Three Americans In Top 15 Overall at Tour de Ski
The Davis U.S. Cross Country Ski Team wrapped up the 14th Tour de Ski Sunday with three athletes in the top 15 overall, including Sadie Maubet Bjornsen with a career-best seventh, Jessie Diggins in ninth, and Rosie Brennan a career-best 15th.
The seven-stage Tour de Ski was spread out over nine days this year and featured the most grueling stage for the final showdown - a mass start 10k freestyle hill climb up the Olimpia Ill alpine ski trail at Alpe Cermis resort in Italy’s Val di Fiemme region.
“Wow, it felt good to make it to the top of that climb,” said Sadie, who finished 13th in the final stage. “I think it is safe to say, making it up that alpine slope after six hard days of racing is quite possibly the most physically painful thing I have ever experienced. Just crossing the line is such an achievement. This is only the third time I have made it, so it still feels just as exciting as the first one!”
Some highs, some lows, some mistakes, some painful near misses- but most importantly, some of the best memories in sport come from this wild series of 7 races in 9 days, spanning across Europe. Reaching the top of that alpine slope on day 9 is an achievement in itself. Proud to have reached my best ever finish, even if the athlete in me was dreaming of more. Sometimes you have to take a step back from always reaching, and recognize what you have accomplished among the best in the world. After I sleep for a week, I promise to take time to celebrate! And lastly, thank you to every person behind the scenes that makes this insane circus function! The staff, the wax team (special thanks to @pereb71 ), the service industry squad, the organizing committees, FIS, the hotels dealing with our crazy demands, and all the people cheering and watching races for 9 days in a row. Although you aren’t wearing spandex and a bib, you are all champions! #puregrit #tourdeski2019 #wedidit
Jessie led the way for the Davis U.S. Cross Country Ski Team, finishing sixth in the final stage. "I was happy with my climb; I think I managed to pace it right so that I could keep moving up the hill steadily without blowing up - a line that is hard to find, but pretty crucial to get right," Jessie said. "I had good energy and it’s nice to know that my fitness is in a good place even at the end of the tour."
Rosie was just a few seconds back in seventh. "I love the climb and I love the feeling of finishing the tour," Rosie said. "I had some rough days and some good days, but to finish the tour on such a high note was really fantastic."
Katharine Ogden posted a career-best World Cup result, finishing 21st. Katharine also scored World Cup points, finishing 28th overall.
From missed wax opportunities to podium results, the U.S. Team had its share of ups and downs throughout the seven-stage event. The highlights included not only four U.S. athletes finishing in the top 28 overall, but a podium result from Jessie in the classic sprint, two top-five results from Sadie in the freestyle and classic sprints, and a pair of top 10 results from Rosie.
"Overall, this tour has been challenging in that I had many races where my fitness and effort weren’t reflected in the results," Jessie said. "But I was proud of how I carried myself, contributed to having a positive team atmosphere and stayed positive without ever giving up, on the days when I had competitive skis but more important, on the days when I did not. It took a lot of positive energy, but now I can leave the Tour really proud of my mental toughness and ready to soak in all the hard work I put out there."
“This tour has had its ups, downs, and painfully near misses,” Sadie said. “Despite the rollercoaster, I feel like I gained confidence in my fitness and my skiing throughout the process. No doubt I will come away from this tour both physically and mentally tougher!”
On the men’s side, David Norris was 30th in the final stage and Logan Hanneman was 56th. David finished 35th overall, while Logan was 56th overall and came away from his first Tour de Ski with a career-best World Cup result, finishing 18th in the Stage 6 classic sprint.
Up next, the FIS Cross Country World Cup continues in Dresden, Germany, with freestyle sprint competition on Saturday, Jan. 11, and a team sprint on Sunday, Jan. 12.