Bjornsen 17th in World Championships Classic 15k
Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) skied to an impressive - and career-best - 17th-place finish in the 15k classic individual start at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Seefeld, Austria, Wednesday.
Bjornsen, in the mix with the other three U.S. starters, was 21st at the first split time at 2.3k, and steadily gained time throughout the race.
“It was a really hot, tough course with super soft conditions in the sunny sections,” said Bjornsen. “I decided to go for speedy skis today instead of good kick, so I didn’t feel good on the hills, but was trying to work the flats and use my double pole to my advantage. I was feeling really good yesterday and had high hopes today and was wanting to get a top 15 or 20 today.”
Norwegian Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway won the gold, with Alexander Bessmertnykh of Russia taking the silver, and Ivo Niskanen of Finland winning the bronze. The entire U.S. men’s team skied well in the race with Scott Patterson (Anchorage, Alaska) finishing 30th, Kyle Bratrud (Eden Prairie, Minn.) just missing the top 30, finishing 31st, with Ben Lustgarten (Burlington, Vt.) in 45th.
“I am definitely proud of the efforts of all four of the guys out there, they were absolutely giving it all,” said U.S. Cross Country Head Coach Chris Grover. “I am also really proud of the service team as today was one of the more challenging days for them as half the course was in the sun and half was in the shade creating widely variable conditions. Erik was fighting for a top-15 result and just missed it by a bit at the end, but a really great result.”
The World Championships continue Thursday with the women’s relay. U.S. starters are Julia Kern (Waltham, Mass.), Sadie Bjornsen (Anchorage, Alaska), Rosie Brennan (Park City, Utah), and Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.).
Men’s 15k classic
HOW TO WATCH
Thursday, Feb. 28
1:00 a.m. - FIS World Cross Country Skiing Championships men’s 15k - Seefeld, AUT - NBCSN**
7:00 a.m. - FIS World Cross Country Skiing Championships women’s 4x5k relay - Seefeld, AUT - Olympic Channel-TV, OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
Friday, March 1
7:15 a.m. - FIS World Cross Country Skiing Championships men’s 4x10k relay - Seefeld, AUT - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. - FIS World Cross Country Skiing Championships men’s 4x10k relay - Seefeld, AUT - Olympic Channel-TV*
Saturday, March 2
6:15 a.m. - FIS World Cross Country Skiing Championships women’s 30k - Seefeld, AUT - OlympicChannel.com & NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. - FIS World Cross Country Skiing Championships women’s 30k - Seefeld, AUT - Olympic Channel-TV*
All streams are available via desktop (NBCSports.com/Live, NBCSports.com/Gold and OlympicChannel.com) as well as mobile, tablet and connected television platforms. The NBC Sports app, NBC Sports Gold app and Olympic Channel app are available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. Exclusive commercial-free coverage will be available for subscribers of the NBC Sports Gold Pass.