Paul Kovacs and Jessica Yeaton Top 30 in West Yellowstone.

Paul Kovacs (PK) achieved his first top 30 result of the season in the 15km skate super-tour event in West Yellowstone, USA. PK finished in 28th place 2:44 behind winner Matt Gelso and only three seconds behind former USA national champion Tyler Kornfield.

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Five Australians Compete in West Yellowstone USA

The USA’s national racing circuit began today with a skate sprint in West Yellowstone, Montana. The top Australian results were Paul Kovacs who finished 43rd out of 232 in the men’s event and Jessica Yeaton who finished 28th out of 99 in the female event.

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Winter has arrived

Callum Watson

Finally winter has arrived here in Idre Fjäll!

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Going back to Falun and jumping back on the rollerskis was torturous. Every year I have always looked forward to the last rollerski session and packing them away for the winter, however this time we had to bring them back out again. Icy roads caused this to be a little risky too! But as you can see, it’s beautiful here in Idre and the past few days have been absolute pearlers making training on all those cold rainy days worth it!

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This weekend is a freestyle sprint and a 10km freestyle. Tapering is still not really happening just yet as an increased training load should continue to help me build for better form later in the season. Regardless I am keen to see what sort of results I can produce!

Training with some of the DSA boys! Training with some of the DSA boys!

Phil and I are living…

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Kat & Casey’s Excellent Adventures

A new edition to the national team athlete blogs – a joint effort from Katerina Paul and Casey Wright who have based themselves in Sun Valley this winter and are currently in West Yellowstone in preparation for the opening US FIS races this weekend.

The latest updates:

To check for new updates follow the links on the right-hand-side of this page.

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Bruksvallsloppet

Callum Watson

The start to the race season has been a little different for me this year. Usually expectations are high, and its a very nervous period directly before the first race as you are eager to see what sort of gains you have made over the summer. This time around, my expectations were low. That’s one thing I have learnt about this injury, it’s better to give yourself time before you expect too much from your body.

The classic was not so successful, primarily due to insufficient grip. My body actually felt alright, but with slipping skis it made skiing powerfully and efficiently not very possible. A frustrating start no doubt, but that’s just racing.

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Despite my body feeling the fatigue from the day before, the 15km skate was a much more positive result. Finishing up in 63rd and just under 90 points means already I am close to where I…

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A Challenging Start or, My Year in a Beautiful German Village, Part 1

Half an Adventure

In the past two years, I have arrived in Europe to half a metre of fresh snow, cold temperatures, a group of people I know really well, and we have been on snow training the morning after arrival, preparing for races only a week or two away. My arrival this time has been characterised by a visit to the doctor, lots of antibiotics and ibuprofen, IKEA, no snow in sight and 14 degree daytime temperatures.

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I mentioned in my last post that I’d been sick for a while and was finding it pretty frustrating. The last time I trained properly was on the 5th of November, after which I had some sort of virus which prevented me training. A week later I tried training again, only to get a sore throat again, which I didn’t closely examine until a few days later, where I found bacterial tonsillitis. I got on…

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AUSXC Season Preview 2014/2015

This weekend Australian Team athletes Phillip Bellingham and Callum Watson will race in the Swedish season opener in Bruksvallarna. On the men’s side alone there are nearly 200 athletes on the start list for the Friday / Saturday / Sunday competitions, many of whom are vying for World Cup starts for their respective nations. With the action about to begin here is a quick preview of the season ahead.

There are three major international championship events this season – the 2015 World Championship, the 2015 World Junior/U23 Championship and the 2015 World Universiade Winter Games. Australia will field sizable teams at each of these events. As per recent years the general competitive goal for all international events is to have athletes breaking into the top 30, though for some athletes qualifying for the event and representing their country will already be a goal achieved.

On the World Cup circuit the Australian Team is taking a targeted approach this season, in general starting athletes at four main events: Lillehammer (NOR), Davos (SUI), Ostersund (SWE) and Lahti (FIN). In addition if athletes achieve additional performance standards they are eligible to start in other races on the circuit including the Tour de Ski. In Lillehammer only Bellingham and Callum Watson will start, pending a performance evaluation for Watson who is returning from a major injury. In Davos Bellingham and Watson will be joined by Esther Bottomley, who will be based in Davos from late November, and Jackson Bursill who will make his World Cup debut in the sprint. Athletes for the other WC events will be selected later in the season.

Five Australian athletes – team athletes Jessica Yeaton, Paul Kovacs, Casey Wright and Kat Paul, plus Mark Pollock who needs one more result to qualify – will begin their season racing in North America on the US SuperTour before coming to Europe for the major events later in the season. Other athletes such as Nick Montgomery, Aimee Watson and Anna Trnka will start their seasons on OPA Cup in central Europe. In general athletes will come together for pre-camps 1-2 weeks before each of the championship events.

The 2015 World Championship in Falun is set to be the highlight of the season, with crowds of up to 100,000 expected similar to Oslo 2013. With six women already selected to the team Australia is set to enter a women’s relay team for the first time since Falun 1993, following on from our first junior women’s relay team in 2013. Falun is also the home base this season for Callum Watson and Phillip Bellingham, who are training there with the Dalarna Sport Academy and coach Mattias Nilsson (who is also part of the support team for the WSC!).

Progress through the season can be followed via the http://www.ausxc.com website and via @ausxc on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Donations to the team can be made via the XC Towards 2018 campaign..