Brennan Leads Three Americans Into Top 30 at Opening Tour de Ski Stage
Rosie Brennan finished 20th to lead three Davis U.S. Cross Country Ski Team athletes into the top 30 in Saturday’s opening stage of the 14th Tour de Ski in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Jessie Diggins out-sprinted teammate Sadie Maubet Bjornsen for 29th in Saturday’s mass start 10k freestyle.
“Today was a bit of a mixed day,” Rosie said. “Having missed the last two weekends of racing, I wasn't quite sure where I was at, but I felt really good in the race and am really happy with my effort.”
Norway’s Therese Johaug took the opening stage victory by 12.3 seconds over countrywoman Heidi Weng. Sweden’s Ebba Andersson was third at 12.9 seconds back. Rosie was 59 seconds off the winning time, while Jessie and Sadie were 1 minute, 20 seconds off the pace.
Sophie and Jessie started on the front row and maintained their position throughout much of the first lap. “Unfortunately, it was a really rough day for our team with the wax,” Jessie said. “Not for lack of effort or work on our techs part, but sometimes that’s the way it goes in this sport.”
Julia Kern, Rosie, Katharine Ogden, and Sophie Caldwell got caught up in traffic on the opening climb and had to fight their way to maintain contact with the front group. Therese, along with countrywoman Ingvild Oestberg opened up a gap heading into the second lap, with Therese pulling away to open a 10-second advantage at the 5.6k mark.
Rosie put in a huge effort on the second lap to close the gap to Jessie and Sadie, moving ahead of her teammates at the 5.6k point of the race.
“We struggled a bit with our skis and I maybe wasted a bit too much energy trying to move up in places that didn't make sense with the skis I had on my feet,” Rosie said. “The good news is that it was overall a very tight race so, despite less than perfect skis, I didn't lose too much time in the overall and am still optimistic for the rest of the tour.”
In the men’s 15k mass start, David Norris was the top American finisher in 58th. Kevin Bolger was 64th and Logan Hanneman 69th.
Sunday’s second stage is a freestyle sprint in Lenzerheide.
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