Hoffman Takes U23 Silver
ERZURUM, Turkey (Feb. 24) - The U.S. Ski Team's Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO/Ski and Snowboard Club Vail) battled his way to a silver medal in the 15k classic at the U23 World Championships in Turkey. Hoffman battled Germany's Hannes Dotzler most of the race before pulling ahead in the final kilometers to take silver by just over two seconds. He became only the fourth American in history to medal in the U23 Championships. Russia's Evgeniy Belov took gold, 25 seconds ahead of Hoffman. Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA/APU Nordic) was fifth in the women's 10k classic. Next up for the U23 Championships is a skiathlon Saturday (mixed classic and freestyle technique).
- Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO/Ski and Snowboard Club Vail) won his first U23 Championships medal taking silver in the 15k classic in Turkey.
- Hoffman started out fast but smoothly on an extremely cold, dry day - perfect for classic skiing. He skied a very strategic race, pacing well and surging in the last 5k to grab silver.
- He became the fourth American to medal in the U23 Championships including Kris Freeman (gold 30k classic, 2003), Laura Valaas (silver in classic sprint, 2007) and Liz Stephen (bronze in 15k freestyle, 2008).
- Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA/APU Nordic) was fifth, just five seconds out of second place.
- It was Belov's fourth career U23 medal.
I feel really good. That was fun to race today. Evgeniy Belov was very fast. It's my fifth time at the Junior/U23 Championships and I am happy for the podium. I was getting the split times on the course but I was trying to stay focused on my performance.
Bryan Fish, U.S. Ski Team Development Coach
It was a great day for our whole squad with Sadie leading the charge for the women in fifth – just 5.2 seconds out of second Noah's second place made today even more exciting. The course, conditions and environment required a high focus on remaining consistent.
The conditions today have been the same as what we have had every day in Erzurum. The morning low - a very chilly -30C and the intense sun warms to approximately -14C. The snow was dry, firm and squeaky slow – perfect for a classic ski race.