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Sadie Bjornsen 21st in Lillehammer freestyle sprint

Sat, Dec  6, 2014 - By USSA

LILLEHAMMER, Norway (Dec. 5) - Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) led the U.S. Ski Team with a 21st place finish in the opening event of the three-day Lillehammer World Cup mini tour in a freestyle sprint. Norway was dominant in the race with Marit Bjoergen leading a sweep of the women’s event and teammate Pal Golberg narrowly winning over Russia’s Alexey Petchukov. Finn Hagen Krogh of Norway finished third.

Sadie Bjornsen (bib 16) led the U.S. Ski Team with a 21st place finish in the opening event of the three-day Lillehammer World Cup mini tour in a freestyle sprint. (Photo: Matt Whitcomb/U.S. Ski Team

Sadie Bjornsen (bib 16) led the U.S. Ski Team with a 21st place finish in the opening event of the three-day Lillehammer World Cup mini tour in a freestyle sprint. (Photo: Matt Whitcomb/U.S. Ski Team)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Bjornsen was the lone American to advance to the heats after qualifying in 16th place.
  • Bjornsen finished fifth in her quarterfinal heat to place 21st overall in the freestyle sprint.
  • On Saturday the women ski a 5k freestyle event and the men a 10k freestyle event as the second stage of the three-day mini-tour.
  • The Lillehammer World Cup Stage event concludes on Sunday with a 10k / 15k Classic pursuit event.
  • Andrew Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) was the top US male finisher in 36th place.
  • Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK) failed to qualify for the heats, placing 43rd.

QUOTES

Sadie Bjornsen
I was happy with the qualifier and it was fun to do more heats. Each weekend I’m building back into race shape. Every heat that I do, I learn more and more. Sometimes I wish I could just race heats to keep improving, but I’m happy with my qualifying. I’m really looking forward to the skating race tomorrow. I haven’t done a 5k skate in a while and these are very hard courses so it will be a fun challenge.

Chris Grover
We had a little but of a perfect storm today with athletes that were sick, coming back from injury, and athletes still under a bit of a fatigue load. Nobody had the race they wanted to have. Sadie led the charge but even she wasn’t happy with the way she was feeling in her quarterfinal. Norway had great, great skis. Our skis were average for the field, but definitely not on the caliber of Norway. We retested after qualification and we will make a lot more tests and some very bid adjustments before tomorrow’s skate race. Overall I’m really happy with how the service team is working together even with this speed bump but we have a bit of work to do before tomorrow. Kikkan has had some illness this week that she’s trying to come out of and it has taken the wind out of her sails a bit and the same for Andy Newell. All of our athletes are targeting bigger things after Period 1 and you will see results from these athletes, but today was not that day.

RESULTS

Men’s Freestyle Sprint
http://www.fis-ski.com/cross-country/events-and-places/event=35086/race=24087/index.html

Women’s Freestyle Sprint
http://www.fis-ski.com/cross-country/events-and-places/event=35086/race=24084/index.html