Ogden Seventh in Beitostolen Classic Sprint
Ben Ogden posted his second top-10 FIS Cross Country World Cup result of the season, finishing seventh in Friday’s classic sprint in Beitostolen, Norway. Julia Kern was the top-placed U.S. woman in 10th.
After posting the seventh-fastest qualifying time, Ogden scorched the field in his quarterfinal heat, hammering the final climb and sprinting to an easy win. In the semifinals though, he got pinched in the last corner and finished third.
In the finals, Richard Jouve of France skied to his first World Cup win of the season, with Italy’s Simone Mocellini taking his first World Cup podium in second; and Sweden’s Calle Halfvarssen in third. Friday’s result matched Ogden’s career-best seventh-place freestyle sprint finish from last weekend in Lillehammer, Norway.
Kern qualified 17th and came out swinging in the opening heat - finishing second to Swiss Nadine Faehndrich. In the semifinals, Kern was holding onto the second position and charging up the second climb when Faehndrich jumped in front of her - almost stepping on Kern’s skis.
“I should have taken my own track,” Kern said. “But wasn’t counting on someone trying to make a move outside the track with a V-board there, so it kinda screwed me.”
Kern settled for fifth in the heat, but nonetheless, posted her seventh career World Cup top-10 individual result.
Just three weeks into the season, the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team is settling into life on the road and despite a few athletes battling lingering colds, the team is starting to rack up the results with Jessie Diggins finishing 17th Friday, and Rosie Brennan bouncing back to finish 21st.
“It is really awesome to see the team camaraderie,” Diggins said. “Especially this week…we've had a really great living situation and I think people are just settling into life on the road really well, so that's really cool.”
Diggins qualified seventh, but just missed advancing to the semifinals by 0.08 seconds in the opening heats. “I was pleased with my qualifier,” she said, “but I don't think I skied all that well in the heats. But, I learned a lot of things and I'm excited to put that energy forward into the 10k (classic) tomorrow.”
For Brennan, kicking her cold and blowing out the sprint pipes were just what she needed to prep for Saturday’s 10k classic.
“I was happy with my qualifier after a bad sprint in Ruka and sitting out sick last weekend,” said Brennan, who qualified 12th. “The heats ended up being more technical than I had hoped, and I struggled to find space and the speed I needed to advance. But, I was so happy to be in the heats again and to be reminded of all the little details sprinting requires to put together a good day.”
Faehndrich won the women’s race, with Norway’s Lotta Udnes Weng in second, and Finland’s Johanna Matintalo.
Racing continues in Beitostolen with Saturday’s 10k classic individual start, followed by Sunday’s 4x5k mixed team relay. The U.S., which won the first World Cup mixed team relay last season in Falun, Sweden, will announce the team for Sunday’s race following Saturday’s 10k. Both races will be streamed live with commentary on skiandsnowboard.live.
HOW TO WATCH
(All times EST)
4:00 a.m. - FIS Cross Country World Cup women’s 10k classic individual start - LIVE, SkiandSnowboard.live
6:15 a.m. - FIS Cross Country World Cup men’s 10k classic individual start - LIVE, SkiandSnowboard.live
7:00 a.m. - FIS Cross Country World Cup 4x5k mixed team relay - LIVE, SkiandSnowboard.live