Nordic

Bjornsen Classic Leader in 10k

by
Tom Kelly
2017-02-28 09:37
 

LAHTI, Finland (Feb. 28, 2017) - Norway’s Marit Bjoergen won her second gold medal of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Tuesday with a dominating 41-second win in the women’s 10k classic. Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA), who together with Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) won bronze in the classic team sprint on Sunday, led the USA in 23rd.

Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla took silver with Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen winning bronze.

With a medal already in the bag, Bjornsen went into the 10k classic with optimism.

“Being on the podium Sunday definitely gave me a lot of confidence,” she said. “I went in today a bit nervous because I had some more expectations. I was giving it all out there, but it was a really tough day condition-wise and making your skis work.” 


Sadie Bjornsen tucks in the Lahti Stadium. (U.S. Ski Team-Tom Kelly)

Bjornsen came in with a plan to manage her pace. “I definitely wanted to keep things under control at the beginning,” she said. “I feel like last weekend, I started really hard and struggled to keep the pace up. I tend to be better when I do a more gradual start and tried to pin it after that. I haven’t seen splits, but based on the way I felt, I maybe started a little too easy.”

The conditions Tuesday afternoon also dictated getting out of the classic tracks and running. “I was really trying to force it and stay in the track,” she said. “But at 4k, [Head Coach Chris] Grover told me to get out of the track and that it was much faster to run. From there, I skied a bit better.”

Kikkan Randall (Anchorage), who won bronze in the freestyle sprint last Thursday to open the World Championships, skied to 26th. Randall and others were in the hunt for a spot on Thursday’s women’s 4x5k relay, so put a special focus on the first half of her race.


Kikkan Randall vies for a spot on Thursday's relay team. (U.S. Ski Team-Tom Kelly)

“There were a couple of us trying to prove that we’re worthy of the relay spot,” said Randall. “For Rosie and I, we were trying to ski our first 5k pretty hard and really use this as a test. Then I managed to survive the second lap.”

Randall, who has not been known as a classic distance specialist, was pleased with her race.

“It was better conditions than I thought it would be,” she said. “On the warm up, there were so many people on the track, it was making it feel a little glassy. But once I got on there (during the race), my skis felt really strong today. It was pretty fun! Even though there’re big hills, you can race them really hard and then recover and then do it again. I’m pretty happy with the race.”


Rosie Brennan skis to 32nd. (Getty Images-Nils Petter Nilsson)

Rosie Brennan (Park City, UT) was 32nd with Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT) 43rd.

The men are back in action Wednesday with a 15k classic. The women are now looking ahead to Thursday’s relay. The final start list for the U.S. team will be announced Wednesday. The women are expected to challenge for a medal in the 4x5k relay, which will be streamed live on NBC Sports beginning at 8:00 a.m. EST Thursday.

QUOTES

Sadie Bjornsen
Being on the podium Sunday definitely gave me a lot of confidence. I went in today a bit nervous because I had some more expectations. I was giving it all out there, but it was a really tough day condition-wise and making your skis work. I just gave what I had today. I must have a fair amount of fatigue because I know for sure that I ski 10k better than that.

I definitely wanted to keep things under control at the beginning. I feel like last weekend, I started really hard and struggled to keep the pace up. I tend to be better when I do a more gradual start and tried to pin it after that. I haven’t seen splits, but based on the way I felt, I maybe started a little too easy.

Today was a day that you had to get out of the track and run in order to make your skis work. I was really trying to force it and stay in the track. At 4k, Grover told me to get out of the track and that it was much faster to run. From there, I skied a bit better.

Kikkan Randall
It was better conditions than I thought it would be. On the warm up, there were so many people on the track, it was making it feel a little glassy. But once I got on there (during the race), my skis felt really strong today. It was pretty fun! Even though there’re big hills, you can race them really hard and then recover and then do it again. I’m pretty happy with the race.

I think there were a couple of us trying to prove that we’re worthy of the relay spot. I think for Rosie and I, we were trying to ski our first 5k pretty hard and really use this as a test. Then I managed to survive the second lap.

Classic skiing takes a lot more finesse than skating. You can’t just put brute force into it. It’s really about the timing and finding that efficiency and rest/recover between strokes. The really good technical skiers can ski incredibly fast, but smooth. Especially in conditions like today when the track is a little glassy, the harder you try to push in the snow, the harder it is. You have to keep playing and switch up your momentum. It’s tricky.

I think the first 5k went pretty well. It’s certainly the best opening 5k I’ve had all year. I felt like my body wanted to turn on and go on those first couple hills. That’s kind of an exciting new feeling for me. Rosie was a few bibs ahead of me and I know she had a really good start as well. I got some splits out there that we were within seconds of each other the whole first 5k. I don’t really know what happened after that. I actually found my groove in the last 2.5k. Overall, it was a pretty solidly paced race. 

Rosie Brennan
I was just trying to focus on my skiing. I felt better than I did on Saturday so I’m happy with that. I’m not sure it was quite what I wanted. I don’t know if I was looking for a result as much as a feeling. I think I’m close, but not quite there. It’s greasy and wet out there. I had big kick, but I’m not sure the speed was quite there.

LIVE STREAMING AND BROADCAST SCHEDULE (times EST) 

Tuesday, Feb. 28
5:30-7:00 p.m. - Women's 10k classic - TV: Universal HD

Wednesday, Mar. 1
5:00-6:00 a.m. - Nordic combined HS130m ski jumping - LIVE STREAM
6:45-8:45 a.m. - Men's 15k classic - LIVE STREAM
9:15-10:15 a.m. - Nordic combined 10k - LIVE STREAM
7:00-10:00 p.m. - Daily broadcast coverage - TV: Universal HD

Thursday, Mar. 2
8:00-10:00 a.m. - Women's 4x5k relay - LIVE STREAM
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. - Men's HS130m ski jumping - LIVE STREAM
1:00-3:00 p.m - Daily broadcast coverage - TV: NBCSN

Friday, Mar. 3
6:30-8:30 a.m. - Men's 4x10k relay - LIVE STREAM
9:00-10:00 a.m. - Nordic combined HS130m ski jump - LIVE STREAM
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. - Nordic combined 2x7.5k team sprint - LIVE STREAM
12:00-2:30 p.m. - Daily broadcast coverage - TV: NBCSN

Saturday, Mar. 4
7:30-9:30 a.m. - Women's 30k freestyle - LIVE STREAM
10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. - Men's HS130m ski jumping team event - LIVE STREAM
7:30-10:30 p.m. - Daily broadcast coverage - TV: Universal HD

Sunday, Mar. 5
7:00-9:00 a.m. - Men's 50k freestyle - LIVE STREAM
1:30-3:30 p.m. - Men's 50k freestyle - TV: Universal HD

RESULTS
Women’s 10k Classic