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Bjornsen14th in Ruka Triple mini tour

Mon, Nov  30, 2015 - By USSA

RUKA, Finland (Nov. 29, 2015) - Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) led the U.S. woman for the second day, finishing 14th in the Ruka Triple mini tour which closed with a 10k classic pursuit Sunday. Norway’s Therese Johaug ruled the tour, making this her first-ever opening win. Johaug finished first with a 22.6 second lead over Sweden’s Stina Nilsson, followed by Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg who finished third.

The U.S. competed in the Ruka Triple mini tour, which closed Sunday with a 10k classic pursuit. (Ruka)

The U.S. competed in the Ruka Triple mini tour, which closed Sunday with a 10k classic pursuit. (Ruka)

In the men’s 15k classic pursuit, Norway swept the podium as Martin Sundby dominated with a 44.7 second lead over Petter Northug Jr. who sprinted to a second place finish followed by Finn Krogh who placed third. Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) led the U.S. men in 46th followed by Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) in 52nd. The classic pursuit concluded the third stage of the Ruka Triple and the World Cup opener. Lillehammer, Norway will play host next weekend, December 5-6, for a two-day event including the first relay of the season.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) led the U.S. woman finishing 14th in the Ruka Triple three-day mini-tour to open the World Cup season. It was a career best in the tour for Bjornsen, who led the USA for the second straight year.
  • Norway’s Therese Johaug dominated the Ruka Triple making this her first-ever opening win. Johaug finished first with a 22.6 second lead on Sweden’s Stina Nilsson, followed by Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg in third.
  • Norway swept the tour podium as Martin Sundby dominated with a 44.7 second lead over Petter Northug Jr., who sprinted to a second place finish, followed by Finn Krogh who placed third.
  • Other U.S. women included Rosie Brennan (Park City, UT) in 34th, Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) 38th, Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT) 44th, Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT) in 59th and Caitlin Gregg (Minneapolis, MN) in 68th.
  • Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) led the U.S. men in 46th followed by Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) in 52nd place, Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO) 68th and Kris Freeman (Andover, NH) 73rd.
  • Andy Newell (Shaftbury, VT), who was fourth in the opening day sprint, started the race but did not finish.
  • The World Cup now heads to Lillehammer, Norway for two races next weekend, including the opening relay of the season.

QUOTES
Sadie Bjornsen

I am really stoked to finish with my best tour result ever. I am really satisfied for the weekend, and I know there is more to come, and more "less challenging conditions" to come as well!

I am looking forward to a few days of recovery before some more great racing next weekend. I am really confident in the shape of the woman's team right now. While some of them struggled a bit this weekend, it wasn't because of fitness, but more because of the special challenges of Kuusamo! So, I can't wait for Sunday to throw some relay socks on, and do what our woman's team does best... FIGHT!

Patience and optimism is the key on a day like today though, because there is such a variety of things that are going on. Some teams are skiing everything no problem, some teams are struggling in the same places and some teams just plane are having a terrible time! Today, I tried not to look around at the people I was skiing with, but instead I focused on doing the best I could with what I had. And, I was really satisfied at the end.

Thanks to our waxing crew again for busting butt on such a challenging condition. There was no simple answer out there today; it was a challenge no matter what. My wax tech did such an awesome job of keeping me relaxed and confident with what was going to happen, so I am so thankful for that.

RESULTS
Men's finale results
Women's finale results