FIS Cross-Country World Cup in Lillehammer Norway: 10 k/ 15 k Classic Pursuit
On Sunday, the third and final day of racing in Lillehammer, Norway concluded with a 10-kilometer classic pursuit for the women.
A win is a win, and Norway’s Therese Johaug, took the day and her second victory in as many days when she crossed the line first in 29:35.5 minutes. Sweden’s Ebba Andersson finished second (+16.8), Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Østberg third (+17.9).
The day’s first starter, Charlotte Kalla, trailed off to finish in fourth (+23.1). Kalla began with a small gap of 2.5 seconds on Johaug. The third starter, Andersson, began 14.5 seconds back.
Sadie Bjornsen of the U.S. Ski Team (USST) ended her day in 10th (+2:21.7), while teammate Jessie Diggins was 13th (+2:42.4). Rosie Brennan (APU) in a strong comeback to the World Cup placed 15th (+2:46.0).
Caitlin Patterson (CGRP), who earned a 30th place on Saturday, fell back slightly, ending up 34th (+5:13.1). Kailtlynn Miller (CGRP) finished in 50th (+7:43.9).
Kelsey Phinney did not start.
Fifty-six women started Sunday’s race.
The men’s 15 k classic pursuit featured an off-the-front dual between the day’s first two starters, Sjur Røthe and Didrik Tønseth. The two Norwegians started only 1.8 seconds apart. By 5 k, they had gapped third place starter, Norway’s Emil Iversen by 35.2 seconds. (Iversen had been 11.5 seconds back at the start.)
The Røthe-Tønseth engine continued to pull away from the field to gain over a minute by the finish. Tønseth won in a time of 44:13.8, Røthe crossed the line 1.8 seconds back.
Iversen placed third (+1:03.3), a whisker ahead of a charging pack with over thirty skiers. Sweden’s Calle Halfvarsson was fourth (+1:04.4).
Canada’s Alex Harvey was the best placed North American in 16th (+1:08.7). Also for Canada, Russell Kennedy (Team R.A.D.) was 61st (+4:32.4), and Andy Shields 71st (+6:06.7)
Erik Bjornsen of the U.S. Ski Team (USST) placed 32nd (+1:26.1). However, Bjornsen skied the third fastest time of day.
Also for the U.S., David Norris (APU) skied to 52nd (+3:21.9), Kevin Bolger (USST) 59th (+4:20.8), Adam Martin (CGRP) 62nd (+4:35.7), Scott Patterson (USST) 63rd (+4:39.0), Simi Hamilton 66th (+4:44.1).
Seventy-eight athletes finished the men’s race.
SuperTour, West Yellowstone, Mont.: 15 k / 10k Freestyle
Back on the high plateau’s of West Yellowstone, the SuperTour held day two of it’s Montana stop. The men raced a 15-kilometer freestyle — 3 times around a 5 k loop.
Craftsbury Green Racing Project’s (CGRP) Ben Lustgarten took the win in a squeaker over Kyle Bratrud who skis for SMS T2. Lustgarten won in time of 36:42.2 minutes, Bratrud stopped the clock 3.5 seconds back. It was Lustgarten’s second podium in as many days; on Saturday he placed second in the skate sprint.
Akeo Maifeld-Caruuci (CGRP) placed third, beating out University of New Mexico skier Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier by 0.4 seconds. Izquierdo-Bernier was third in Saturday’s sprint.
The women’s SuperTour 10 k skate also featured a dual-podium skier from the weekend. Alaska Pacific University’s (APU) Rosie Frankowski won in 27:33.9 minutes. Frankowski placed second in the women’s skate sprint on Saturday. University of Utah skier Guro Jordheim took second (+46.2). APU’s Becca Rorabaugh was third, finishing 1:19.5 minutes back.
Domestic racing continues next weekend with the Sovereign Lake NorAm-SuperTour.
IBU World Cup Pokljka, Slovenia: 2 x 6 k + 2 x 7.5 k Mixed Relay + Single Mixed Relay
In Pokljka, Slovenia, men and women completed a 2 x 6 k + 2 x 7.5 k mixed relay. Placing first was Team France with Anais Bescond, Justine Braisaz, Martin Fourcade, and Simon Desthieux who completed the course in a total time of 1:10:02.8 with a team shooting score of (0+5). In the first leg, Bescond had two penalties (0+2 0+0). Following Bescond, was Braisaz with one miss (0+1 0+0). Fourcade raced the third lap, shooting 100 percent. Desthieux closed out for France in first after two misses (0+0 0+2).
Sunday’s second place went to Switzerland’s team of Elisa Gasparin, Lena Haecki, Benjamin Weger, and Jeremy Finello. The team finished 38.7 seconds back from France with a total team shooting score of (0+9). Gasparin raced the first leg, missing a total of three shots (0+1 0+2). Gasparin handed off to Haecki who also missed three shots (0+0 0+3). Weger, who skied the third leg, shot clean and Finello, who raced the last leg, had three misses (0+1 0+2).
The third team to finish on Sunday was Italy’s Lisa Vittozzi, Dorothea Wierer, Dominik Windisch, and Lukas Hofer. Italy finished 52.1 seconds behind France with a team total shooting score of (1+8). Vittozzi shot clean, while Wierer, who raced the second leg, missed two shots (0+2 0+0). In the third leg, Windisch skied six penalties (1+3 0+2), while Hofer closed out the fourth leg with one miss (0+0 0+1).
Team Canada finished in 10th (+2:33.2), with Rosanna Crawford racing the first lap and missing one (0+1 0+0). Megan Tandy tied Crawford’s score racing the second lap. In the third lap was Nathan Smith who cleaned, while Scott Gow also shot 100 percent in lap four.
The US Biathlon team of Susan Dunklee, Clare Egan, Leif Nordgren, and Sean Doherty finished in 15th (+4:19.8). Dunklee led the team off with two misses (0+1 0+1) while Egan followed in leg two with three misses (0+3 0+0). Nordgren took leg three with one miss, while Doherty skied three penalties (0+2 0+1) to close out the fourth leg.
In the single mixed relay – teams consist of a single male and female athlete – Norway’s Thekla Brun-Lie and Lars Helge Birkeland won in a total time of 38:26.7 minutes. Norway used only four spare rounds on its way to the win.
Austria’s Lisa Theresa Hauser and Eder Simon placed second, using five spare rounds, finishing 8.5 seconds back. Ukraine’s Anastaslya Merkushyna and Artem Tyshchenko were third (+20.7), using only a single spare round.
Canada’s Megan Bankes and Christian Gow placed sixth (+37.8) after using 10 spare rounds. The U.S. duo, Joanne Reid and Max Durtschi, were eventually lapped and were not given an official time. Prior to being pulled, Reid has used two spare rounds while shooting. Durtschi struggled with his second shooting bout, using three spares and ultimately skiing three penalty laps.