Nove Mesto to Davos

Congratulations to IdaAmin’s The Quiet Legs from Sweden for winning the Nove Mesto weekend of Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country! The Quiet Legs scored 1,428 points over the weekend, just 2 points more than five other teams that all scored 1,426 points. Full fantasy results from the weekend are here.

For winning, The Quiet Legs will receive a Ski and Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) Beanie, SSCV Race Suit, SSCV Jacket, SSCV Hat, and a National Nordic Foundation Buff.

Finishing 98th in the Nove Mesto weekend competition was enough for Frans’s Team to hold onto the lead in the overall standings; the lead grew from 4 points to 14 points. (Overall fantasy standings are here). For the second week in a row, Burnt Norton’s Burnt Norton and DmitryBR’s Snow Killers remained on the overall podium but flipflopped positions. Snow Killers is now in second place and Burnt Norton is in third. There are still three weekend competitions plus Ski Tour Canada to go and things will change before the end of the season. Here’s a reminder of the top-3 prizes that are on the line for the overall fantasy competition:

Team selection is open. This weekend is a break from World Cup competition. However, next Wednesday, February 3rd, is the Drammen sprint race, which is part of the Drammen/Oslo weekend. Therefore, Team selection will close on TUESDAY, February 2nd at 8 p.m. EST for the ENTIRE WEEKEND. Pick your team for Drammen/Oslo here. If you haven’t picked teams yet this season, you can still create an account and play for individual weekend prizes! The prize for the Drammen/Oslo weekend is a U.S. Ski Team Jacket and U.S. Ski Team Hat and a National Nordic Foundation Buff.


The 15 kilometer individual start skate race in Nove Mesto on Saturday was wintery and snowy. It began snowing around 10 a.m. and by the time the first racer started at 2:15 p.m., several inches had accumulated. It was well below freezing and the conditions were slow. My plan for the race was to ski relaxed, clean and with high energy. I wanted to build through the race and use my full aerobic capacity. It was the same race strategy that I had used for consistent results throughout the Tour de Ski. However, it didn’t work out nearly as well as it had in the Tour. My “clean high energy skiing” on Saturday was not nearly fast enough to be competitive. After 5 kilometers of focusing on “clean”, I was in 53rd place. This highlights a problem that I’ve experienced in past seasons: the pace of my skiing at a given perceived exertion changes throughout the season, even from day to day. I need to be able to identify how fast I’m actually going, not just how fast I feel I’m going. That’s something I will work on with my coaches over the rest of the season and during the training year.

Luckily for me, Jonas Dobler from Germany, who started 30 seconds behind me, caught me after 5 kilometers. He showed me how fast I needed to be skiing to be competitive. Although I was at the very limit and it was the most painful race I’ve done this season, I was able to follow him all the way to the finish. He “dragged” me up into the World Cup points. I finished in 27th place.

During Sunday’s relay, Scott Patterson from Alaska skied the first leg for us. He tagged Erik Bjornsen in 12th place. Erik skied a great leg, taking us up to 6th place, only 15 seconds behind 3rd place. My plan for the race was to be aggressive, to make myself hurt and to ski more than just clean skiing. Getting tagged off 15 seconds behind a group was perfect for that strategy because I could go chase the group down. I did just that, catching them after just 2.5 of the 7.5 kilometers. I felt good doing it. Several teams that came in with Erik, and therefore started with me, followed me up to the group. Once we all came together, there were 7 teams, representing 3rd through 9th places.

I actually had more trouble skiing in the group than I did catching it, and I believe not just because I had put in a hard effort to catch the group. I was struggling to relax at the lower pace. When the pace of the group accelerated on the third lap, I struggled and fell off the back a little bit. I tagged Simi Hamilton in 8th place, 5 seconds behind 3rd place. I’m happy that I was able to catch the group and attack easily in the race, but I’m disappointed with my skiing once I got there.

The highlight of the weekend for our team was the women’s relay. They finished in 2nd place, a best ever result for the team.

Here are a few pictures from the weekend.

We were having our team meetings in the same room as the Swiss team, after they had theirs. Our coaches and their coaches were having fun drawing their nonsense “keys to success” for the other team’s viewing pleasure.

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Nove Mesto

Don’t forget to select your Nove Mesto team for Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country before today’s team selection deadline! Team selection will close tonight (Friday) at 8 p.m. EST. The start lists for tomorrow’s individual start freestyle 10 and 15 kilometer races are now posted. Make sure all the athletes on your team are starting tomorrow! Because Sunday’s race is also a “distance” event (a relay), it’s unlikely that any athletes that don’t race tomorrow will race on Sunday. The men’s start list is here. The women’s start list is here. Each World Cup weekend is a standalone competition so the overall fantasy standings have no bearing on the Nove Mesto competition. The winner of the Nove Mesto weekend will receive a Ski and Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) Beanie, SSCV Race Suit, SSCV Jacket, SSCV Hat, and a National Nordic Foundation Buff.

Select your fantasy Nove Mesto team here.


I love this venue here in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. The stadium is state of the art. The courses flow well and are fun to ski. The conditions are perfect, cold and wintery. We got a fresh layer of snow yesterday. Here’s the view of the stadium from my hotel room balcony:

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Seiser Alm to Nove Mesto

Congratulations to Nathaniel Knapp’s Team for winning the Planica weekend of Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country! Nathaniel Knapp’s Team scored 1,136 points over the weekend, just 12 points more than OdlerLindbaum’s Team in second place. Full fantasy results from the weekend are here.

For winning, Nathaniel Knapp’s Team will receive a pair of Julbo Aero Sunglasses and a National Nordic Foundation Buff.

Frans’s Team barely held onto the lead in the overall fantasy standings (here). The lead shrunk from 27 points to just 4 points. Burnt Norton’s Burnt Norton moved from third place up to second place, and last week’s second place team, DmitryBR’s Snow Killers, moved down to the third spot, now 61 points back. However, there is still a lot of racing to go and things will change before the end of the season. There are now 2,269 accounts on Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country. Here’s a reminder of the top-3 prizes that are on the line for the overall fantasy competition:

Team selection is open again before this weekend’s races here in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. Team selection will close on Friday, January 22nd at 8 p.m. EST. Pick your team for Nove Mesto here. If you haven’t picked teams yet this season, you can still create an account and play for individual weekend prizes! The prize for the Nove Mesto weekend is a Ski and Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) Beanie, SSCV Race Suit, SSCV Jacket, SSCV Hat, and a National Nordic Foundation Buff.


I filmed with my Team Madshus teammates in Sun Valley last spring for a series of “Meet the Team” videos. My video was released yesterday and I’m super impressed with the final product. Here’s my video:

You can see my teammates’ videos here.

Here are some pictures from the last few days at our camp in Seiser Alm and the first few days here in Nove Mesto:

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Seiser Alm

Don’t forget to select your Planica team for Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country before today’s team selection deadline! Team selection will close tonight (Friday) at 8 p.m. EST. The start list for tomorrow’s freestyle sprint is now posted. Make sure all the athletes on your team are starting tomorrow! Because Sunday’s race is also a “sprint” event (a team sprint), it’s unlikely that any athletes that don’t race tomorrow will race on Sunday. The men’s start list is here. The women’s start list is here. Each World Cup weekend is a standalone competition so the overall fantasy standings have no bearing on the Planica competition. The winner of the Planica weekend will receive a pair of Julbo Aero Sunglasses (pictured below) and a National Nordic Foundation Buff.

Julbo Aero

Select your fantasy Tour de Ski team here.


I’m currently in Seiser Alm, Italy with my teammates who also finished the Tour de Ski. (The sprinters dropped out of the Tour after the second sprint and are in Planica to race this weekend.) Seiser Alm is an absolutely incredible place. The snow is thin, but unlike most of the places we’ve been this year, there is enough snow for natural skiing. Seiser Alm is also the only place where we go each season that we stay in a 4-star hotel (probably because there aren’t any 3-star hotels here). The food is incredible and the setup is very luxurious. The scenery around here is spectacular.

This was the sunset the first night from the balcony of my room.

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Tour de Ski 2016

Congratulations to team Thyrén for winning the Tour de Ski for Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country with an astronomical 8,409 points! Because there are so many more points available in the Tour de Ski than a normal World Cup weekend (with quadruple points awarded for each athletes’ overall result), Thyrén’s winning score is about eight times greater than the winning scores for past World Cup weekends. However don’t worry, team Thyrén hadn’t picked a fantasy team before the Tour de Ski and is not in the running for the season long competition. Thyrén won by only 16 points over team Snow Killers. Fantasy results from the Tour de Ski are here.

For winning, team Thyrén will receive a pair of Marwe Skate 620XC Roller Skis with Bindings (courtesy of Finn Sisu) and a National Nordic Foundation Buff.

The overall leader-board has been taken over by Frans’s Team, with 14,607 points and a 27 point lead over DmitryBR’s Snow Killers. The previous leader, ricky3izquierdo’s Team, fell to 47th place in the overall standings. However, we are only halfway through the season, and we will have another 8-day tour, Ski Tour Canada, at the end of the season that is valued just as heavily as the Tour de Ski! Overall fantasy standings are here. Here’s a reminder of the top-3 prizes that are on the line for the overall competition:

Team selection is open again for the Planica World Cup. Planica is a sprint only weekend! Make sure you drop all of the distance specialists from your team! Team selection will close on Friday, January 15th at 8 p.m. EST. Pick your team here. If you haven’t picked a fantasy team so far this season, give it a try! You can still create an account and play for individual weekend and tour prizes! The prize for the Planica weekend is a pair of Julbo Aero Sunglasses (pictured below) and a National Nordic Foundation Buff.

Julbo Aero


In case you somehow missed it, the U.S. Ski Team Women won two stages of the Tour de Ski! Sophie Caldwell won her first ever World Cup in Stage 4’s classic sprint, and Jessie Diggins won her first ever individual World Cup in Stage 6’s 5km skate race! It was incredible to see. It was the news of the week and it lifted everyone on the team up. Sophie and Jessie have worked so hard, and they’ve been getting closer and closer. To see them both achieve their goals in the same week was pretty amazing. It is very inspiring and motivating. I want to be next! I could not be happier for both of them, and I cannot wait to watch them and my other teammates the rest of the season. Here’s an article in the USA Today about Jessie and Sophie.

My Tour de Ski was a step in the right direction and it was the most consistent racing I’ve ever done. I finished in the World Cup points (top-30) in 5 out of the 6 distance races, and I finished the Tour in 22nd place, a high water mark by two places for me. I did it by skiing relaxed and clean, and skiing each race conservatively. All I tried to do was use my aerobic capacity in each race. I paced each effort well (with the exception of stage 5 in Obertsdorf when I didn’t finish in the points). I believe these results are something I can build on for the rest of the season. I have not had that breakthrough top-10 performance yet. I have not had a race where I really feel that I can push and attack. I believe it is coming, but in the meantime, I want to continue my conservative, consistent and representative skiing.

My teammates and I (with the exception of the sprinters) are in Seiser Alm, Italy, in the Dolomites, to recover and train. We will race again in two weekends in the Czech Republic.

I have a very sporadic set of pictures from the Tour. My picture taking was limited and basically nonexistent near the end.

Here is Erik Bjornsen with his girlfriend Marine Dusser near Lenzerheide, Switzerland, the venue for the first three stages of the Tour:

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Pre-Tour de Ski

Don’t forget to select your Tour de Ski team for Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country before today’s team selection deadline! Team selection will close tonight (Thursday) at 8 p.m. EST. The start list for the Tour is now posted. Make sure all the athletes on your team are starting the Tour! The men’s start list is here. The women’s start list is here. Each World Cup “event” is a standalone competition so the overall results have no bearing on the Tour de Ski competition. The winner of the Tour de Ski will receive a pair of Marwe Skate 620XC Roller Skis with Bindings (pictured below, courtesy of Finn Sisu) and a National Nordic Foundation Buff.

620-XC_1000

Select your fantasy Tour de Ski team here.


The Tour de Ski will air daily on T.V. on the Universal HD channel! Check the schedule here. Each race will also be streamed live or on-demand at NBC Live Extra. Here is the schedule for this year’s Tour de Ski:

  • Jan. 1st, 2016, 9:55 a.m. (EST), Lenzerheide, Switzerland Freestyle Sprint
  • Jan. 2nd, 2016, 7:00 a.m./9:00 a.m. (EST), Lenzerheide, Switzerland 15/30km Classic Mass Start
  • Jan. 3rd, 2016, 5:45 a.m./7:20 a.m.* (EST), Lenzerheide, Switzerland 5/10km Freestyle Pursuit
  • Jan. 5th, 2016, 8:30 a.m. (EST), Oberstdorf, Germany Classic Sprint
  • Jan. 6th, 2016, 8:20 a.m./9:20 a.m. (EST), Oberstdorf, Germany 10/15km Classic Mass Start
  • Jan. 8th, 2016, 5:30 a.m./7:30 a.m.* (EST), Toblach, Italy 5/10km Freestyle Individual Start
  • Jan. 9th, 2016, 6:30 a.m./8:30 a.m. (EST), Val di Fiemme, Italy 10/15km Classic Mass Start
  • Jan. 10th, 2016, 8:00 a.m./9:40 a.m. (EST), Val di Fiemme, Italy 9km Freestyle Pursuit Hill Climb

*Men’s race is first


I’m excited to start the Tour. I’ve done everything I can to prepare. It’s easy not to be too nervous because there are so many races in a row, the pressure isn’t on one individual effort.

Here are some pictures from our last day in Davos, Switzerland:

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Photo Shoot and Sun

The Tour de Ski begins on Friday! Don’t forget to select your team for Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country! Team selection closes on Thursday, December 31st at 8 p.m. EST and will not reopen until the end of the Tour. Each event is a standalone competition so previous results have no bearing on the Tour de Ski competition. The winner of the Tour de Ski will receive a pair of Marwe Skate 620XC Roller Skis with Bindings (courtesy of Finn Sisu) and a National Nordic Foundation Buff. Select your fantasy Tour de Ski team here.


My teammates and I are finishing up our Christmas “break” in Davos, Switzerland. Yesterday we moved out of the apartment we rented for a week. It was so nice to have access to a kitchen. We made some delicious food.

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Christmas in Davos

The Tour de Ski is coming up fast. It begins with a skate sprint in Lenzerheide, Switzerland this Friday, January 1st. The Tour, along with Ski Tour Canada, is the biggest event on the World Cup calendar. Don’t forget to select your Tour de Ski fantasy team for Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country. Team selection will close this Thursday, December 31st at 8 p.m. EST. The prize for the Tour de Ski is one of the best of the year, a pair of Marwe Skate 620XC Roller Skis with Bindings (courtesy of Finn Sisu) and a National Nordic Foundation Buff. The Marwe 620XC skis are what I train on all summer. They are the best roller skis on the market. Their retail value is $369 and that doesn’t include bindings. Remember, the Tour de Ski is its own individual competition. The overall standings have no bearing on the Tour de Ski competition, so don’t be discouraged if you haven’t done well in fantasy so far this year!


My teammates and I have had a great Christmas here in Davos, Switzerland. Although there isn’t much natural snow, the weather has been perfect everyday and the limited skiing on the man made snow is really good.

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Toblach Races

Congratulations to team Iivo Niskanen Fan Club for winning the Toblach weekend of Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country (even though Iivo Niskanen himself didn’t race in Toblach). Iivo Niskanen Fan Club scored 1,113 points over the weekend, only 5 points more than SurfH20’s Team in second place. Fantasy results from the Toblach weekend are here.

The winning score from the weekend of 1,113 points was 80 points fewer than the winning score from Davos the weekend before, even though the types and number of races (an individual start distance race and a sprint) were the same.

SurfH20’s Team has been second in 2 out of the first 4 fantasy weekends and is ranked second on the overall results but has yet to win any prizes.

Like last week’s winner, team Iivo Niskanen Fan Club is from Norway, and, for winning, will receive a Toko Coaches Pack (Backpack), a Thoughtforms Package, including a Thoughtforms Hat and Thoughtforms Water Bottle, and a National Nordic Foundation Buff.

Last week’s overall leader, DangerousDan’s Team, fell out of the top-10 (here). (We’re working on a page that will show overall fantasy results for all participants.) The new leader of the overall is ricky3izquierdo’s Team with 6,607 points, 22 more points than SurfH20’s Team. However, the season is just getting started and there are still a lot of points up for grabs. (Each athlete is awarded quadruple points for the overall standings in the Tour de Ski and Ski Tour Canada.) Things will change a lot. There are now 2,198 accounts on Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country. Here’s a reminder of the top-3 prizes that are on the line for the overall fantasy competition:

Team selection is open again for the Christmas break. Team selection will close on Friday, December 31st at 8 p.m. EST for the Tour de Ski. Once team selection closes, it will not re-open for the duration of the Tour. Pick your team here. If you haven’t picked teams for the first four weekends, you can still create an account and play for individual weekend and tour prizes! The prize for the Tour de Ski is a pair of Marwe Skate 620XC Roller Skis with Bindings (courtesy of Finn Sisu) and a National Nordic Foundation Buff.


The highlight of the weekend in Toblach was watching my teammate on the U.S. Ski Team and on the Aspen Valley Ski Club (when we were younger), Simi Hamilton, earn the second podium result of his career with a second place finish in Saturday’s skate sprint. Simi looked calm and in control throughout the heats. I am very impressed and inspired by him. As a team, we’re all super psyched. Simi’s podium was the first individual podium for our team this winter.

On Sunday I raced in the 15 kilometer individual start classic race. The course in Toblach is very gradual. There are lots of hills, but none of them are very steep. Many athletes, including eventual winner Martin Johnsrud Sundby, decided to race without kick wax on his skis, opting instead to double pole the entire course. Double pole technique is not my strong suit, and I chose to race with wax.

I knew that such a gradual course did not suit my strengths, but I was feeling good all week and was optimistic for the race. Unlike the race in Davos, in Toblach I paced the race correctly and executed well. However, I was not fast at any point during the race. My result, 61st place, was very disappointing. I don’t know why I didn’t ski well, but I’m moving on and looking forward to the Tour de Ski.

I went out to watch some of Saturday’s sprint race on the course. The stadium was only 200 meters from our hotel. Here is my teammate Erik Bjornsen with his girlfriend Marine Dusser. Unfortunately Erik wasn’t totally healthy this weekend and therefore couldn’t race.

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Toblach

Don’t forget to select your Toblach team for Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country before today’s team selection deadline! Team selection will close tonight (Friday) at 8 p.m. EST. The start lists for tomorrow’s freestyle sprint races will be posted here by about 1 p.m. EST. Make sure each of the sprinters on your team is on tomorrow’s start list! Each weekend is a standalone competition so even if you didn’t play last weekend or didn’t do well last weekend, you can still select a team for this weekend and have a chance to win. The winner of this weekend will receive a Toko Coaches Pack (Backpack), a Thoughtforms Package, including a Thoughtforms Hat and Thoughtforms Water Bottle, and a National Nordic Foundation Buff. Here’s the backpack that’s up for grabs:

TK_11 Coaches Pack

Select your fantasy Toblach team here.


I’m feeling very good. I’ve done two intensity sessions this week: 3 by 15 minutes at threshold (level 3, sustainable pace) on Monday and 8 by 90 seconds hard yesterday. Here is some video from my session yesterday, with a little bonus clip of wax technician Brayton Osgood doing a speed at the end. The video is labeled “L3” but it was neither supposed to be nor was level 3. It was race pace +.

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