• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • Haywood RACE Report: World Cup season gets underway on Friday in Finland

      November 23, 2017

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      The 2017/2018 World Cup season gets underway Friday in Kuusamo, Finland, with the "Opening Weekend" featuring cross-country, nordic combined and ski jumping World Cups.

      The 3-day race series is a min-tour, where an overall winner is named at the end of the weekend. Friday's races are classic sprints, followed by a classic interval start race on Saturday and a pursuit skate race on Sunday. North Americans will need to set their alarms for an early wakeup, or just stay up late to watch live coverage of the events from northern Finland.


      The weather has been quite cold, often below -10 C deg., in the days leading up to the event and the snow guns from the alpine hills, have caused a bit of a damp ice fog to hang in the air during training. The weather is however expected to warm up over the weekend.

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      As it is an Olympic year there is a deep field for the competition, with some more exotic country names on the start list such as Mongolia and China. Canada has a large contingent competing, including: Emily Nishikawa, Dahria Beatty, Cendrine Browne, Alex Harvey, Devon Kershaw, Lenny Valjas, Jesse Cockney, Russell Kennedy, Julien Locke, Graeme Killick and Knute Johnsgaard.

      Katherine Stewart-Jones also qualified for the trip but her departure was delayed from Canada after suffering a concussion a bit earlier in the fall. She has been medically cleared to join up with the team at the next stop in Lillehammer, Dec 2nd and 3rd.
       

      Excited for the first @fiscrosscountry World Cup of the season tomorrow! ❄️💃🏼💃🏻💃🏼 ❄️ @cccski @swix_sport

      A post shared by Canadian XC Ski Women (@canadianxcskiwomen) on


      Last weekend Devon Kershaw had some solid races, in Gallivare, so it will be interesting in particular to see how he and Alex fare against the rest of the best in the world this weekend. 

      The Canadian Olympic Committee had a nice profile of the team recently on their web page.

      The spectre of the Russian doping issues, continue to hang over the competition, with a ruling this morning by FIS, that the athletes banned from the Olympics by the International Olympic Committee can still, for now, compete in the World Cups. FIS Press Release While it is necessary to respect due process, it is disturbing that the whole process couldn't be completed on a timelier basis, and quite difficult to understand why the banned athletes are allowed to compete. Once again, clean athletes suffer because of the system.

      Events
      Race Schedules: (Always double check time zone differences)

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      FIS provide live updates on Live timing, and post race video highlights

      FIS Cross Country Website Results, Press Releases, Video... 

      Complete video coverage, post-race, was available last season at http://crosscountryski.us/ Skiing Vinnie on YouTube.
       
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      — Cross Country Canada (@cccski) December 3, 2016

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