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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Davos Weekend

Congratulations to team Noahs Ark for winning the Davos weekend of Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country! Noahs Ark scored 1,193 points over the weekend, only 6 points more than team Skierandrew35 in second place. Full fantasy results from the weekend are here.

Team Noahs Ark is from Norway, and, for winning, will receive a pair of Julbo Aero Sunglasses and a National Nordic Foundation Buff.

For the third week in a row, DangerousDan’s Team leads the overall fantasy standings (here). This week the lead grew from 8 points to 53 points. Second place on the overall standings is now team Just Holund, We’re Going HomeNathaniel Knapp’s Team is in third place, 57 points behind the leader. 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 2,167 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 Toblach, Italy. Team selection will close on Friday, December 18th at 8 p.m. EST. Pick your team for Toblach here. If you haven’t picked teams for the first three weekends, you can still create an account and play for individual weekend prizes! The prize for the Toblach weekend is a Toko Coaches Pack (Backpack), a Thoughtforms Package, including a Thoughtforms Hat and Thoughtforms Water Bottle, and a National Nordic Foundation Buff.


My girlfriend, Emilia Wint, came to Davos after the race on Saturday and left early this morning, so I have been off the computer for the last several days.

In Saturday’s 30 kilometer individual start skate race in Davos, I faithfully executed a very bad plan. Because it was a six lap race, my strategy was to look for a ride, to find and ski with a group of athletes that was skiing fast. Because I was one of the late starters, I was on the lookout before my race began. The group of skiers that I wanted to be with came through the stadium more than 20 seconds before I started. I decided I was going to catch them, and I did, in less than three kilometers. (I was skiing in the top-10 for the first lap.) Catching the group cost me big time. I was never able to recover. I stayed with them by the skin of my teeth for 10 kilometers before dropping off the back and practically walking the final 18 kilometers of the race.

I don’t think I was setup to have a great result on Saturday, but my poor execution made the result very unsatisfactory. This is not the first time that I’ve made the mistake of being inflexible and stupid and executing a plan at the cost of my race.

I don’t have any pictures from Saturday, but Emilia and I went down to watch my teammates in the sprint race on Sunday.

Here is Ida Sargent (5th place in the picture) in her quarterfinal heat:

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Davos

Don’t forget to select your Davos 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 races are now posted here. Make sure each of the distance skiers 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 pair of Julbo Aero Sunglasses and a National Nordic Foundation Buff. Here are the glasses that are on the line:

Julbo Aero

Select your team here.


I have taken this week very easy between back-to-back 30 kilometer races. We walk by these cows on the trail between the waxing compound and the ski depot.

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Lillehammer to Davos

First, congratulations to Olof Hedberg (team Bossman’s minions), the head coach of the Summit Nordic Ski Club (SNSC) in Colorado, for winning the Lillehammer weekend of Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country! Olof’s team scored 1,615 points over the weekend, 34 points more than second place. Full fantasy results from the weekend are here.

I was psyched when I learned that Olof won the weekend. I had the opportunity to work with and get to know Olof last winter when I was in Summit County rehabbing my broken fibula, and he is a great guy and an awesome coach. He has turned SNSC into one of the premier junior ski clubs in the country. For winning the fantasy weekend, Olof is getting a Concept2 Sports Duffle Bag with Concept2 Workout Gear and a National Nordic Foundation buff.

DangerousDan’s Team continues to lead the overall fantasy standings (here), but the gap has narrowed to 8 points over SurfH20’s Team. Here’s a reminder of the top-3 prizes that are on the line for the overall:

Team selection is open again before this weekend’s races here in Davos, Switzerland. Team selection will close on Friday, December 11th at 8 p.m. EST. Pick your team for Davos here. If you haven’t picked teams for the last two weekends, you can still create an account and play for individual weekend prizes! The prize for the Davos weekend is a pair of Julbo Aero Sunglasses and a National Nordic Foundation Buff.


The Lillehammer weekend was successful for the U.S. Ski Team. Saturday was a 30 kilometer skiathlon. I was struggling at the start and throughout the classic portion, but I felt better as the race went on. I was able to move up on the skate portion and ski into the points (I finished in 25th place) for the first time in almost two years. Of course, I don’t want or expect 25th place to be a highlight of my season, but it’s a big step in the right direction. Sunday was relay day, and the U.S. Ski Team women skied to another World Cup relay podium, anchored by Jessie Diggins throwing down the fastest time of the leg. Then in the men’s race, Erik Bjornsen matched Jessie with the best time of the 2nd leg, taking us from 15th up to 5th! Erik tagged me in 5th, near some of the fastest skaters in the world: Sjur Roethe and Alexander Legkov. I was able to stay with them for two out of three laps, but I couldn’t hold onto them up the big hill on the final lap. I was very frustrated that I couldn’t because my energy felt good. I let them go because I wasn’t prepared and focused on the things I needed to do to ski with them. However, I’m happy with the way I felt, and I’m looking forward to this coming weekend.

Here are a bunch of pictures from the last several days.

It dumped in Lillehammer the day before the races.

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Lillehammer

Don’t forget to select your Lillehammer team for Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country before tomorrow’s (Friday’s) team selection deadline! Team selection will close tomorrow, December 4th at 8 p.m. EST. 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 Concept2 Sports Duffle Bag with Concept2 Workout Gear and a National Nordic Foundation buff. Select your team here.


I have only skied once since posting pictures on Tuesday and I didn’t ski with a camera because I was doing speeds, so I don’t have any pictures of skiing. This week I have backed my training pace WAY down, and I haven’t done much training. Even though the data I’ve gotten from nighttime heart rate variability measurements indicates that my energy has been very good for several weeks, we want to make sure that my energy is completely topped off after last week’s disappointment and two 30 kilometer races in eight days coming up.

However, I have pictures from living in Lillehammer. The food here is some of the best on the World Cup.

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Kuusamo to Lillehammer

Congratulations to DangerousDan’s Team for winning the first weekend of Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country! DangerousDan scored 3,114 points, 41 more points than SurfH20’s Team in second and 42 more points than Need more wax in third. For winning, DangerousDan will get a Toko T14 Digital Waxing Iron and a National Nordic Foundation Buff.

Team Selection is now open again. It will reopen between every world cup weekend so you can select a whole new team or keep the team you already have. It will close again on Friday, December 4th at 8pm EST for the Lillehammer World Cup. Don’t forget to select your team before the deadline. Every weekend is its own competition so last week’s results have no baring on next weekend. This weekend, the winner will receive a Concept2 Sports Duffle Bag with Concept2 Workout Gear and a National Nordic Foundation buff. Lastly, if you did not play last weekend you can still create an account and pick a team for the coming weekend. You will be a little behind on the season-long standings, but you can still win any given weekend! Create an account and pick your new team here.


Last weekend I did not ski the way I wanted or expected to. I had a very good sprint on Friday, but a very good sprint that still lands me in 81st place is nothing to build a season on.

Saturday’s 10 kilometer skate race was flatly disappointing. I had a great summer and fall of training and everything that I’ve done over the last several weeks has been very encouraging, so I had high expectations going into the weekend. Instead, I basically picked up where I left off from last year’s disappointment, well out of the points and a long ways back. I have no excuses. I followed my plan and executed well. My legs felt heavy and the hills felt big. I’ve discussed how I felt with my coaches, but we haven’t come up with any earth shattering answers. We simply decided to move on and keep taking care of the details.

Sunday’s 15 kilometer pursuit start classic race was a marked improvement over Saturday. My legs felt much better and I was moving up in the field until I crashed in the middle of the fastest downhill on the fourth of six laps. (This is a different spot than I crashed and broke my ankle last year in Kuusamo. I need to figure out a way to stay on my feet!) Before I crashed, I was not on pace to have a breakthrough result or even be in the points for time-on-day, but at least it was a step in the right direction. Again, I’m going to keep taking care of the things I can control and hope that I’m again able to ski to my potential.

The only pictures I have from the weekend are of the ladies’ sprint qualification on Friday. Here is Sweden’s Evelina Settlin:

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World Cup Chaos

Happy Thanksgiving!

Team Selection for Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country closes today at 8 p.m. (EST). Don’t forget to finalize your team, or, if you haven’t made an account yet, sign up and pick 16 skiers that you believe are going to kill it this weekend in the opening World Cup races here in Ruka/Kuusamo, Finland. It’s free to enter and is open to anyone. The goal is to encourage people to follow the World Cup throughout the winter. There are great prizes for the season-long competition and awesome prizes for the winner of each weekend. The winner of this weekend will receive a Toko T14 Digital Waxing Iron and a National Nordic Foundation Buff. Sign up and pick your team here.

Also, not all skiers that are available on the fantasy site will be racing this weekend. The start list for tomorrow’s sprint will be available (at the latest) by 2 p.m. (EST) here. Be sure to double check that everyone on your team is starting. And remember, this weekend is a tour event, so if an athlete isn’t racing tomorrow, they cannot race on Saturday or Sunday.


The chaos that is the World Cup scene began in earnest today. Here’s the U.S. wax cabin:

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Fantasy Cross Country Article

Courtney Harkins of the U.S. Ski Team put together a great article about Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country. It does a great job of explaining the league and telling the story about how it came to be, including the e-mail that Adam Mahar sent me this fall, after developing the entire site himself. Check out the article here.

And don’t forget to pick your fantasy team before team selection closes tomorrow here!

Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country Logo 1