Men's 4x10k Team Relay Finish Seventh at World Championships
Ben Ogden, Hunter Wonders, Scott Patterson and Gus Schumacher finished seventh in the men’s 4x10km relay today at the 2023 World Championships.
The day started with snow, then turned to rain, then the sun peaked out for a few minutes before the rain came back, making the conditions for the men’s 4x10km team relay anything but easy. With the wax techs from around the World scrambling to find the right wax for both skate and classic skies, 15 teams were at the start line for the third to last race of the championship.
Right off the gun, Ogden was in the mix with the lead pack. With Norway taking the immediate lead, which they never let up until the end, Ogden maintained the speed and led the chase pack through the first 10km of the race. Coming into the stadium, Ogden tagged off teammate Wonders in the fifth position. Also classic skiing, Wonders skied a consistent leg. Taking two laps around the same 5km course the women raced the day prior, Wonders glided up the hills despite the difficult wax conditions and worked the downhills. Into the stadium to tag off the first skate skier of the race, Wonders was in 11th place. Patterson was up next. With Norway now significantly ahead of the entire field, Patterson was chasing the chase pack that included Germany, France, Finland, Sweden and Canada.
"It felt good, it felt really good! The goal is to ski smart - chill in the beginning and ski hard at the end, and we all executed that and I'm stoked. It was a fun one for the whole team." said Ogden.
With coaches surrounding the entire course and teammate Jessie Diggins on the highest part of the course, Patterson pushed it and made up significant time while fighting for position. As he skied into the stadium before the tag zone, Patterson made up nearly 40 seconds, putting Schumacher in good position to ski the last leg of the relay. With Schumacher anchoring the team, Patterson had a clean tag and Schumacher gave it his all for the last 10km of the cumulative 40km race.
Norway won the day by 46 seconds ahead of Finland who finished the day second. Germany and France fought until the last chance with Germany narrowing out the French team by one second as they crossed the line. The young USA team crossed the line in seventh place and Schumacher was greeted by his teammates as he crossed the line. As all the men congratulated everyone in the finish pen, they were all smiles as they reflected on their race. At the Olympics, the men’s 4x10km relay finished eighth, at World Championships they were seventh, and as all the men said, “it can only go up from here.”
Next up are the longer distance races of World Championships, with the women racing 30km tomorrow, March 4, and the men 50km on March 5.