HomeAuthor Pasha Kahn

Pasha Kahn writes and coaches in Duluth, Minnesota.

This is the third part of a three-part series on Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov. You can find part one and part two here.    This season, the Alexander Bolshunov vs. Johannes Høsflot Klæbo show has been largely sidelined due to Norway pulling from cross-country World Cups due to the coronavirus. When the Norwegians returned to the World Cup in Lahti, the wait proved a pressure cooker of tension.  When Bolshunov fell in the closing stages of...


This FasterSkier series will examine the growing challenge to the national team model by privately funded ski teams and independent sponsorship agreements. Will national teams be able to support themselves in the future, or will corporate teams take over cross country skiing? This first article in the series will look at Petter Northug’s record deal with Coop and the implications it has for the Norwegian National Team and the sport as a whole.


How much skate skiing should be allowed in a classic sprint race? Quite a bit, if Wednesday’s race in Drammen, Norway was any indication. "I think classic skiing took a step backwards," said USST Coach Matt Whitcomb. "I don’t think the line between what’s legitimate for classic technique was respected yesterday, and I think it opens a can of worms that makes the line very fuzzy now.”


Alex Harvey took 8th place in Sunday’s 15 k individual freestyle race in Lahti, Finland, proving that he’s still on form and hungry for results in the final weeks of the World Cup season. “Effort wise and everything it’s the race I’m the most proud of this year, it’s the race I get the most satisfaction out of, I was really happy with it," said Harvey.


Late in the race as the pace accelerated, Tom Reichelt took the lead as the course began to open up in the wide fields approaching Lake Hayward. Behind him were Bonaldi and Paredi, hanging on and looking for an opportunity to make a move in the final two agonizing kilometers across the lake. “I was waiting for the others to catch me,” he said, “but nobody did. I thought in the sprint I had no chance.”


The women’s race was destined to be a showdown between the two time Birkie winner and local favorite Caitlin Gregg of Minneapolis and the current leader of the FIS Marathon Cup, Antonella Confortola Wyatt, of Italy. Gregg broke the race apart at 25 k when she skied with the leaders of the men's race. "I watched the men crest the hill, and then thought to myself, 'wait a second, that's an opportunity.' So I just put the hammer down like I never have before, and jumped on that train.”


Martin Johnsrud Sundby led the final stage of the Tour de Ski and never looked back as he skied to his, and Norway's, first victory in the event's history. Sundby, who has skied in every Tour de Ski, called his feat a "dream come true" and, overcome, said, "I have a great feeling, deep into the soul." Chris Jespersen of Norway, skiing in his first Tour de Ski, captured second place. Of his effort on the big climb, he said, "towards the end I thought, 'Now I die.'”