Hans Christer Holund

Norway’s Blink Festival: Rollerski Racing with Some Social Distance

Times are what they are. Precautions are the name of the game. This year’s Blink Festival in Norway played to a reduced field and limited spectators due to COVID precautions. Some races, as will be noted, included modified race rules to limit close contact between athletes.    Lysebotn Opp – 06/08 The Lysebotn Opp is […]

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Attrition in the Fog: Bolshunov pips Krüger for the Oslo 50 k Classic Win

Oslo in late winter – it’s be hit or miss. Fog. Bluebird. A maritime climate, with plentiful moisture in the air, a slight drop in temps can morph the Holmenkollen ski complex into a ping-pong-ball-world. Athletes were mere shadows striding into and out of view on a foggy- drizzly day at the Holmenkollen. As spectators […]

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With a Klæbo Anchor Leg – Norway Claims 4 x 7.5 k Relay in Lahti

Sunday, for the men’s 4 x 7.5-kilometer relay in Lahti, Finland the scene was decidedly more fitting for winter sport: The race began amidst falling snow despite bare firs and hardwoods lining the course. It’s been a sparse winter in Lahti.  Eleven teams contested the relay, with ten nations represented; Russia fielded two teams. The […]

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Predictable? Maybe. Niskanen Wins 15 k Classic in Lahti

Some patterns in Lahti, Finland remained the same as it ever was: the top-11 positions in the men’s 15-kilometer classic were populated by Norway and Russia except for a lone Finn. On manmade tracks laid down through the snow-free woods of Lahti’s famed stadium, Iivo Niskanen stuck to his roots.  When the World Cup comes […]

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All Norway: Pål Golberg takes the Ski Tour Overall as Bolshunov Stymied by Tricky Conditions

Yellow bibbed as the overall leader of the World Cup, out first on Sunday’s 30 k classic pursuit in Trondheim, and Norway’s Pål Golberg starting 34 seconds back: this was the situation Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov found himself in as he pulsed from the start. Thrown into this mix of tension was a helter-skelter mish-mash of […]

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Bolshunov Takes a Bold Flyer and the Stage 4 Win

With the course re-routed from the original 38-kilometer mass start skate to essentially an out and back into Meråker, Norway’s ski stadium, the day belonged to Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov who appears, at this point in the season, to be unstoppable in the distance events.  In a post-race interview, Devon Kershaw noted that men paced it […]

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Down to the Wire, Golberg Out Sprints Bolshunov for the Pursuit Win

Picking up where we left off in Östersund, Sweden: a pursuit start 15-kilometer classic. Unlike the women’s field where Therese Johaug “administered a beatdown”, creating a large time gap for herself, the margins for the men were much smaller.  A glance at the start list shows yesterday’s winner and Tour leader Sjur Røthe of Norway […]

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Bolshunov Four for Four in Distance Wins; Norris Earns Season Best Result in 24th

Around and around they go. Due to lack of snow in Falun, Sweden, the men again wheeled their way around a manmade ribbon of snow, skating six icy 2.5-kilometer laps. Reduced from 30 to the 15 k distance and without the long, steep climb for which the course is usually known, how athletes would fare […]

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With the Stage 5 Win, Klæbo Lurks 16 Seconds Back in the Overall

Three skiers atop the overall standings after Stage 4 set the tension for Stage 5 in Val di Fiemme, Italy: a 15-kilometer mass start classic race. Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov skied in the yellow leader’s bib while his teammate Sergey Ustiugov stood 16 seconds back in the overall. Johannes Høsflot Klæbo, Norway’s Tour de Ski (TdS) […]

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Ustiugov Regains Control as Russia Sweeps the Podium in Stage 3

New day, new venue, almost a new decade. The 2019/2020 Tour de Ski continued in Toblach, Italy with a 15-kilometer interval start skate. In the war of attrition that is the tour, the first stages set the tone. Hopefuls for the overall win seek to establish their position near the top without expending too much […]

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