Great day for US in men’s 30 km World Cup in Toblach, Italy – updated

FasterSkierDecember 6, 2003

Kris Freeman (Andover, NH) finished 1.2 seconds back, tied for sixth place Saturday in a mass-start 30K freestyle race – the best showing by a U.S. skier since 1984 while Carl Swenson (Boulder, CO) overcame a spill starting the sixth and final 5K loop to finish 13th.

Eight skiers came together into the finish, after having skied together the entire 30 km course. Sweden's Mathias Fredriksson, the defending World Cup champion, covered the six 5K loops in 1:09.51.5 to edge Germany's Rene Sommerfeldt by six-tenths of a second. Frenchman Vincent Vittoz and Norway's Kristen Skjeldal tied for third (1:09.52.2). Kris Freeman was only 1.2 seconds behind Fredriksson.
This was a great race for the US team, and was exactly what head coach Trond Nystad had hoped for. FasterSkier caught up with Nystad prior to this weekend races and he had high hopes.

Nystad's comments:

“Both Kris and Carl are doing well and should be ready to do well here in
Toblach. I am hopefull for good results on both the relay and the
individual race. Lars has also joined us here, and he is looking strong as
well, so hopefully we can put together a strong team competition. Hoping to
get 2 people top 20…one of those hopefully top 10.”

And they did exactly that.

Freeman, producing the best result since Jim Galanes was fifth in a 15K after the Sarajevo Olympics in March 1984 in Murmansk, part of the old Soviet Union; his time was 1:09.52.7, tied with Belarussian Sergei Dolidowitsch. Swenson finished in 1:10.23.7 in the best showing by two U.S. men since Audun Ednestad was 11th and Todd Boonstra 13th at Canmore, Alberta, in December 1989 in a 50K mass start.

“It was clustered all the way,” Freeman said, referring to the lead pack, which got smaller as the race continued. “The first I just tried to stay out of trouble, keep the leaders in sight. And then people started to drop away…before I knew, I was skiing in a pack of 10.

“I wasn't quite strong enough to win it but I had a good finish,” he said. “It was a beautiful day, sun beaming down, about 34 degrees; you couldn't beat the weather.”

Swenson, who fell when he got tangled early in the final lap, said, “There was a pretty good group of 15 or 20 starting the last lap and it just strung out from there. Mathias was driving it all day. It was definitely, but mass starts always are; that's kind of the nature of 'em.”

After he went down, he was caught between the front group and the chase pack, worked his way back to the leaders and held on for the third top-15 of his career.

Afterwards, Nystad was very encouraged. “Quite a day. Kris and Carl were in the lead pack the whole way. Kris was within a second of winning a 30K skate,” he said. “With any luck we could have had two in the top six, top five. It shows how the margins are so small now on the World Cup…so small.”

Sunday, the schedule calls for freestyle team sprints, i.e., two athletes competing on a 1K course, free technique. Looking forward to tomorrow, Nystad has even higher aspirations for his duo. “…podium in the sprint relay is another goal,” he says.


1 Fredriksson Mathias SWE 1:09:51.5
2 Sommerfeldt Rene GER 1:09:52.1
3 Vittoz Vincent FRA 1:09:52.2
4 Skjeldal Kristen NOR 1:09:52.2
5 Botvinov Mikhail AUT 1:09:52.6
6 Dolidowitsch Sergei BLR 1:09:52.7
6 Freeman Kris USA 1:09:52.7
8 Piller Cottrer Pietro ITA 1:09:55.2
9 Valbusa Fulvio ITA 1:10:00.8
10 Hetland Tor Arne NOR 1:10:07.8
11 Angerer Tobias GER 1:10:10.6
12 Santus Fabio ITA 1:10:11.1
13 Swenson Carl USA 1:10:23.7
14 Hofstad Tore Ruud NOR 1:10:27.7
15 Hasler Markus LIE 1:10:28.2
16 De Zolt Ponte Roberto ITA 1:10:44.2
17 Soedergren Anders SWE 1:10:48.4
18 Di Centa Giorgio ITA 1:10:48.8
19 Zanetel Gianantonio ITA 1:10:48.9
20 Mae Jaak EST 1:10:49.2
21 Vilissov Vladimir RUS 1:10:49.6
22 Chebotko Nikolay KAZ 1:10:49.9
23 Brodar Nejc SLO 1:10:50.1
24 Aasen Geir Ludvig NOR 1:10:53.3
25 Jonnier Emmanuel FRA 1:10:54.3
26 Kattilakoski Teemu FIN 1:10:54.7
27 Odnodvortsev Maxim KAZ 1:10:55.9
28 Saracco Cristian ITA 1:10:56.0
29 Zorzi Cristian ITA 1:10:57.4
30 Legkov Alexander RUS 1:10:59.5
31 Larsson Mats SWE 1:11:16.0
32 Olsson Johan SWE 1:11:31.3
33 Filbrich Jens GER 1:11:32.5
34 Rousselet Alexandre FRA 1:11:33.4
35 Schwienbacher Freddy ITA 1:11:45.1
36 Checchi Valerio ITA 1:12:04.1
37 Teichmann Axel GER 1:12:05.3
38 Schluetter Andreas GER 1:12:06.3
39 Dementiev Evgenji RUS 1:12:07.4
40 Pankratov Nikolai RUS 1:12:09.0
41 Kozu Masaaki JPN 1:12:31.3
42 Kostner Florian ITA 1:12:35.0
43 Sinnes Svein Tore NOR 1:12:36.1
44 Cattaneo Marco ITA 1:12:38.3
45 Koukal Martin CZE 1:12:39.0
46 Rotchev Vassili RUS 1:12:40.0
47 Schnider Christoph SUI 1:12:41.2
48 Ivanov Mikhail RUS 1:12:41.7
49 Golovko Andrei KAZ 1:12:41.7
50 Olschanski Vladimir UKR 1:12:42.3
51 Antal Zsolt RUM 1:12:46.3
52 Di Santo Biagio ITA 1:12:51.9
53 Passeron Stephane FRA 1:12:52.2
54 Solbakken Haavard NOR 1:13:07.0
55 Ebisawa Katsuhito JPN 1:13:07.5
56 Gutierrez Juan J. SPA 1:13:08.1
57 Ruiz Diego SPA 1:13:11.6
58 Moriggl Thomas ITA 1:13:29.4
59 Andresen Jan Egil NOR 1:13:29.4
60 Petukhov Alexei RUS 1:13:31.1
61 Margaroli Ivan ITA 1:13:36.0
62 Flora Lars USA 1:13:55.6
63 Michl Petr CZE 1:13:56.7
64 Maechler Patrik SUI 1:13:57.2
65 Giovanna Michele ITA 1:13:57.4
66 Imai Hiroyuki JPN 1:13:57.6
67 Tauber Martin AUT 1:14:01.1
68 Leybyuk Roman UKR 1:14:15.4
69 Novikov Serguei RUS 1:14:18.6
70 Urain Gerhard AUT 1:14:19.3
71 Hofmann Egon ITA 1:14:19.9
72 Jespersen Chris NOR 1:14:38.8
73 Filippa Agostino ITA 1:15:27.6
74 Grandelis Tullio ITA 1:16:04.7
75 Malak Michal SVK 1:16:05.9
76 Vilarrubla Vicente SPA 1:16:47.8
77 Nikon Gennadiy UKR 1:16:48.5
78 Kanamaru Tomio JPN 1:18:20.9
79 Mariotti Dordi Klaus ITA 1:19:14.4

Sources:, US Ski Team


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