VAL DI FIEMME, Italy – (March 2) Saturday was another spring-like day for the 30k classic at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships where Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT) finished 16th, taking the top spot for U.S. women. Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT) came in 25th after 30 hot, hard fought kilometers. Marit Bjoergen of Norway took the gold, her fourth of the World Champs.
Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT) cruises through the warm weather to finish 16th in the 30k classic at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme. (U.S. Ski Team - Sarah Brunson)
I’m definitely happy with it. It wasn’t the perfect day out there for me. I would have liked to stay with the lead pack a little bit longer and have some people to ski with. All things considered, I had really good last 10k and first 4 or 5k, so I’m happy.
There was a really big crash on the Elevator Shaft on the first lap. There were probably like 15 people down, so a lot of us lost the lead pack. I think that it was hard to catch back up to them and my brain decided I wasn’t racing anymore for 10k and then I finally got it back. I’m happy with the race and I’ve been really happy with the Championships.
It was just a suffer-fest to get to the finish. It felt a bit like a death march out there. It was just so slow, and I kept getting really really hot and getting these headaches because it was so hot. I’d get water and dump water on my head and that would help for a little while and then I’d get really hot again. Then I’d get to the next coach and get to dump some more water on my head (laughs). It was just super slow out there and 30k is not my distance so just making it to the finish was a lot better than Oslo last year—but still, tough. Good training day.