FIS Cross Country Ski World Cup 2017/18
Norway’s Klaebo Record Seven Wins
The U.S.A. got onto the scoreboard quickly as the FIS World Cup 2018 series opened in Ruka, Finland. Canada soon followed, but the real talk of the early season in this Olympic year was Norwegian Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, who notched a record seven wins before the New Year.
Nov. 24-26 – Ruka, Finland
Rising U.S. star Sadie Bjornsen claimed her first Classic sprint podium, finishing second at the FIS World Cup opener in Ruka, Finland, battling with victor Stina Nilsson of Sweden. Yulia Belorukova of Russia was third. Bjornsen’s teammate Sophie Caldwell finished eighth, while Ida Sargent was 15th. Dahria Beatty was the top Canuck in 64th.
On the men’s side, Canadian Alex Harvey started out his World Cup season with a 21st-place result, posting the 13th-fastest qualification time. Six other Canadians and five Americans hit the start line, but fell short. Norwegians Klaebo and Paal Golberg sprinted to the top two spots. Sweden’s Calle Halfvarsson rounded out the podium in third.
U.S.A.’S Diggins delivered a top-10 finish in the women’s 10km Classic interval-start race, as Marit Bjoergen of Norway was in charge, with Charlotte Kalla of Sweden in second, edging out third-place Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg of Norway. Sargent finished 22nd with Sadie Bjornsen in 23rd, followed by Caldwell in 36th. The top Canadian was Emily Nishikawa in 53rd.
Canadian Harvey finished 13th in the men’s 15km Classic Individual-start race, as Norway went 1-2 with Klaebo setting the pace, followed by Didrik Toenseth in second, with Livo Niskanen of Finland in third. American Erik Bjornsen raced into the points, claiming 26th, with Canadian Devon Kershaw earning the same time.
U.S.A.’S Sadie Bjornsen raced to 10th in the women’s 10km freestyle Pursuit, as Kalla of Sweden claimed the final stage win and took the overall mini-tour victory, besting Bjoergen of Norway. In third, Ragnhild Haga of Norway recorded the fastest time of the day. American Diggins finished 12th, with teammates Kikkan Randall moving up to 25th overall and Rosie Brennan also finishing in the points at 28th overall.
In the men’s race, Canada’s Harvey finished a fabulous fourth, 0.6 seconds off the podium, as Norway’s Klaebo claimed the mini-tour victory. Fellow Norwegian Martin Johnsrud Sundby settled for second, with Alexander Bolshunov of Russia taking third. American Erik Bjornsen landed in 26th, while Canadian Kershaw was 29th. The U.S.A.’S Noah Hoffman followed in 39th, with Len Valjas in 44th for Canada.
Dec. 1-3 – Lillehammer, Norway
American Sadie Bjornsen claimed her second sprint Classic podium this season in Lillehammer, Norway, topping the qualifications and landing third in the 1.3km Classic sprint. Maiken Caspersen Falla of Norway powered away on the final climb for the win over second-placed Krista Parmakoski of Finland. American Diggins finished a strong sixth, while teammate Caldwell was ninth. Top Canadians were Nishikawa in 58th and Beatty in 59th.
“Today was another really awesome day of ski racing here in Lillehammer. After last weekend’s podium, I tried to keep the momentum and confidence going,” shared Sadie Bjornsen.
On the men’s side, Canada’s Harvey finished 28th as Norway’s Klaebo continued his streak, winning the men’s 1.3km Classic sprint. Sergey Ustiugov of Russian was second, with teammate Bolshunov in third. Harvey was the lone North American to qualify, with Erik Bjornsen the top American in 35th, followed by teammate Andy Newell in 38th.
On Day Two, U.S.A.’S Diggins claimed a stellar fifth in the women’s 15km Skiathlon, showing her fine form, while Sweden’s Kalla took home her first-ever World Cup Skiathlon victory. Norway’s Heidi Weng was second, with teammate Haga in third. Americans Sadie Bjornsen finished a strong 10th, while Randall was solid in 16th, followed by Brennan, also in the points, placing 29th, and Liz Stephen 36th, with Chelsea Holmes placing 38th. The top Canadian was Cendrine Browne in 45th.
On the men’s side, Canada’s Harvey earned a strong sixth-place finish against a stacked field in the men’s 30km Skiathlon, as Klaebo captured gold again, besting teammate Sundby, who settled for second with Hans Christer Holund, completing the Norwegian podium
sweep. Canada’s Kershaw battled to a solid 19th-place finish, while the U.S.A.’S Erik Bjornsen claimed 20th, showing great form for his best Skiathlon result.
Dec. 9-10 – Davos, Switzerland
The U.S.A.’S Randall earned her first World Cup podium of the 2018 season since having her child, finishing third in Davos, Switzerland. Sweden’s Nilsson battled to victory in a close race, besting Norway’s Falla at the line. There were three Americans in final, with Diggins in fourth and Sargent finishing sixth.
In the men’s race, U.S.A.’S Simi Hamilton led the North Americans, finishing ninth after advancing to the semifinals in the men’s 1.5km freestyle sprint. Norway’s Klaebo recorded his sixth-straight victory, tying fellow Norwegians Sundby and Petter Northug, Italy’s Federico Pellegrino was the only skier to go with Klaebo into the final, but he was outmatched, finishing 1.8 seconds back. In third place for the second weekend in a row was Russia’s Bolshunov. American Newell also made the quarterfinals, but did not advance, finishing 21st. Harvey was the lone Canadian to qualify, but placed fifth in his quarterfinal round and his day ended early.
Sadie Bjornsen led four Americans into the top 20 on Day Two with a solid 12th-place finish in the women’s 10km interval start, as Norway’s Oestberg topped the field once again in Davos. Her teammate Haga was second at 5.9 seconds behind the winner, while Finland’s Parmakoski took the final podium spot at 7.9 seconds back. Randall finished 14th, followed by a disappointed Diggins in 15th and Brennan in 17th. The U.S.A.’S Holmes made the points in 29th, followed by Stephen in 40th. Brown led the Canadian women in 45th, followed by Nishikawa in 50th.
Canada’s Harvey posted his best result at high altitude in Davos, finishing 10th in the men’s 15km Individual start won by Maurice Manificat of France. Russia’s Ustiugov finished second at four seconds back, while teammate Bolshunov landed on the podium for the second time in Davos, claiming third. Harvey followed his race plan to near perfection, starting conservatively and picking his way through the field until the final loop, powering up to the top-10 result. Caldwell was the top American in 41st, followed by Canada’s Kershaw in 44th, American Hoffman in 48th and Canadians Graeme Killick in 59th and Russell Kennedy in 68th.
Dec. 16-17 – Toblach, Italy
Diggins led the U.S. Ski Team with a seventh-place finish in the women’s 10km freestyle in Toblach, Italy. Teammate Sadie Bjornsen placed a career-best ninth, as Sweden’s Kalla took the victory. Haga of Norway took second place, with her teammate Weng settling for third. American Brennan finished 17th.
Canada’s Harvey was just off the podium in fourth in the men’s 15km Individual-start skate race as Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krueger won his career-first Individual World Cup. Manificat of France, the current red-bib overall World Cup distance leader, was in second, while Britain’s Andrew Musgrave finished third. Erik Bjornsen was the top American, finishing 29th. Kershaw was the next best Canuck in 38th, followed by the U.S.A.’S Hoffman in 40th and Scott Patterson in 42nd, with Canadian Killick in 49th.
The U.S.A.’S Diggins claimed another strong result, finishing seventh in the women’s 10km Classic Pursuit, followed closely by her teammate Sadie Bjornsen in ninth. Bjoergen edged out her teammate Oestberg, as Weng made it a super-close all-norwegian podium in third at 0.8 seconds behind. The Americans also landed in the points, with Brennan finishing 25th, followed by Holmes in 39th, Stephen in 48th, while Nishikawa of Canada in 53rd.
Canada’s Harvey took home a strong ninth in the men’s 15km Classic Pursuit, while Norway’s Klaebo blasted to a record seventh World Cup victory before the New Year. Russia’s Ustiugov finished in second place at 1.9 seconds back, with Kazakhstan’s Alexey Poltoranin taking the final podium spot in third at 4.5 seconds behind. Klaebo leads the overall World Cup standings, eclipsing fellow Norwegians Northug and Sundby, who both had attained six victories prior to the New Year. The top American was Erik Bjornsen in 26th, with Canada’s Kershaw in 33rd, Americans Patterson in 39th, Caldwell in 44th and Hoffman in 49th, while Canada’s Killick was 50th.
Canada's Alex Harvey had a strong start to the season. Americans Sophie Caldwell and Jessie Diggins at Davos, Switzerland.
U.S.A.'S Sadie Bjornsen (r) claimed her first Classic sprint podium, finishing second at the World Cup opener in Finland.
Sweden's Charlotte Kalla wins first-ever fififififirst- ever 30km Skiathlon in Lillehammer, Norway.
Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo grabbed a record seventh World Cup victory before the New Year.
The U.S.A.'S Kikkan Randall earned her first World Cup podium of the 2018 season since having her child.
American Simi Hamilton was ninth in the men's freestyle sprint at Davos, Switzerland.