In the ultimate World Cup race before the 2015 World Championships, Jessie Diggins led the American women’s team by taking 17th in Sunday’s 10-kilometer freestyle individual start off in Östersund, Sweden.
Diggins finished 1:47.seven behind winner Charlotte Kalla of Sweden, who posted a time of 23:26.1 in front of a big home crowd. Marit Bjørgen of Norway took 2nd (+36.4) to seal her fourth overall Planet Cup title, while Norway’s Therese Johaug placed third (+53.6).
Diggins had the fifth-quickest time at the 1.eight k mark, but slowed to 14th by six.eight k into the race.
U.S. Ski Crew (USST) Women’s Coach Matt Whitcomb mentioned in a cellphone interview, “You may well appear at the pacing and say, ‘There’s an athlete that went out as well hard’ … but I seem at it as, there is an athlete that went out and tried to win a race.”
He explained that whilst Diggins faded all through the race, he preferred her intense technique to a a lot more conservative start, including that she showed integrity and her entire body responded nicely to her energy.
“17th is a wonderful consequence, and I know she felt great and looked great undertaking it. So I’m fired up for her,” he mentioned.
Liz Stephen, who positioned fifth general in the 2015 Tour de Ski, ended up 26th (+two:08.6).
“I was not checked into race mode either in the entire body or the head, so I have a bit to function on more than the next week,” Stephen wrote in an e-mail.
She explained that the course was difficult and consisted of a lot of steep climbs and fast descents, in addition to some icy spots below a layer of crushed corn snow. Nevertheless, with the huge crowd of fans, she wrote that it created for a excellent ski-racing ambiance.
“I am feeling great, physically and mentally,” she explained. “I am truly enthusiastic to be heading to Falun tomorrow and can’t wait to get the Globe Champs started.”
Whitcomb said that even though they were hoping for a stronger race, he is not concerned about Stephen’s functionality. He remains assured about where she is heading into Globe Championships.
“My guess is that we need to have a couple more significant doses of rest – a day here, a day there – ahead of her initial target occasion at World Champs, which will be the skiathlon. And the program has that in it previously, so no emergency action will be taken,” he mentioned.
Rosie Brennan took 32nd (+two:26.6), a day following finishing 33rd in the classic sprint. She was 2.seven seconds from cracking the prime 30.
Brennan wrote in an e-mail that she felt she had a decent day, but believed some elements of the race could have gone far better. She explained that she enjoyed the course’s steep and quite a few uphill sections but struggled in the downhills and “undulating terrain.”
“They misplaced a lot of snow right here last week so most of the program was quickly, manmade snow breaking down into sugar-like snow,” she wrote.
Brennan extra that she feels confident about her fitness and training, and that it was excellent preparation for World Championships to race twice this weekend.
“After a number of weeks off racing, it typically will take me a race or two to get back in my groove,” she wrote.
Meanwhile, Kikkan Randall finished in 33rd (+two:27.7), just 3.8 seconds out of the best 30.
She explained in an email to the press that she had a robust commence and identified a rhythm in the first lap, but located it tough to “kick it into full race gear.”
“While the speed was not as aggressive as I had hoped to locate right now, the feelings had been a great deal a lot more constructive than earlier in the season. This confirms that my planning more than the past month has been productive. Now it’s just a matter of obtaining my body back into race mode,” she wrote.
She added that the weekend was a excellent improve as she prepares for the World Championships traditional sprint on Thursday.
All round, Whitcomb mentioned Sunday was not a self-confidence-developing day, specifically as the staff seems to be towards Globe Championships. He explained the team would favor to enter Worlds with season-best benefits.
“But the fact is, no a single race can capture where we are as a crew,” he explained. “We’re leaving Östersund with some truly valuable feedback, and we come to feel flawlessly cozy with the place we require to be correct now … We’re an eager team, and we’re truly hunting forward to putting on a display in Falun.”