Three Americans in Top 20 at Nove Mesto
Jessie Diggins once again lead the way for the Davis U.S. Cross Country Ski Team in Sunday’s FIS Cross Country World Cup 10k classic pursuit in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, finishing in 10th. Rosie Brennan was 13th and Sadie Maubet Bjornsen was 20th.
“Today was a much better day for me,” said Rosie, who finished 17th in Saturday’s 10k freestyle. “I had much better energy and really enjoyed skiing today...I feel good that my energy is coming around after the (Tour de Ski) and things are headed in a good direction.”
Saturday’s course conditions were soft and sugary. However, Brennan noted that the course conditions Sunday were much improved. “The snow held up a little better today so it wasn't quite as tricky as yesterday and I was thankful for that,” she said.
Norway’s Therese Johaug, who also won Saturday’s race, skied to victory again Sunday. Russia’s Natalia Nepryaeva was second for the second-straight day, and Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg rounded out the podium in third. Julia Kern was 32nd, Caitlin Patterson was 44th and Alayna Sonnesyn was 51st.
Coming off the Tour de Ski earlier this month, a number of athletes came out of the nine-day event with a bump in fitness. But some, including Sadie, was one of the unfortunate ones to also catch a post-tour cold.
"Recovering from the tour is a challenge of its own," Saide said. "Balancing the excitement of the experience with the fatigue is never easy. I managed to catch a cold post-tour, and thought I had done a good enough job of resting, but I think I got a hair excited, which left me feeling flatter than I would have hoped (in Saturday's 0k freestyle). That combined with challenging conditions made for a perfect storm of imperfection yesterday."
In the men’s 15k classic pursuit, David Norris was the top American in 30th. Ian Torchia finished 64th.
Up next, the FIS Cross Country World Cup moves to Oberstdorf, Germany, for a skiathlon Saturday, Jan. 25, and classic sprint Sunday, Jan. 26.
"My plan is to take a bit more rest, and then just participate in the sprint race next weekend in Obertsdorf, Germany," Sadie said. "When you love racing as much as I do, it can be easy to just keep charging on, and forget to plan ahead. There is another tour event coming in hot, so I will take this opportunity to make sure I am fully recovered, and stronger than ever coming into the next period of racing."