Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway leads the pack during the 50k mass start Saturday in Oslo, Norway. Noah Hoffman was the top American finisher in 24th. (Getty Images-Trond Tandberg)
OSLO, Norway (Feb. 6, 2016) – Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) led the U.S. men, finishing 24th, in a FIS World Cup 50k classic on Saturday, at the iconic Holmenkollen stadium in Oslo.
Norway’s Martin Sundby challenged the field early but stayed with a group for much of the race until 10k to go, where he surged ahead to secure his coveted victory, 18.8 seconds over teammate Niklas Dryhaug and Russia’s Maxim Vylegzhanin who battled for third with Norway’s Didrik Toenseth. Sundby had been on the podium five consecutive times at Holmenkollen but this is his first victory.
On the rigorous Holmenkollen course, Hoffman and Scott Patterson (Anchorage, AK) proved their strength in distance classic skiing once again as they finished 24th and 32nd respectively. Unfortunately, Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) started the race but did not finish due to an illness so he can rest efficiently to put full focus on his races in Falun next weekend.
“Noah Hoffman and Scott Patterson put together a couple strong results in the Holmenkollen 50k. We are really psyched for them,” said U.S. Coach Matt Whitcom. “For Scott to nearly crack the points on one of the hardest 50k course in the world as a World Cup rookie is very impressive. He has a big future ahead of him.”
The women’s 30k classic at Holmenkollen continues Sunday, Feb. 7 at 6:15 a.m. EST.
Sundby’s victory marked the first time in the 114-year history of the event that an athlete has had five consecutive podiums.
The 50k race in Holmenkollen, Oslo, has been organized since 1902, when Karl Hovelsen won the race.
Matt Whitcomb – U.S. Ski Team Coach Noah Hoffman and Scott Patterson put together a couple strong results in the Holmenkollen 50k. We are really psyched for them. For Scott to nearly crack the points on one of the hardest 50k course in the world as a World Cup rookie is very impressive. He has a big future ahead of him.
Erik dropped out of the race after two laps today. His plan going into the race was to decide after a lap or two whether his body was recovered and ready for the effort or not. He wasn’t feeling good and made the call on his own. This was a mature decision for Erik as I know he would’ve rather toughed it out and finished, but it’s not about that – it’s about hitting a big result in Falun next weekend. He has a plan, and I support his decision to pull out today.