Nordic Programs

Newell 10th in Oberhof Sprint

by
USSA
2013-12-29 10:19
 

OBERHOF, Germany (Dec. 29) – Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) skied into 10th place after qualifying 12th at the slushy freestyle sprint in Oberhof, the second stage of the Tour de Ski. Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT) qualified fifth for the women, the best qualification of her career, before finishing 22nd behind Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) in 18th. The Tour moves to Lenzerheide Tuesday for skate sprints, where U.S. athletes hope for better snow conditions and a chance to boost their overall tour standings.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) skied into 10th place after qualifying 12th at the slushy freestyle sprint in Oberhof, the second stage of the Tour de Ski. Newell moved up to 11th in the Tour standings after Sunday’s sprint.
  • Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT) qualified fifth for the women, the best qualification of her career, before finishing 22nd behind Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) in 18th. Caldwell moved into 13th and Diggins into 14th in the Tour standings, which are based on qualifying times.
  • Diggins had a good start and took the early lead to set the pace, but she lost the lead in the transition from a downhill into an uphill about two-thirds into the race.
  • The Swedes took both victories today with Calle Halfvarsson winning the men’s race and Hanna Erikson winning for the women.
  • The sprint consisted of a single lap of 1.5k track starting in the stadium, around a track and then out into the woods. The narrow track and wet, thin snowpack was again a factor in the competition.
  • The Tour moves to Lenzerheide, Switzerland Tuesday for skate sprints, where U.S. athletes hope for better snow conditions and a chance to boost their overall tour standings.

QUOTES
Sophie Caldwell
I think I was still riding a bit of excitement from yesterday, and I was looking forward to racing the same course today. I felt great in my prelim and was psyched (and surprised) to qualify in fifth. I ended up being in a heat with five German girls and they were on fire today and I got a little tired out. So even though I was hoping to do a little better in my heat, I think I'm still learning a lot each time I qualify for the rounds and definitely have some notes to take away from today. I'm looking forward to another skate sprint in Lenzerheide on Tuesday and then it will also be fun to put on some classic skis and do a distance race Wednesday!

Jessie Diggins
I was really happy with my start in the quarterfinals; my goal was to get off to a strong start and be in the front or near it because the course is so twisty and very hard to pass on. I got a little tired near the end, and I also managed to twist my right pole basket around 180-degrees so on the last uphill climb I was struggling to get any power when missing pole plants. Lesson learned! It was a solid day but my body wasn't feeling the way it was in the prologue...that that's the beauty of the Tour de Ski - it's about the long run, not each individual day! I'm looking forward to the next races, and getting to spend some time in Lenzerheide.

I'm psyched for Andy's top 10, Sophie's amazing qualifier, and our team was SO close to having 3 more in the quarters - especially Liz! Watch out world, Liz is getting her skate sprint going, and it's awesome.

Chris Grover, U.S. Cross Country Ski Team Head Coach 
It was just an okay day by us today. Liz, Holly and Simi all missed qualification so narrowly. Simi was unfortunate to have a snow squall just as he was beginning his qualification round that really slowed down the track. Highlights for us were Andy's 10th place finish. He skied his quarterfinal like a pro and really executed his plan, making a critical lunge at the finish to make it into the semifinal. And Sophie's fifth place qualification really demonstrates that she is a full World Cup contender in sprint now, able to qualify in either technique on any given day. 

RESULTS
Official Men’s Results
Official Women’s Results

STANDINGS
Men’s Tour Standings
Women’s Tour Standings

LINKS
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