High Noon on the road from Muonio to Gällivare. Seriously. That's the road, and it is high noon.
What a day for Sweden. Two victories. The woods were full of Swedes (and, yeah a few Norwegians too - here in the foreground).
A herd of reindeer make a break for it. The roads are not icy, they are pure ice.
Generally a 50th or so place in the first 2.5km means Axel is on pace for a win... not today.
Lukas Bauer coming through the stadium. Check out the blue and yellow truck in the back right of the picture... that's the Swede's mobile wax cabin. Skis, benches, etc always set up inside. Might sound like a bit much, but when you pack and unpack as much as we do it sounds great. Driving it on the small roads of Italy, doesn't sound as great.
Zach Caldwell yells at Kris. Kris said he had better skis than anyone he skied near in the race. Here is is behind race winner Marcus Hellner. Peter Johansson, Randy Gibbs, Joakim Augustsson, and Zach Caldwell killed it in the wax room.
Easy to get fired up when your athletes are all in. But coffee doesn't hurt.
Kris had a great start to the season skiing with the winner for the middle 10 km of the race. It generally takes a while to really get into the flow over here. 45seconds back is a good race for the second week in Europe. We were thinking this was Kris' best 15km skate FIS point race ever... Anyway, it was a good start to the season and there is more to come. Next stop Kuusamo.
Have no doubt there are going to be a lot of guys going fast as we get further into the season. The top 10, let alone the podium is going to be a battle. Our goal is the podium and we are confident in our preparation.
Marcus Hellner's first win.
I feel really bad that I can't get more shots of the women's race... but the wax and ski testing keeps me too busy most of the time. I watched what I could and snapped a few shots but I wish I could do more. When the men have started I can be on course and get a few shots. Sorry I couldn't take more. Kalla was a force.
Really good individual race for Northug. There are sure a lot of skiers that can be on the podium, we count ourselves among them.
Sunset at 1:40pm.
Tomorrow we are entering the relay so check back in for a report.
(vordenberg and wadsworth images)