RUKA, Finland (Nov. 29, 2015) - Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) led the U.S. woman for the second day, finishing 14th in the Ruka Triple mini tour which closed with a 10k classic pursuit Sunday. Norway’s Therese Johaug ruled the tour, making this her first-ever opening win. Johaug finished first with a 22.6 second lead over Sweden’s Stina Nilsson, followed by Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg who finished third.
The U.S. competed in the Ruka Triple mini tour, which closed Sunday with a 10k classic pursuit. (Ruka)
In the men’s 15k classic pursuit, Norway swept the podium as Martin Sundby dominated with a 44.7 second lead over Petter Northug Jr. who sprinted to a second place finish followed by Finn Krogh who placed third. Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) led the U.S. men in 46th followed by Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) in 52nd. The classic pursuit concluded the third stage of the Ruka Triple and the World Cup opener. Lillehammer, Norway will play host next weekend, December 5-6, for a two-day event including the first relay of the season.
I am really stoked to finish with my best tour result ever. I am really satisfied for the weekend, and I know there is more to come, and more "less challenging conditions" to come as well!
I am looking forward to a few days of recovery before some more great racing next weekend. I am really confident in the shape of the woman's team right now. While some of them struggled a bit this weekend, it wasn't because of fitness, but more because of the special challenges of Kuusamo! So, I can't wait for Sunday to throw some relay socks on, and do what our woman's team does best... FIGHT!
Patience and optimism is the key on a day like today though, because there is such a variety of things that are going on. Some teams are skiing everything no problem, some teams are struggling in the same places and some teams just plane are having a terrible time! Today, I tried not to look around at the people I was skiing with, but instead I focused on doing the best I could with what I had. And, I was really satisfied at the end.
Thanks to our waxing crew again for busting butt on such a challenging condition. There was no simple answer out there today; it was a challenge no matter what. My wax tech did such an awesome job of keeping me relaxed and confident with what was going to happen, so I am so thankful for that.