LILLEHAMMER, Norway (Dec. 5, 2015) - The second weekend of World Cup competition kicked off with a 15k skiathlon on Saturday. The U.S. women had four in the top 30, led by Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) in 20th. Norway’s Therese Johaug has proved to be unstoppable yet again winnng by nearly a minute and a half over Norway’s Heidi Weng and with Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla third.
Skiathlon features a first half of the race using classic technique, then athletes change skis and finish the second half with freestyle technique.
&Sadie Bjornsen takes 20th in the Lillehammer Skiathlon. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Vianney Thibaut)
It was the second weekend in a row that Bjornsen has set the pace for the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team. She was followed in the top 30 by Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT) in 25th, Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) in 26th, and Caitlin Gregg (Minneapolis, MN) in 30th.
In the men’s 30k skiathlon, Norway swept the podium for a second consecutive weekend. Martin Sundby skied to first with a 44 second lead over Niklas Dyrhaug with Hans Holund finishing third. Leading the U.S was Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) who finished 25th followed by Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) in 42nd.
Competition continues Sunday with a 4x5k relay for the women and 4x7.5k for the men. It will be streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra with women at 4:00 a.m. EST and men at 5:50 a.m. EST.
STREAMING SCHEDULE (times EST)
Sunday, Dec. 6
4:00 a.m. – Women’s 4x5k relay
5:50 a.m. – Men’s 4x7.5k relay
NBC Sports Live Extra
It was an OK day for me today with some super positives and some struggles. I had a tough start—just being in the wrong place at the wrong time on a really thin track—so managed to get pushed back a little too far in the classic. My best pursuit races often come when I have a great classic leg. I was really happy with how I was skiing the hills in the skate leg, but unfortunately kept getting dropped out of the draft on the downhills, so didn't feel like I found my full potential. Regardless of how it went, it was fun to share the Lillehammer vibe and energy out there on the course. Nothing beats racing in Norway with all the fans and excitement!
Today was a good step in the right direction for me. After a lot of fresh snow yesterday followed by rapidly warming temperatures, the skiing was surprisingly good. Honestly I felt like I struggled throughout the race today. It was very painful. However, I was able to ski with some very good skiers and I'm pleased with my progress from last weekend.
The race for me today was a good step up from Kuusamo. I scored my first points of the season and I am happy to feel as though I skied the best I could. Today, my goals were to feel calm and relaxed on all the downhills, score points and go like hell on the uphills. I accomplished these goals today so, though I want more, I am happy with my performance. The season is long and our team is just getting started. I am at a point in my classic skiing where I really need kick to be able to do what I know I can do, and I had that. It's a dream to be a member of this team and I am really excited to get our giddy up going tomorrow in the first relay of the season.