Nordic

Caldwell 11th in Stockholm City Sprint

by
USSA
2016-02-11 12:13
 

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (Feb. 11, 2016) – Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT) led the U.S. team on Thursday in a FIS World Cup 1.2k classic sprint around the Royal Palace in Stockholm, finishing 11th as teammate Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) finished 15th.

“Today was my first time ever competing in the Stockholm city sprint,” said Caldwell. “It's still a fairly gradual course, as most city sprints are, but I liked that the uphills were a little steeper and the flats were a little flatter than they were in Drammen.”

Norway’s Maiken Falla claimed another convincing World Cup victory, 3.39 seconds over teammate Ingvild Oestberg and Sweden’s Stina Nilsson in third. In the men’s sprint final, it was a double-pole battle to the finish as Russia’s Nikita Kriukov reclaimed the top spot of the podium. Norway’s Ola Hattestad and Petter Northug Jr. finished second and third respectively.

Caldwell qualified ninth and won her quarterfinal heat, but fatigue set in in the semifinals where Caldwell finished sixth, denying her a spot in the finals.

“In my semifinal, I was feeling the fatigue from my quarter and was at the back of the pack for most of the race,” she said. “I opted to have great kicking skis, but may have given up a little glide in doing so.

“Classic city sprints are something I'm eager to work on in the future, but I was happy to make the semis today and think it's a huge improvement over previous years,” she added.

The U.S. men qualified two out of four men in the quarterfinal heats, Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) and Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO), but they did not advance further. Hamilton and Newell finished 22nd and 23rd respectively.

Competition continues Saturday, February 13 in Falun, Sweden with a 10/5k classic mass start beginning at 5:30 a.m. EST.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Norway’s Maiken Falla is unbeaten in her last three classic sprint races.
  • Sweden’s Stina Nilsson is leading the overall sprint World Cup with 414 points, 18 points ahead of Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Østberg in second with 396 points.
  • Italy’s Federico Pellegrino is closing in on being the first athlete outside Norway and Sweden to win the overall sprint World Cup. In the 19 editions of this World Cup, Norway has 12 wins and Sweden seven.
  • For the U.S. women, Sophie Caldwell finished 11th, Jessie Diggins, 15th, Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) 37th, Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT) 49th, Jennie Bender (Johnson, VT) 56th, and Caitlin Patterson (Anchorage, AK) 58th.
  • For the U.S. men, Simi Hamilton finished 22nd, Andy Newell 23rd, Reese Hanneman (Anchorage, AK) 66th and Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) 69th.
  • The 10/5k classic mass start in Falun, Sweden will be streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra February 13 at 5:30 a.m. EST.

 

QUOTES

Sophie Caldwell
Today was my first time ever competing in the Stockholm city sprint. It's still a fairly gradual course, as most city sprints are, but I liked that the uphills were a little steeper and the flats were a little flatter than they were in Drammen.

I felt great in my qualifier and tried to pace it well and not waste too much energy by being frantic. I qualified in ninth, but was only 1.6 seconds out from first, which is much tighter than the women's field usually is in qualification. This meant that the heats were going to be hard! In my quarterfinal I hopped in behind Jennie Oeberg and basically followed her to the finish lanes where I chose my own and lunged past her.

I think I skied it tactically well, but it was a really demanding race. With the slower snow conditions, there is basically no recovery out there. In my semi final, I was feeling the fatigue from my quarter and was at the back of the pack for most of the race. I opted to have great kicking skis, but may have given up a little glide in doing so. Classic city sprints are something I'm eager to work on in the future, but I was happy to make the semis today and think it's a huge improvement over previous years.

RESULTS
Men’s 1.2k Classic
Women’s 1.2k Classic