World Cup Report: Tour de Ski Wrapup, Dresden Sprints
The Tour de Ski (TDS) is in the books and the USA had six skiers climb the Alpe Cermis. Although some didn’t finish where they wanted to in the overall standings, summiting Alpe Cermis on the final day is an achievement all on its own. After seven races in nine days your body starts to wear down and then to have that final day be a climb up one of the steepest hills in the world is a difficult task. After the final race, it was Norway’s Therese Johaug and Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov that were standing on the top step of the TDS podium.
Val Di Fiemme
- Jan 03 Mass start Classic 10km/15km
- Jan 04 Classic Sprint
- Jan 05 Final Climb Mass Start Freestyle 10km
Mass Start Classic
All season Johaug has looked unbeatable but in Toblach she lost to teammate Ingvild Oestberg and in the mass start she missed a spot on the podium by five seconds. For someone who has been so dominant all season it is a weird sight to see. The women’s race broke into a lead group of five and came down to a sprint finish in which Norweigian teammate Astrid Jacobsen would take a narrow victory over Ebba Anderson of Sweden and Katharina Hennig of Germany. Only one second separated the top three skiers and for Hennig it was the first female German medal in recent memory. The US ski team raced four women and Sadie Maubet-Bjornsen was the top finisher in eighth place. Maubet-Bjornsen was in the lead group most of the race until the last two laps where she got dropped by 10-15 seconds and just couldn’t close the time gap in the final lap. Jessica Diggins was the second finisher for the team and placed 17th. Diggins was doing all she could to hang with the leaders but by lap three the toll of racing had done its damage and she fell off the back of the lead groups. She would finish 1:05 back from Jacobsen. Rosie Brennan would put together another top 20 race and finish hot on Diggins’s heels only 1:07 back. Katherine Ogden was the final US finisher in the women’s field placing 28th. Ogden scored some FIS points and was the fourth U23 athlete to finish in the field.
The men’s race, like the womens’, came down to a tight sprint finish and only one second separated the top three finishers again. The Norwegian sprint specialist Johannes Klæbo was able to take the victory away from Russia’s Sergey Ustigov in second and Alexander Bolshunov in third. The men’s race was a very stagnant race until the last lap. When they came in to start the last lap the lead group was 20+ athletes deep. The field quickly spread out as the pace crept up and by the final sprint only four athletes had a chance to win. David Norris led the US men in 38th place and his APU teammate Logan Hanneman was the only other male finisher in 59th.
It was a resurgent day for Diggins who won(!) the qualifier and battled to a third place sprint finish, the top result for the US women. Anamarjia Lampic, collected her second sprint win in two days. In this year’s Tour de Ski they added a points division. The overall point leader is similar to wearing the green jersey in the Tour de France typically the sprint days are weighted heavier than the distance days to give the sprinters something to fight for. With this win Lampic all but sealed the overall TDS point standings and is looking to be a contender for the sprint cup points this season. It was the second straight day that Astrid Jacobsen popped off a strong result and finished second just a hair out of the lead. Maubet-Bjornsen was also able to squeak her way into the final heat with Diggins and finished 4th. Brennan qualified for the quarterfinals but was in an extremely tough heat and wasn’t able to escape the first round. Ogden was the last finisher and ended up 32nd on the day, just missing out on heats. On the men’s side Klæbo showed his dominance once again edging out Bolshunov and Ustigov. Like Lampic, Klæbo, all but sealed the overall TDS point standings with his second sprint win of the tour. Hanneman qualified again for the quarterfinal heats but wasn’t able to make the jump to the semi-finals. Norris failed to qualify for the heats but both would be ready for the penultimate day up the Alpe Cermis.
This year’s final climb was a mass start instead of the normal pursuit format race. Johaug returned to super human form and won the race by 50 seconds. The race for the rest of the podium was a tight one between Oestberg, Russia’s Natlia Nepryeva, and Norway’s Heidi Weng. Weng was able to hold off the other two for a majority of the race and secured a second place finish. Oestberg and Nepryeva skied most of the race together and it was Oestberg that was able to best the surging Russian for a third place finish. Diggins was again the top finisher for the US in 6th place and she barely held off Brennan who would finish in 7th. Maubet-Bjornsen fell off the leaders pace early in the race and was able fight off the pain and finish in 13th. Last to finish for the US was Ogden who completed her first ever Tour and was 3rd overall in the U23 category. In the Men’s race Norway’s Simen Hegstad-Krueger skied away with a convincing victory with his teammate Sjur Roethe coming in second. Alexander Bolshunov capped off a dominant tour with a third place finish. Norris skied to 30th place scoring his first tour finish ever. Hanneman also finished his first tour and raced to a 56th place finish. Rest and Recovery will surely be in the training plan for the next week.
Overall Tour de Ski Standings: Women: 1. JOHAUG Therese NOR 2:28:18.6 2. NEPRYAEVA Natalia RUS 2:29:29.7 +1:11.1 3. OESTBERG Ingvild Flugstad NOR 2:29:36.1 +1:17.5 4. WENG Heidi NOR 2:29:55.9 +1:37.3 5. JACOBSEN Astrid Uhrenholdt NOR 2:30:32.0 +2:13.4 6. STADLOBER Teresa AUT 2:32:52.7 +4:34.1 7. MAUBET BJORNSEN Sadie USA 2:32:59.2 +4:40.6 8. HENNIG Katharina GER 2:32:59.5 +4:40.9 9. DIGGINS Jessica USA 2:33:02.7 +4:44.1 10. WENG Tiril Udnes NOR 2:33:25.7 +5:07.1 15. BRENNAN Rosie USA 2:35:29.6 +7:11.0 28. OGDEN Katharine USA 2:40:45.1 +12:26.5 MEN: 1. BOLSHUNOV Alexander RUS 2:58:18.1 2. USTIUGOV Sergey RUS 2:58:45.4 +27.3 3. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot NOR 2:59:27.1 +1:09.0 4. ROETHE Sjur NOR 3:00:09.7 +1:51.6 5. KRUEGER Simen Hegstad NOR 3:01:11.8 +2:53.7 6. GOLBERG Paal NOR 3:01:13.8 +2:55.7 7. COLOGNA Dario SUI 3:01:26.8 +3:08.7 8. MELNICHENKO Andrey RUS 3:01:35.6 +3:17.5 9. MALTSEV Artem RUS 3:01:50.9 +3:32.8 10. NISKANEN Iivo FIN 3:01:57.3 +3:39.2 35. NORRIS David USA 3:08:36.2 +10:18.1 56. HANNEMAN Logan USA 3:18:23.6 +20:05.5
Dresden City Sprints
- Jan 11 Freestyle Sprints - 6:30 am CST heats
- Jan 12 Teamsprint - 6:30 am CST heats
Dresden, Germany, is the first of the city sprint weekends this year. The other that will happen is in Drammen, Norway on Wednesday, March 4th. The city sprints are always hectic and ski preparations change drastically because of the short course opening times and the one-way loops. Pay close attention to ski speed in the city sprints because often it can show who the most efficient teams are at testing in short periods of time. Teamsprints will be at full strength this weekend for the first time this season as most of the big hitters were not present in Plancia early in the season in which Sweden took the top spot in the women’s race and Norway in the men’s field.
About the author...
Chris Hecker is a Rex Wax representative and wax technician working on the World Cup this season for both cross-country and biathlon events. Hecker hails from Ham Lake, Minnesota, racing for Anoka high school and St. Scholastica College. Hecker will be providing regular updates on the World Cup racing scene this season. Chris can be reached at: