FIS Cross Country World Cup 1.6-kilometer freestyle sprint Cogne, Italy
Amidst sunshine and sporting rolled up sleeves on Saturday in Cogne Italy, American Jessie Diggins took the women’s 1.6-kilometer freestyle sprint win in nail-biter fashion. After making it into the semifinals and the final as one of the day’s lucky losers, Diggins outlunged Germany’s Sandra Ringwald by 0.11 seconds, claiming the victory in a time of 3:32.73.
The 27 year old Afton, Minnesota native now has six individual World Cup sprint podiums, Saturday marking her first individual World Cup sprint victory (not to be forgotten is the gold medal Diggins and Kikkan Randall won in the team sprint during last year’s Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games).
Following Diggins, Ringwald placed second (+0.11), Sweden’s Johanna Hagström third (+0.86), and Norway’s Ane Appelkvist Stenseth was fourth (+1.31). American Sadie Bjornsen also advanced all the way to the final on Saturday where she placed fifth, 2.23 seconds back from Diggins’ winning time. The sixth finalist on Saturday was Eva Urevc of Slovenia, who crossed 2.32 seconds back from Diggins.
In her strongest individual World Cup sprint result yet, Julia Kern of the U.S. raced to an 11th place. Prior to Saturday, Kern’s best individual World Cup finish in a sprint was 19th, which she earned at this year’s freestyle sprint in Dresden, Germany.
Three more U.S. woman finished in the top 30, with Sophie Caldwell placing in 17th followed by Ida Sargent in 24th and Rosie Brennan in 27th.
American Kelsey Phinney finished 1.03 seconds outside of qualification, ending the day in 33rd overall.
Four Canadian women raced on Saturday, with Dahria Beatty leading the way in 38th. The next Canadian finisher after Beatty was Cendrine Browne in 48th, followed by Maya Macisaac-Jones 49th and Katherine Stewart-Jones 51st.
On the men’s side, Italians Federico Pellegrino and Francesco de Fabiani put on a show for the home crowd, with Pellegrino taking the win in a time of 3:09.07 and his teammate de Fabiani earning second (+0.48) by 0.03 seconds after a photo finish with France’s Lucas Chanavat, who placed third (+0.51).
After narrowly avoiding a crash in his semifinal, American Simi Hamilton advanced to the final, ending the day just off the podium in fourth (+3.91). Following Hamilton was Norway’s Sondre Turvoll Fossli in fifth (+4.03) and Sweden’s Marcus Grate in sixth (+27.90).
Racing for Canada, Russell Kennedy was the next top North American finisher in 11th. Following Kennedy was American Andy Newell in 23rd and the U.S.’s Logan Hanneman in 27th. Kevin Bolger qualified for the fourth quarterfinal, but did not start and ended the day in 30th.
Erik Bjornsen of the U.S. Ski Team placed 39th while Canada’s Alex Harvey ended the day in 48th and Evan Palmer-Charrette 59th.
IBU World Cup Soldier Hollow (Midway), Utah: 10/12.5 k pursuit
International Biathlon Union (IBU) competition has returned to the famed Soilder Hollow (SoHo) race course venue in Midway, Utah for the first time in 17 years–the last time IBU/World Cup level competitions were held there was back in 2002, when Salt Lake City played host to the Winter Olympic Games.
The IBU’s third day of competition in SoHo brought on a 10-kilometer pursuit for the women. Germany’s Denise Herrmann won the event in a time of 28:03.4 after skiing two penalties (0+0+1+1). Franziska Hildebrand, also of Germany, claimed second, finishing 4.2 seconds behind Herrmann with one missed shot (0+0+0+1).
Racing for Finland, Kaisa Mäkäräinen placed third, 16.5 seconds back from the winner with three misses (2+0+1+0).
Susan Dunklee was the top North American woman, finishing in 26th (+2:34.5) with one miss (0+0+0+1). Just 0.4 seconds back from Dunklee in 27th (+2:34.9), was U.S. skier, Clare Egan with three missed shots (0+0+2+1).
Rosanna Crawford of Canada placed 34th (+2:48.2) after skiing three penalties (0+1+0+2) and U.S. skier Joanne Reid finished 40th (+4:11.9) after skiing two penalties (0+1+1+0). Canada’s Sarah Beaudry placed 44th (+4:33.2) after two missed shots (0+0+1+1) and Emma Lunder, also racing for Canada, placed 51st (+5:41.3) after skiing six penalties (2+2+2+0).
Results: Women’s IBU Pursuit
In the men’s 12.5-kilometer pursuit, France’s Quentin Fillon Maillet claimed the win in a time of 30:55.8 after shooting 100 percent. Norway’s Vetle Sjåstad Christiansen, who earned his first IBU World Cup win on Friday, placed second in Saturday’s pursuit, finishing 25.9 seconds behind Fillon Maillet and missing just one shot (0+1+0+0).
Simon Desthieux, also of France, placed third on Saturday, finishing 47.3 seconds back from the winner after skiing three penalties (0+1+1+1).
Racing for Canada, Christian Gow placed 8th (+2:21.2) after shooting clean. American Sean Doherty finishing two places behind Gow in 10th (+2:22.8) with three misses (0+3+0+0). Canadian Scott Gow, Christian’s brother, placed 25th (+3:58.5) after skiing four penalties (1+1+2+0).
Also racing for Canada, Aidan Millar finished in 39th (+5:25.1) with five missed shots (2+0+1+2).
Results: Men’s Pursuit
Minneapolis SuperTour 20 k/15 k mass start classic
The SuperTour returned to racing on Saturday in Minneapolis, Minnesota with a 15/20 k classic mass start. The men’s 20-kilometer event was won by Northern Michigan University (NMU) skier, Zak Ketterson in a time of 54:08.0. Ben Lustgarten skiing for the Craftsbury Green Racing Project (CGRP) placed second, 0.9 seconds behind Ketterson. Norwegian Mathias Rolid, also skiing for NMU, placed third, 15.8 seconds behind the race winner.
In the women’s 15 k event, Kaitlynn Miller of the CGRP won in a time of 50:17.1. Skiing for the Stratton Mountain School T2 team was Alayna Sonnesyn in second place (+25.1). Liz Guiney (CGRP) claiming third (+30.6).