Noah Hoffman charges hard around a corner, leading the pack en route a career best eighth in the 30k skiathlon at the Canmore World Cup. (Robert Whitney)
CANMORE, AB (Dec. 16) - The U.S. Ski Team put on a show Sunday, mixing with the lead pack for the entire 30k skiathlon to wrapup up two weekends of FIS Cross Country World Cup racing in North America. Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) was in a commanding position start to finish, skiing second in the latter stages of the race, before taking a career best eighth less than four seconds behind winner Maurice Manificat of France. Kris Freeman (Andover, NH) hung strategically back in the chase pack before moving up to finish tenth. The World Cup takes a short holiday break before the opening of the Tour de Ski Dec. 29.
Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) and Kris Freeman (Andover, NH) made a strong impression on the field with top 10 finishes in the Canmore World Cup skiathlon.
Hoffman skied with the leaders most of the way, including running second late in the race, to finish a career best eighth.
Freeman worked his way up strategically to finish tenth.
Hoffman had outstanding skis - especially in classic - and was in sixth at the equipment exchange. His previous best World Cup finish was 22nd in the 15k classic Thursday in Canmore.
In skiathlon, athletes ski 15k classic technique then switch gears in the pits and go back out for 15k freestyle.
The two weekends of World Cup racing in North America were broadcast live on the USSA Network.
The World Cup takes a short holiday break before resuming with the grueling Tour de Ski Dec. 29 starting in Oberhof, Germany. The Tour includes seven days of racing over nine days at five venues in three nations.
QUOTES Noah Hoffman I felt good all day. Finishing with those guys is really a challenge. I was right up there. Eighth is sweet. Hopefully there's more to come in the future but I'm psyched right now. My skis were awesome. Especially my classic skis – they might have been the fastest of the field. So I was just gliding up to the front without being able to help it.
I'm more comfortable skiing in the top five. Especially with the yo-yo effect you can get in the back - I really struggle to stay relaxed. So I wanted to ski in the front, I wanted to be aggressive. I just felt really good all day and I'm really happy.
Kris Freeman I felt nice and calm and controlled the whole way. At the end there I lost a little contact on the last hill, and then I got it back and I felt like I was moving forward in the group. I'm glad I picked off [Giorgio] Di Centa at the line. Tenth is a whole lot cooler than 11th.