FIS World Cup Tour de Ski Stage 1 1.6 k Freestyle Sprint
Seventy-five skiers began the 2018/2019 women’s Tour de Ski in Tobalch, Italy with a 1.3-kilometer freestyle sprint.
The U.S. Ski Team’s (USST) Sadie Bjornsen was the fastest qualifier finishing in 2:35.95 minutes. Sweden’s Linn Soemskar was second (+0.14), and Stina Nilsson third (+0.40).
Jessie Diggins (USST) qualified in 6th (+1.38), and Sophie Caldwell 9th (+1.60).
The final was dominated by Nilsson as she took her second World Cup win of the season. The Swede won the final in 2:36:26 minutes, with her teammate Ida Ingemarsdotter in second (+3:00) and Diggins in third (+3:07). Russia’s Yulia Belorukova was fourth (+3:16), Soemskar fifth (+3:26), and Bjornsen sixth (+3.40).
Caldwell ended her day ninth overall after being eliminated in a tight first semi-final — first through sixth were separated by 0.7 seconds.
For Canada, Dahria Beatty placed 49th (+9.42), and Emily Nishikawa 61st (+12.88).
For the men, 105 athletes began qualification. Johannes Høsflot Johannes Høsflot Klæbo of Norway of Norway marked the fastest qualifying time in 2:16.86 minutes. Frances Lucas Chavanat was the second fastest qualifier (+1.22), and teammate Richard Jouve third (+1.95).
Simi Hamilton (USST) qualified in 8th (+3.00), while Kevin Bolger (USST) was 13th (+3.98).
No other North Americans qualified for the heats.
The men’s final went to Klæbo with Jouve and Chanavat in a close second (+0.34) and third (+0.39) respectively. Sindre Bjørnestad Skar of Norway was fourth (+0.76). teammate Emil Iversen was fifth (+1.67), with Alexander Bolshunov in sixth (+3.17).
Hamilton looked strong in the second heat moving up the right side of a climb when he stumbled and fell. Hamilton finished the day in 26th. Bolger was eliminated in the fifth heat after he placed fifth. (Russia’s Bolshunov won heat five in what was the fastest heat.) Bolger finished 21st overall.
Erik Bjornsen (USST) finished in 76th (+10.38), and Ben Lustgarten (CGRP) 105th (+15.23).
For Canada, Alex Harvey placed 50th (+7.16), Lenny Valjas 55th (+7.46), and Bob Thompson 62nd (+8.10).