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:
- First place:
- Second place:
- Third place:
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.