Nordic Programs

Diggins Leads U.S. at Ostersund Freestyle

by
USSA
2015-02-15 09:07
 

OSTERSUND, Sweden (Feb. 15, 2015) – Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) led the U.S. with a 17th place finish in the Ostersund 10K Freestyle World Cup, the lone top-twenty result today for the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team. Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT) finished 26th overall. Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO), in his return to World Cup racing following an injury in December, led the U.S. men with a 38th place finish. Ostersund is the last World Cup leading into the Falun World Championships.

“This is not a confidence boosting day, but it also isn't something that causes us worry,” Coach Matt Whitcomb explained. “We always hope to enter a major championship with great results, but the fact is that this team is on the rise, and no one race can capture where we are."

Diggins highlighted the benefits of her day in tuning up before Falun, “One of my goals was to charge right from the gate, because I've been in the habit of taking it out too conservatively in most of my races this year. I definitely went hard, and perhaps a little too hard because the second lap I was hurting a lot, but it was good for me to dial in my 10km pacing strategy before Worlds. Conditions were hard and fast in Ostersund with large crowds.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Jessie Diggins led the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team in the Ostersund 10K Freestyle World Cup.
  • Liz Stephen finished 26th.
  • Noah Hoffman led the U.S. men in 38th place, his first World Cup after recovering from injury sustained in December.
  • Finn Hagen Krogh (Norway) won the men’s event. Charlotte Kalla (Sweden) won the women’s race.

QUOTES
Jessie Diggins

I'm pretty psyched with how today went! I raced on some brand spanking new skis that felt great thanks to our techs, and I thought the course was really fun. It had a lot of twists and turns and ups and downs, which made it exciting. 

One of my goals was to charge right from the gate, because I've been in the habit of taking it out too conservatively in most of my races this year. I definitely went hard, and perhaps a little too hard because the second lap I was hurting a lot, but it was good for me to dial in my 10km pacing strategy before Worlds. 

The fans on the course were so awesome and the energy was great out there! Anytime there's a hot tub trailside and you're skiing through bonfire smoke and tons of people are yelling your name, it's impossible not to be psyched. 

Today is a good indicator of where each athlete is with regards to their taper.  Are they rested and sharp, or are they in need of a little more rest and sharper sessions before their target events?   It's is a mix of both and we feel like we are in good control.

Liz Stephen
Today was not the re-entry to the World Cup I was hoping for, as I left on such a high note in this very race 3 weeks ago, but it was also nice to back in the race scene again and I think that a lot of times I need a race to warm back into it all again. 

I am looking ahead to Falun and will show up on the start line of whatever races I am in ready to rock.  I need to revamp my confidence again, and do everything I can to be mentally and physically in a place that I can ski my best.

Matt Whitcomb
This is not a confidence-boosting day, but it also isn't something that causes us worry. We always hope to enter a major championship with great results, but the fact is that this team is on the rise, and no one race can capture where we are.  Today is a good indicator of where each athlete is with regards to their taper. Are they rested and sharp, or are they in need of a little more rest and sharper sessions before their target events?  It's is a mix of both and we feel like we are in good control.

In spite of this being a flat day for the team, there were a few notable positives.  Kyle Bratrud (NMU) began what I think could be a long World Cup career. He had a pretty hard crash into some netting on the first lap that cost him at least 45 seconds, but it was clear that he settled back in and found his rhythm. Noah Hoffman returned to the World Cup scene.  It's been great to have him back on the road, and 38th in his return to the World Cup is very positive. Jessie Diggins' 17th is a very strong race in one of the best fields of the year, and I'm  confident with both how she felt and where she is right now.

This is an eager team. We are prepared to put together our best World Championships.

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