second, with finn Kerttu Niskanen taking third. The US women had a strong showing, as Liz Stephen, Jessie Diggins and Sadie Bjornsen went 20, 21, and 22! Norway also took the top two places in the mens 15K, with Martin Johnsrud Sundby taking another victory followed by Didrik Toenseth, as Dario Cologna took third for his adopted homeland of Switzerland. Canadian Alex Harvey was 17th, Erik Bjornsen the top American in 48th.
Related:
Photoset from Ahvo Taipale: Race Day - 24 photos
Video from Ahvo Taipale: Pre-Race Interviews, Classical Clips
Results: Classical
Nordic Combined: Near Miss for Taylor Fletcher

World Cup Davos Weekend Series
December 10, 2014
The FIS World Cup racing action moves to Davos, Switzerland this weekend. Saturday is scheduled to feature womens 10K and mens 15K classical races, Sunday are freestyle sprints. The distances races are shorter than originally planned, due to a lower snowfall.
Related:
Photoset from Ahvo Taipale: Venue Photos Dec 11 - 4 photos, Venue Photos Dec 12 - 5 photos
Video from Ahvo Taipale: Interview with Matt Whitcomb
Davos: Will Mother Nature Help Out?
Davos Team Rosters

Boulder Lake Registration Open
December 9, 2014
The Boulder Lake Ski Race, January 18th in Duluth, has their registration open and is offering discount pricing up through Dec 19th. Plus catch a highlight reel from last year's event.

Racing Outlook
December 7, 2014
Wednesday Night Series continues at Elm Creek this week, with a special team event planned for late December.

World Cup Lillehammer: Classical Pursuit
December 7, 2014
The Lillehammer World Cup wrapped up Sunday with the classical pursuit events. Sadie Bjornsen continues to shine for the US squad, finishing 18th in the womens 10K classical pursuit. Jessie Diggins was 44th. Erik Bjornsen again led the US men, taking 39th. Norway dominated the results, posting the top four womens and top five mens times.
Related:
Results: Classical Pursuit
Nordic Combined: Fletcher Cracks Top-10 in Norway

World Cup Lillehammer: Freestyle
December 6, 2014
Lillehammer was hopping Saturday morning with the womens 5K and mens 10K freestyle races. The Norwegian women swept the podium with Therese Johaugh taking the victory. Jessie Diggins skated to the top US time, finishing 15th with Sadie Bjornsen 20th, and Liz Stephen 22nd. Norway swept the mens podium as well, with Martin Johnsrud Sunby taking the win. Erik Bjornsen was the top US finisher at 51st.
Related:
Results: Freestyle
Caitlin Gregg Mini-Report: Lillehammer 5K

World Cup Lillehammer: Freestyle Sprints
December 5, 2014
Tough start for the US Ski team at the Lillehammer World Cup events Friday, as only Sadie Bjornsen was able to qualify for the freestyle sprint heats. Bjornsen posted a great qualifying time, finishing 16th, but did not advance out of the quarterfinals. Canadian Alex Harvey continues to fly, finishing 5th in the mens final! Minnesotans: Jessie Diggins 55th, Caitlin Gregg 78th.
Related:
Results: Freestyle Sprints

World Cup: Lillehammer Weekend Series
December 3, 2014
The FIS World Cup moves to Lillehammer, Norway, this weekend for three events. Friday is freestyle sprints, Saturday freestyle 5K and 10K races, and Sunday brings classical 10K and 15K pursuit races. Team rosters have been posted.
Related:
World Cup Lillehammer: Results
World Cup Lillehammer: Website

Birkie Drive in Eau Claire, Iola
December 2, 2014
The Birkie fundraising effort, Honoring the Legacy, Ensuring the Future, continues its tour of the Midwest, this week stopping in Eau Claire on Dec 4th and Iola next week, Dec 17th. If you can't make one of the stops, then please conside making a donation online.

Price Hike
November 30, 2014
The City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival has their next price hike coming up! Register by midnight Dec 4th to save some cash on one of the most popular events of the season.

SuperTour: Yellowstone Freestyle
November 29, 2014
The Yellowstone SuperTour held the skate races Saturday in West Yellowstone. Brian Gregg had a great performance, posting the second best time on the day, less than 10 seconds back of winner Matt Gelso. Matt Liebsch was in the mix as well, finishing 9th, and Ben Saxton rocking in 11th. In the womens race, Rosie Brennan took the victory with rising star Katherine Ogden second.
Related:
Results: SuperTour, Citizen

US Ski Team: Ruka World Cup Sprints
November 29, 2014
The Nordic World Cup opener fired up Saturday morning in Ruka, Finlandia with classical sprint events. Ida Sargent started the season strong, finishing fifth to a tough Norwegian team that put three skiers in the top four. The Norwegian men were just as dominate, sweeping the top four with Eirik Brandsdal taking the victory. Kikkan Randall had the top US qualifying time in 12th. Jessie Diggins finished 64th. Simeon Hamilton had sped to the 16th fastest mens qualifying time as the top American.
Related:
Results: Classical Sprints
Nordic Combined: Big Jump in XC for Fletcher

SuperTour: Yellowstone Classic Sprints
November 29, 2014
The SuperTour series opened Friday with classical sprints at the popular Yellowstone Ski Festival. Ben Saxton posted the top qualifying time, but it was Dakota Blackhorse-Von Jess taking the mens sprint final. Canadian Alysson Marshall topped the womens sprint field, with Jennie Bender taking third. Other top Midwest qualifying results: Brian Gregg, 15th; Gordon Vermeer, 16th; Annie Hart, 10th; Paige Schember, 15th. Racing continues Saturday with freestyle races.
Related:
Results: Qualifying, Mens Heats, Womens Heats

CXC Youth Cup and Skiwerx Series
November 28, 2014
Central Cross Country Ski Association and the Minnesota Youth Ski League have partnered to bring together a regional Youth Cup that compliments the metro Skiwerx Series for young racers.

Solstice Chase Fat Bike Race
November 28, 2014
Cyclova XC is hosting a Fat Bike race on the trails at Big Rock Creek near St. Croix Falls on December 20th. Register by Nov 30th to save some cash prior to the next price hike.

Nordic Combined: US Team Named
November 28, 2014
USSA reports: Three Olympians were named to the 2015 U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team that opens its FIS World Cup campaign this weekend in Ruka, Finland. The team includes Olympic champion Billy Demong along with World Championship medalists Bryan and Taylor Fletcher.
Related:
US Ski Team: XC Team Ready for Ruka Opener

Minnesota Finlandia Registration Now Open
November 26, 2014
The Minnesota Finlandia registration is now open. The Finlandia has released a homebrewed promotional video to help get your amped up for the big races on February 14, 2015.

World Cup: Nordic Opener this Weekend
November 26, 2014
The FIS World Cup season opens this weekend in Ruka, Finland with a pair of events. Saturday, Nov 29th, will be classical sprints, and Sunday, Nov 30th, are womens 10K and mens 15K classical races. Minnesotans Jessie Diggins and Caitlin Gregg are scheduled to compete as well and many of the top stars in the World Cup, including Kikkan Randall.
Related:
Video: Livesteam and Recaps
World Cup 2014-15 Season Preview
Ruka World Cup - Nordic Opener

NNF/WYSEF Masters Race in West Yellowstone
November 25, 2014
The National Nordic Foundation and the West Yellowstone Ski Education Foundation have joined to offer a masters ski race on Saturday, Nov 29th. The event will be a short 5K skate race, with interval starts.
Related:
A Thank You from NNF Executive Director, Dave Knoop

US Ski Team: Cross Country Team Named
November 24, 2014
The 2014-15 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team was announced today on the eve of the International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup opener this weekend in Ruka, Finland. Midwest skiers include Jessie Diggins (A Team) and Ben Saxton (D Team).

Minnesota CX Championships Coverage
November 22, 2014
Given the cold November, relatively warm temperatures on Saturday generated some slick conditions for the Minnesota Cyclocross Championships at Bassett Creek. Still waiting for official results online, but former Maine cross-country skiing champ Corey Coogan-Cisek popped a great race to finish second overall in the womens cat 1/2/3 race. Photos from the Saturday afternoon races are up.
Related:
Photoset: Womens Cat 1/2/3 - 167 photos, Mens Cat 1/2 - 231 photos

Birkie: Honoring the Legacy - Ensuring the Future
November 13, 2014
Twin Cities skiers and supporters will have a chance to learn firsthand about the steps the Birkie Foundation is taking to preserve the race legacy, including the Telemark start, as well as significant updates to the course and finish area (like a new skier bridge). Please join them Thursday, Nov 20th, and support the legacy! Limited tickets available.

Short-notice: Rock Skate Race at Spirit
November 11, 2014
Nikolai Anikin is going full-tilt with the new snowfall, organizing a an informal, short-notice race at Spirit Mountain for this Wednesday evening, Nov 12th! Bring your headlamp and rock skis.

Illinois Roller Ski Race Series Results
November 9, 2014
The Illinois Rollerski Race Series wrapped up Sunday with the final event in the four month series. Chris Pappathopoulos posted the top time and locked in his title as the overall series champion. Maxim Glyuka was crowned the junior champion.

Rivet Run Coverage
November 9, 2014
Eve Graves reports: Sunday's Rivet Run 5k trail run/walk at Pattison State park drew nearly 100 participants (double the previous event!). With temperatures hovering around freezing and sunny skies participants had a great experience. Rett Moreland won with a time of 21:21 while Kaelyn Williams won for the women with a time of 22:25. The first Master's male was Dan Duff with a time of 23:08 and the first Master's female was Jen Vos Benkowski with a time of 26:51.
Related:
Photoset from Eve Graves: Rivet Run
Results: Rivet Run

Vakava Time Trial Coverage
November 9, 2014
Squeezing in perhaps the last rollerski of the season in the Twin Cities, the Vakava training group held a pair of rollerski time trials on some quiet backroads near Afton Sunday morning. Temperatures were in the upper 30s for the interval start 5K skate race, followed shortly afterwards with a 5K classical event. Photos and results are up.

Arctic Commando Results
November 8, 2014
St. Paul Central ski team held their annual trail running races at Battle Creek Saturday morning. Craig Cardinal and Allie Rykken collected top honors, with Cardinal posting the only sub 20 minute time on the hilly 5K course.
Related:
Results: Arctic Commando Results

Birkie Capital Campaign Comes to the Cities
November 4, 2014
The American Birkebeiner has begun their Capital Campaign and will be in the Twin Cities on Nov 20th for a special evening presentation. Come talk with ABSF Director Ben Popp about the new permanent start area at Telemark, access to warm, indoor spaces at the finish, and the re-creation of Tony Wise's International Bridge! Tickets available now (and going fast).

Midwest Racing Season Preview
November 2, 2014
With the end of daylight savings time, the early sunset signals that winter is not far away! We've updated our racing calendar with the latest info on the citizen, collegiate, and high school events. Our annual preview covers some of the big changes on tap this winter, along with some new additions and a few losses.

Price Hike: Sisu Ski Fest
October 28, 2014
Kicking off the January marathon season, Ironwood's Sisu Ski Fest features point-to-point races starting at ABR and finishing in downtown Ironwood. Act by Oct 31st to avoid the next price hike (and check this newsletter for a $5 off online coupon!).

Frozen Thunder Skate Races
October 27, 2014
Frozen Thunder, Canmore Nordic Centre's celebration of the start to skiing season, held skate races on their 2K snow loop Monday morning. Rosanna Crawford posted the top womens time, with Caitlin Gregg showing some strong form in finishing fourth and Jessie Diggins took 8th. Devon Kershaw bested the mens field, with veteran Kris Freeman taking second! Brian Gregg 17th, Ben Saxton 21st.
Related:
Photoset from Bow Valley Photography: Frozen Thunder Skate Races
Photoset from Nathaniel Mah: Mens 15K
Results: 10K, 15K freestyle
Noah Hoffman: Frozen Thunder Skate Races

Birkie Bridge in the Works
October 26, 2014
The Sawyer County Record covered the recent Hayward City Council meeting where plans were presented for a temporary skier/pedestrian bridge spanning Hwy 63 to help ease the traffic congestion during the Birkie finish.
Learn more: There will be an event in the Twin Cities on November 20th - more details forthcoming.

Frozen Thunder Classic Sprints
October 24, 2014
On Friday, the Frozen Thunder event at Canmore Nordic Centre hosted classic sprint races on 1.6K loop of recycled snow. Andy Newell and Ida Sargent won the sprint finals, with Jessie Diggins finishing fifth.
Related:
Photoset from Noel Rogers/Angus Cockney: Classic Sprints
Video from Tor-Arne Hetland: Mens Qualifying, Womens Qualifying, Mens Heats
Results: Qualifying Times, Heats/Finals
Noah Hoffman: Frozen Thunder Classic Sprints
Cross-Country Canada: Frozen Thunder Classic Sprint Report

SuperTour: Yellowstone Race Info
October 23, 2014
Detailed information on the Yellowstone Ski Festival races, Nov 28-29, has been posted. Covers the SuperTour events, as well as the masters, juniors and biathlon events.

Midwest MTB Racing Report
October 21, 2014
Enjoying the fall weather, Jay Richards latest MTB report covers the Red Wing Classic, WORS finale, and Otter Creek 55. Plus a look ahead to the MN HS MTB race at Whitetail this weekend.

Skijor Racing Coming to the 2015 Vasaloppet
October 16, 2014
The Vasaloppet USA is partnering with Skijoring USA to introduce the first-ever skijoring races at the 43rd annual Vasaloppet USA to be held in Mora, MN February 6-8, 2015. Two skijoring races will be held on Sunday, February 8th following the Miniloppet.

Out There Athletes
October 15, 2014
Did you know Out There ski shop sponsors athletes from across the globe? Skiers from New Zealand, Spain, Brazil, Netherlands, Hungry and more!

Midwest MTB Racing Report
October 14, 2014
Highlighted in Jay Richards MTB report this week: Blacks Grove River Crossing recap, MN HS Cycling League first-hand report from Mankato, BrewMonster Enduro photos, big news for the Laddies Loppet, and the look ahead to some upcoming events.
Related:
Dec 20 Solstice Chase Fat Bike Race - Price Hike Oct 15th!

Sisu Ski Fest: Did You Sisu?
October 13, 2014
Sisu Ski Fest registration is now open and there are less than 90 days until the big weekend of events in the UP. The race offers early season 42K marathon and 21K half marathon point-to-point races, starting at ABR and finishing in downtown Ironwood.

Pepsi Challenge Coming March 7th
October 13, 2014
Pepsi Challenge will be back for their 31st annual event coming this March 7th. Package of the race registration includes a free pass for Nordic skiing at the Ridge on Friday (test those kids, check out the conditions).

Nordic Combined: First U.S. Title for Bryan Fletcher
October 12, 2014
USSA reports: Bryan Fletcher added another jewel to an already star-studded nordic combined career, winning his first national title at the U.S. Nordic Combined Championships in Lake Placid. Fletcher parlayed a strong jump to take the win in rollerskiing over brother Taylor, who won the rollerski. Adam Loomis (Eau Claire native) took bronze. Note: Ben Loomis, Adam's younger brother, finished 9th!

Gandy Dancer Trail Marathon Recap
October 12, 2014
Over 300 runners turned out Saturday for the inaugural Gandy Dancer trail marathon events, hosted by Cyclova XC. Mark Swiontek and Tammi Braund claimed the first marathon titles. In the half marathon, Dan Schoepke and Megan Felling posted the top times. Read the full event recap.
Related:
Results: Gandy Dancer Trail Marathon

Birkie Down to the Last 500 Spots
October 8, 2014
Still haven't registered for the American Birkebeiner or Kortelopet? You'd better do it now, as there are less than 500 openings left and they are going fast...

Midwest MTB Racing Report
October 7, 2014
As the season rolls into fall, Jay Richards catches up with the Minnesota and Wisconsin high school MTB racing, and the Heck of the North event. Plus previews of the upcoming Women's MTB retreat, Black's River Crossing, WORS Finale, and the MORC 20th anniversary gala.

Jackson Meadow CX Coverage
October 5, 2014
The Minnesota cyclocross series came to the unique community of Jackson Meadow, just above Marine on the St. Croix, for a full set of races on Sunday. The course featured a nice mix of prairie, road, and lots of woods, with the usual barriers and a pinwheel. We caught the womens cat 1/2/3 and mens 45+ and then the mens 1/2/3 and mens 35+ events in the afternoon.
Related:
Photoset: Womens Cat 1/2/3, Mens 45+ - 151 photos, Mens Cat 1/2/3, Mens 35+ - 160 photos
Photoset: Top Picks (high res)
Results: Jackson Meadow CX

Baker Rollerski Race Results
October 4, 2014
Clayton Keim reports: Cold and damp forecast kept many rollerskiers away this morning for the inaugural RollerskiShop.com Baker 10K Rollerski Time Trial. Skiers that came out actually found really nice conditions with the trail being dry and clear of debris thanks to the park staff who made a couple laps blowing it off this morning and clearing a couple trees yesterday from the high winds. We hope to make this an annual event as people seemed to enjoy it and we would like to thank everyone for coming out.


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