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Autumn News 2002
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June 24 - XC Instructing Courses and XC News
June 20 - Changes to Selection Policies
June 8 - International Congress News
June 3 - Rollerski Race Series Final
May 29 - XC Ski Show and Austrian Dopes
May 23 - Mt Beauty Elite Program
May 20 - First Snow and 1/2 Marathon Results
May 16 - Early Bird Hoppet Entries & Alpine Challenge
May 12 - Lazutina Likely to Lose All Medals
May 3 - Faezor Biathlon and Rollerski Race Series
May 2 - Level 2 Coaching Course & XC News

 Winter News 2002

 

 

2002 Race Calendar
2002 Race Results

Australian Team
2001/2002 Teams
Athlete Profiles
2001 National Rankings

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Falls Creek
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Snow Reports
Paddy Pallin
Snow-Info


Autumn 2002 Updates
June 24 - XC Instructing Courses
Cross country skiing instructor courses in Australia are run by the APSI - the Australian Professional Snowsports Instructors. The APSI has a new administrator by the name of Claire Stanton, and moved office to Wodonga in January this year. Their new website is updated regularly and has details of all intructor courses being run this year. For more details head to the APSI website: www.apsi.au.com. Basic contact details are also available here.

XC News - Autumn/Winter 2002
This is your last chance to subscribe to Australian Cross Country News before the Autumn/Winter 2002 Edition mail-out. A bumper 32 page edition went to the printer last week, and will be arriving in mail boxes around the country over the next few weeks. Featured articles include "Taking Time Out", by Paul Murray, "The Campaign Against Doping", by Finn Marsland, "Why Loppet" by Warren Feakes, and the new editor Allison McArdle's personal favourite, "The Darlo Experience" by Chris Darlington.


June 20 - Changes to Selection Policies
A sneak preview of some of the news to come in the 2002 Autumn/Winter edition of Australian Cross Country News (coming out at the end of June).

International Selection Policies
The Sking Australia Cross Country Committee has ratified the following selection policies for the 2002-2003 International season.

2003 World Championships
Qualification Standard: 100 FIS points

Skiers who reach this standard are eligible to compete in all events at the World Championships.

If no male or female skiers qualify under this base criteria, then a male or female skier will be allowed to start in one event provided they have achieved a result under 120 FIS points in that event.

2003 World Junior Championships
Qualificication Standard: 155 FIS points

If skiers are deemed to be skiing at an appropriate standard but circumstances (such as high FIS race penalties) restrict their chances to reach the FIS point standard, the Selection Committee may make a discretionary selection on the recommendation of the National Coach.

In addition, the basic criteria for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games have been released by the AOC.

A - Top 20% of Olympic adjusted field in 2005 World Championship or World Cup.
B - Top 60% of Olympic adjusted field in 50% of World Cups in 2005/2006 season.
C - Failing criteria A and B, top 80% of Olympic adjusted field in 50% of World Cups in 2005/2006 season, maximum of one person per event.

National Sprint Team
Skiing Australia Cross Country will be selecting the first National Sprint Team at the end of the 2002 Australian winter. Up until now sprinters have had to qualify for the team in distance events. While a sprint squad has already been nominated and will be focussing on sprint specific training this season, all athletes will have to meet the sprint selection criteria below to make the National Sprint Team for 2002-2003.

National Sprint Team Selection Criteria
A - Under 100 FIS points in a sprint event
B - Within 3% of Fastest Australian Qualifier in National Sprint Championships, plus the Winner of National Sprint Championship
C - Demonstrated sprinting potential as determined by national selection panel based on test results, race results and recommendation from coaches. A maximum of two men and two women can be selected by this method.

Other Australian Team members will be considered for starts in sprint events in World Cup if they have achieved under 100 FIS points in a distance event. Any team member may seek a start in other international sprint events.

Selection Criteria B and C will be used for the National Junior Sprint Team.

Further details of selection policies will be available in Australian Cross Country News and on request from the SAXC Committee.


June 8 - International Congress News
The 2002 FIS Congress is concluding this week in Slovenia, and while the FIS Council meeting today has to confirm all the decisions of the Cross Country Committee, the following news has surfaced:

2003 World Championship
It has been confirmed that the sprint at the World Championships in Val di Fiemme next year will be held in free technique. Wintersport reports that the 10 and 15km events for women and men will likely change to classic technique to even up the balance. Wintersport also indicates that the Double Pursuit event will be used at the championships, rather than the one-day pursuit that was held in Lahti 2001 and Salt Lake City 2002.

2007 World Championship
The 2007 World Championships have been awarded to Sapporo in Japan. Sapporo held the Winter Olympics in 1972, and many of Australia's top skiers competed there in the Winter Universiade of 1991. Organisers have indicated that the start/finish area for the championships will be held "inside", in the newly buillt Sappororindoor football stadium that is currently being used in the Korea/Japan soccer World Cup. This is the stadium that was used yesterday for the Argentina-England match. The 2005 World Championships will be in Oberstdorf in Germany.

Doping Sanctions
The FIS Council has announced the sanctions on cross country skiers from the 2001-2002 season:
Larissa Lazutina, RUS - 2 year suspension from December 8, 2001
Olga Danilova, RUS - 2 year suspension from February 21, 2002
Johann Muhlegg, SPA - 2 year suspension from February 21, 2002
Alois Blassnig , AUT- 2 year suspension from March 2, 2002
Natalia Baranova, RUS, - 2 year suspension from January 18, 2002, plus an extra 3 month suspension for violating the sanction by competing at the Russian Championships in March.
Kelly Milligan, USA - 3 month suspension from January 10, 2002 (inadventant doping)

The FIS Council is waiting to receive documentation from the IOC regarding doping by the Austrian team at the 2002 Winter Olympics. The IOC suspended head coach Walter Mayer forom the Olympics for 8 years and disqualified athletes Marc Mayer and Achim Walcher from all events in this year's games (see report from May 29). The Council also applied sanctions to eight athletes from other skiing disciplines.

More news from the FIS Congress will be available over the next few weeks.

Other International News
Christer Skog, the Australian head coach from 1995-1998 is returning home to Sweden to become coach at the Ski Gymnasium in Torsby. Christer has certainly done the rounds of national teams; most recently he was coach for the USA, and he was also head coach for Great Britain and Sweden in the early 90's.


June 3 - Rollerski Race Series Final
The final event of the 2002 JWASR roller blade & ski race series is on this Saturday June 8 in Jindabyne. The series final is expected to be hotly contested, with many members of the national cross country ski team competing. Though ski/blade wheel speed plays a big part, the results should give a good indication of who is in form coming into the ski season.

Faezor Biathlon will be on in the afternoon, and if you are really keen there is a training camp open to all over the long weekend. More details c an be found in the May 3 update or from Tim Greville at the JWASR on Tel: 02 6456 2242 or e-mail: tgreville@dsr.nsw.gov.au


May 29 - XC Ski Show / 2nd Hand Gear Sale
It's only a couple of days notice if you you didn't know about it already, but the Ski Touring Association of Victoria (STAV) is holding its 17th Annual Cross Country Ski Show this Saturday in Melbourne. This banner below contains all the details except that it is on the 1st of June and not any other Saturday:

A major feature of the show has always been the large second hand gear sale where cross country ski gear and clothing can be bought and sold at the start of the ski season. It has been a particularly popular way for skiers with children to keep the cost of ski gear from breaking the budget. The show runs from 10:30am to 2:00pm, get in early if you are looking for bargains.

Proceeds from the day go to Disabled Wintersports Victoria Admission is $4.00 for adults $2.00 for children and $10.00 for families.

Austrian Team Penalised for Blood Manipulation
On May 26 the Austrian cross country ski team was dealt a solid blow by the IOC, who announced the results of a three-month investigation into alleged blood doping of the team at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Head coach Walter Mayer was given a 8 year ban from Winter Olympics, together with team chiropractor Volker Mueller, and skiers Marc Mayer and Achim Walcher were disqualified and had their results removed from all the events of the games this year.

The Austrians confessed to using blood transfusion equipment for ultraviolet treatment of blood, supposedly for the prevention of illness and not for performance enhancing purposes. However the IOC ruled that all manipulation of blood is a form of blood doping and imposed sanctions accordingly. The Austrian Olympic Committee and the team doctor were also given warnings, the doctor apparently not involved in the treatment of the athletes.

Austrian medal winners Botvinov and Hoffmann and all other athletes were cleared of all involvement by the IOC, however Norwegian newspaper VG raises some questions. In an interview with the paper at the start of March , when first explaining about the ultra violet blood treatment Walter Mayer reported that "4-5" athletes received the treatment during the games.

Further details of the IOC announcement on the Cross Country Canada Website.


May 23 - Mt Beauty Secondary College Elite Program
In 2001 the Mt Beauty Secondary College (MBSC) launched their Elite Program for cross country skiing, supported by the local Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club. The program was a great success, involving 15 skiers in an intensive schedule throughout the winter, including 3 skiers from other schools who moved to Mt Beauty for term 3. MBSC is now looking for motivated juniors from around the country who are interested in taking part in this program for 2002.

The MBSC Elite Program offers a great opportunity for aspiring cross country ski racers to combine skiing and ski training with their studies, and also provides advice on such things as nutrition, goal setting and waxing. The program is coordinated by national team member Paul Murray, who is currently Australia's highest internatinally ranked cross country skier.

This year has seen a larger group of local skiers taking part in pre season training, which began in late March. Mid-week sessions normally include hillbounding, circuit training and innebandy (a Swedish indoor hockey game), with other BNSC club training on the weekends.

Skiers from other schools who join the program will be billetted with skiing families throughout term 3. It should also be noted that these skiers would ski for their original schools in competitions throughout the season, not for Mt Beauty.

Persons interested in applying for the 2002 Mt Beauty Secondary College Elite Program should contact the school on 03 5754 4005, or Graeme Bottomley on bots@netc.net.au.


May 20 - First Snow!
A cold front over the weekend has brought the season's first snow falls at all Australian ski resorts. Ranging from a few cm or so to 20cm+ at some resorts, snow is still coming down here and there and more is forecast this week. Some pics can be seen via the links below:

Snow -cam at Mt Hotham Alpine Resort website

Snow-cam at Perisher Blue website

With opening weekend at most resorts still two weeks away it is probably a bit early to bank on this snow lasting through to July, however it's hard not to get excited and picture a fantastic season ahead!

1/2 Marathon Results
The first leg of the Great Alpine Challenge took place in Mt Beauty on Saturday May 18. In the 21.1km distance Kevin Laws posted a smoking 1:12:58 time on the hilly course, with the reigning Alpine Challenge champion Cameron Morton having to settle for second place in 16:07, 3 seconds faster than his winning time last year. The first woman was Fiona Pilsworth in a time of 1:26:45, with the first "recognised" female skier Fiona MacMillan in 4th place in 1:34:55.

One of the most impressive performances of the day was from 16 year old (yes still 16) national junior team member Ben Sim from Cooma, who finished 4th in the 21km in a time of 1:17:54, just ahead of Mt Beauty's Andrew Kromar. This was nearly 5 minutes faster than Ben's time last year, a very impressive improvement in 12 months. Similarly Ben's NSW team-mate Chris Darlington also improved his time by nearly 5 minutes, to finish 16th in 1:23:59. NSW coach Nick Almoukov must be doing something right up there, though he personally slowed down a minute or so to finish in 1:28:19. Other skiers in the 21km included an under-trained Ben Derrick in 9th, Leon Spiller in 11th, and Mark Raymond in 19th.

In the 10km Andrew Mock flew home to win in a time of 35:11, 17 seconds faster the Ben Derrick's winning time in 2001. BNSC juniors finished en masse in just over 38 minutes, three Van der Ploegs and a Bottomley all within 4 seconds. Up and coming Victorian junior skier Chloe McConville was the first junior woman across the line in 41:42, with Rhiannon Palmer not far behind. Other junior skiers in the 10km included Esther Bottomley, Tom Lambert, Peter Malcolm, Lachlan Rodd and Lachlan Cann.

The fastest in the 3km event were Neil Van der Ploeg and Annabel Sawyer.

Full results available (last year's times also in the results archives).

Further north some more national team members and skiers took part in the Canberra 1/2 Marathon on Sunday May 19. Matt O'Rourke was the fastest of the skiers there in 1:25:00, just ahead of Leanne Laajoki who ran 1:25:22 in her first 1/2 marathon. Katie Calder also put in a solid performance. Full results available on the Cool Running website.


May 16 - Early Bird Hoppet Entries
A notice to all potential Kangroo Hoppet entrants, the closing date for the Early Bird entry fee price is May 31st, NOT at the end of June as in the past. Good news however for Joey participants as the Early Bird entry option has been extended to the 7km event.

Entries can be made online at the Hoppet website, www.hoppet.com.au. Or you can also order an entry form via the following contacts:

Kangaroo Hoppet
Box 400, Mount Beauty
Australia 3699
Telephone: int + 61 3 5754 1045
Fax: int + 61 3 5754 4475
info@hoppet.com.au

Great Alpine Challenge

The first leg of the Great Alpine Challenge takes place this weekend with the Mt Beauty 1/2 Marathon. If you are unfamiliar with the event, the challenge takes in the three major endurance events in the upper Kiewa Valley - the other two are the Kangaroo Hoppet in August and the Mitta Mitta to Mt Beauty mountain bike race in October. The main event includes the longest deistance in each of these - 21km run, 42km ski and 55km ride, however you can also compete in shorter distances at each event and complete the challenge.

The 2001 open male and female Great Alpine Challenge winners were Ian Franzke and Belinda Phillips.

On the topic of other endurance sports, cros country skiers have been featuring recently in events around the country-side. Back in April Belinda Phillips teamed up with Bridie O'Donnell to win the women's open class in the Brooks Muddy Buddy event at the De Bertoli Winery. The same weekend Ben Derrick finished 10th in the Australian Mountain Running Championship at Mt Buffalo. Though it has been a while since they were on skis, former national team members Tom Landon Smith and Alina McMaster won the open mixed event at the Australian Rogaining Championship on April 27/28. On May 5 a stack of skiers came out of the woodwork for the Nail Can Hill Run in Albury-Wodonga. Ian Franzke finished 3rd just ahead of Anthony Evans, with Andrew Kromar in 6th, Ben Derrick in 7th, Leon Spiller in 18th and Dave Hunt in 22nd. Female skiers opted for the mountain bike / run combination, with Michele Privett and Belinda Phillips finishing first and second in the Nail Can Hill "Iron Woman" event. Most recently Anthony Evans cleaned up the field in the opening race of the ACT Winter Duathlon Series (that's run/ride, not the skating classic "double pursuit" cross country skiing event).

Any other skiers wishing to report in on events that they have been competing in recently, please send details in to marslandf@ausport.gov.au


May 12 - Lazutina Likely to Lose All Medals
The International Ski Federation (FIS) issued a press release on May 7 stating that Russian cross country skier Larissa Lazutina tested positive for Darbepoetin at two World Cup events in December 2001, and would hence be retroactively ousted from all FIS competitions from these events onwards. This means that Lazutina is likely to lose all medals from the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, although this decision is still up to the IOC. The full press release from FIS is available on their website.

Lazutina tested positive to Darbepoetin, otherwise known as NESP, at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, but despite losing her gold medal in the 30km retained her medals from the 15km and the pursuit, as she had not tested positive imediately after these events. Similarly teammate Danilova who also tested positive to Darbepoetin towards the end of the games retained her earlier medals.

In very unusual circumstances the results of Lazutina's A-tests from the Cogne and Ramsau World Cup races in December were not released by FIS until April, with the B-tests confirmed at the start of May. While this extended lag-time has been criticised by many commentators, including ex-Swedish coach Magnar Dalen, it may have inadvertently (?) been good for the sport in the long run. If Lazutina had been busted for Darbepoetin in December, chances are that Danilova and Johann Muhlegg may have chosen another doping method for Salt Lake City and not have been caught at all. Though the Olympic scandals were not good for the reputation of cross country skiing, at least they brought the doping problem further into the open where (hopefully) it cannot be ignored.

Canada and their number one skier Beckie Scott have welcomed the news, with Scott likely to move up to the Silver medal spot in the Olympic pursuit. However they are still pursuing the disqualification of Danilova through the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In other doping news over the past month or so Austrian Olympic medal winners Botvinov and Hoffmann were cleared by the IOC of involvement in blood doping in Salt Lake City, although the issue is still not over for the rest of the team. In a separate incident Austrian worldloppet skier Alois Blassnig tested positive to (and for a change also admitted using it!) EPO in this year's Vasaloppet in Sweden.

 It is unknown yet what new measures (if any) will be taken by FIS to tackle the doping problem next season.

Preliminary FIS Calendar for 2002-2003

The preliminary FIS calendar for 2002-2003 is up on the FIS website. For the World Cup some events to note include a 2km sprint opener in Dusseldorf in October, and 10/15km mass starts in Ramsau in December. It is interesting to see that all other World Cup sprints are marked as 1km, perhaps a preview of what is to come in the FIS congress in Slovenia at the start of June. It should also be noted however that some changes are certain to be made to the World Cup schedule in Slovenia, as at present there is an 11 to 6 bias for freestyle events over classic.

Australian Races are not up on the preliminary FIS calendar right now, however races have been submitted to FIS and the races that will count for FIS points will be:

Victorian Championships 5/10km Classic, Mt Hotham August 4
Victorian Championships 1km Sprint Freestyle, Falls Creek, August 18
Australian Championships 10/15km Classic, Perisher Valley, August 23
Australian Championships 1km Sprint Freestyle, Perisher Valley, August 24
Australian Championships 5/10km Freestyle, Perisher Valley, August 25

Click here for more details of the Australian Race Calendar.


May 3 - Faezor Biathlon and Rollerski Races
There will be Roller Ski / Blade Biathlon events at the Jindabyne Winter Sports Academy athletics/cycle track on Saturday 11th of May, next weekend.

The track is a dual lane, high quality bitumen loop around 450m long which is excellent for roller skiing. It is planned to run Roller Ski competitions in the morning starting at 9.00 and Biathlon in the afternoon. There will be an opportunity to practice shooting and get some coaching in the morning for anyone who wants to.

Everyone is welcome, the cost for the Biathlon is $5 for members of ABA or NABAand $15 for non members. All biathlon shooting equipment will be provided, however you must bring you own roller skis / blades, ski poles and personal protective equipment etc. The use of helmets and knee & elbow guards is highly recommended.

There will also be a 3 day training and coaching camp at the Jindabyne Winter Sports Acedemy on the June Long Weekend i.e. 8-10/6/02. It is run by Tim Greville who is the NSW XC Development Officer and Friedl Bartsch from the NABA will assist with the Biathlon Target Shooting component.

Accommodation and meals are available for a very reasonable cost at the Sport and Rec Camp where the Academy is situated. It would be good opportunity for anyone or any team wishing to develop skills in XC skiing and Biathlon particularly for competitions during the coming winter. This would include Inter Schools Teams and Competitors. Pre booking is highly recommended.

For more information or actual costs you could contact Tim Greville at TGreville@dsr.nsw.gov.au or on 02 64562242.

The venue is at the Jindabyne Sport and Rec Camp on the Barry Way, Jindabyne.


May 2 - Level 2 Coaching Course
A Level 2 Cross Country Skiing Coaching Course will be held this year in North East Victoria. The course will be run out of Mt Beauty/ Falls Creek and organised by the Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club.

The Level 2 course is designed to give the committed coach a broad background in the sport sciences and a higher level of cross country ski racing knowledge. The course seeks to introduce the coach to the knowledge and coaching skills required to develop the club skier to be competitive at the state and national championship level.

The Cross Country Skiing specific component of the course will be held over two weekends. The proposed dates are May 25/26 and June 29/30. These dates will be finalised soon after we have an idea of the course numbers.

Coaches will also need to complete the Level 2 General Priciples Course before they are qualified as a Level 2 Cross Country Skiing Coach. The General Principles Course can be done by correspondance, online, or by attending a course. It can also be started or completed before you attend the Cross Country Skiing course. These are conducted externally from SAXC by State Coaching Centres in each state and territory. For more information on the Level 2 General Principles Course and the State Coaching Centres, visit http://www.coachingaus.org/

Interested persons should contact Finn Marsland ASAP via the details below.

Skiing Australia Cross Country
Tel: 02 6214 7940
Fax: 02 6214 1713
Email: marslandf@ausport.gov.au

New Editor For Australian XC News for 2002
After an incredible 16 years as co-editor and editor of Australian XC News Paul L'Huillier has recently handed over the reins. Paul's contribution to Australian cross country skiing over the years has been invaluable, and his efforts on behalf of Australian XC News herculean.

Allison McArdle will be the acting editor of Australian XC News for 2002. Allison is a former member of the national junior team, a recent graduate in Applied Science (Sports Coaching) at the University of Canberra, and most recently coached Australian #1 Camille Melvey during the northern hemisphere winter.

This year the Skiing Australia Cross Country office at the AIS in Canberra will be used for Australian XC News correspondance. Contributions are now welcome for the next edition, which will come out at the start of June. For more details have a look at the XC News page or contact the editor via the following details.

Allison McArdle
Mobile: 0409 778166
Tel: 02 6214 7940 (Office)
Fax: 02 6214 1713
Email: albundy@hotmail.com


XC is the official website of the Skiing Australia Cross Country Committee. It is produced with the assistance of the Australian Sports Commission and the Kangaroo Hoppet. The editor can be contacted via info@hoppet.com.au.