Kris Freeman, fresh off dominating the classic races at US Nationals, posted a 19th place finish today in Oberhof, Germany in a 15k classical World Cup race. It was Freeman's first World Cup start of the season.
Many Americans were very interested to see how Freeman would fare. Watching him ski at Nationals, a number of people were impressed enough to remark that “He must be skiing top twenty in the world.” Indeed he proved them right. We have received reports that Freeman was actually skiing close to the top ten for much of the race.
Freeman was just over a minute behind winner Mathias Fredriksson of Sweden. Fredriksson skipped out on the conclusion of the Swedish National Championships in order to pursue the Overall World Cup title. He finished 5 seconds ahead of Reto Burgermeister (SUI), with Frode Estil (NOR) another two seconds back. World Cup Leader Rene Sommerfeldt (GER) was 12th, meaning that Fredriksson did indeed overtake him for the World Cup lead. Other American finishers: Carl Swenson in 39, Andrew Johnson 43, Justin Wadsworth 44. FIfty men started the race.
No Canadian men participated.
Men's 15K Results
In the women's race, World Cup leader Bente Skari ensured that no one would take over her lead, as she continued her domination. Skari won the 10k classic race by a huge forty second margin over teammate Hilde G Pedersen. Kaisa Varis (FIN) was third. Beckie Scott of Canada was the top North American in 12th place. Beckie was less than 30 seconds from 5th. Teammate Sara Renner was 21st. Wendy Wagner, the only US entrant, scored her first World Cup points of the season by finishing 25th. Thirty women participated.
Tomorrow is a Sprint Relay.