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Bjornsen Leads U.S Team as Brennan Posts Career-Best

By Reese Brown
December, 1 2018
Sadie Bjornsen
Sadie Bjornsen led the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team for the second straight day, finishing ninth in Saturday's FIS Cross Country World Cup 10k freestyle in Lillehammer, Norway. (Getty Images - Trond Tandberg)

Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wa.) led the U.S. Cross Country Team, finishing ninth at Saturday’s FIS Cross Country World Cup 10k freestyle in Lillehammer, Norway, as Rosie Brennan (Park City, Ut.) posted a career-best World Cup result in 11th. Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) was 12th.

“I am thrilled with my result and am looking forward to being in the mix tomorrow,”  Brennan said. “I had the confidence that I could have a good race after a really good summer of training and lots of improvements in my skating in particular.”

It was another day of solid results for the U.S. Cross Country Team in the second of the three-race mini tour competed on dirty snow due to the warm and wet weather. Therese Johaug of Norway won, followed by Sweden’s Edda Andersson second and Charlotte Kalla completing the podium in third.

“After climbing up the big long climb at 3.5k, I finally found my rhythm and my craving for the pain cave,” said Bjornsen, who posted her second-consecutive top 10-result after finishing third in Friday’s sprint. “From there I kept pushing myself and tried to cut some time off the leaders.  I was happy with my ninth place finish today. I think I have more in me, so I look forward to another try at distance skating next weekend. I think today was actually a step up from my distance race in Beito before the World Cup season started, so that is a step in the right direction.”

The Lillehammer Triple, as this mini-tour is referred to, concludes tomorrow with women’s 10k classic pursuit and a men’s 15k classic pursuit, both of which will be streamed live on NBC Sports Gold and the Olympic Channel.

“My body is in a weird place coming right off being sick, so although I know I’m still very much working towards my top form it was encouraging to be able to get out there and race today,” Diggins said. “I’m so proud of Rosie for her career best World Cup result, and excited to dig deep one last time in Lillehammer tomorrow!" from Jessie

In the men’s 15k Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) led the U.S. squad in 43rd. Norway’s Sjur Roethe won the race with teammate Didrik Toenseth second and Russia’s Denis Spitsov closing out the podium in third.

Women’s 10k freestyle
Men’s 15k freestyle

All times EST
*Same-day delayed broadcast

Sunday, Dec. 2
4:15 a.m. - World Cup women’s 10k pursuit, Lillehammer, NOR - NBC Sports Gold & Olympic Channel
5:45 a.m. - World Cup Men’s 15k pursuit, Lillehammer, NOR - NBC Sports Gold & Olympic Channel
2:30 p.m. - World Cup women’s 10k pursuit, Lillehammer, NOR - Olympic Channel*
9:00 p.m. - World Cup women’s 10k pursuit, Lillehammer, NOR - NBCSN*