Anchorage skier Sadie Bjornsen is off to a good start in the demanding Tour de Ski, posting two straight top-15 finish in the cross-country race series that challenges World Cup skiers with eight races in 10 days in three countries.
Bjornsen, a U.S. Ski Team member who trains with the Alaska Pacific University program, placed 13th in Saturday's 15-kilometer classic. The day before, she took seventh in the sprint.
Both races were in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, where racing continues Sunday with a pursuit.
Bjornsen was the second American in each race. Jessie Diggins of Minnesota was 11th on Saturday and Sophie Caldwell of Vermont was fourth on Friday.
"It was another incredibly tough and fun day today," Bjornsen said in a news release from the U.S. Ski Team. "We're one fourth of the way into the tour, and I'm loving the burn. It's so fun to tell your brain that everyone else is in an equal amount of pain, so let's do this!
"I had spectacular skis and a ton of fun chasing Jessie around the course. She and I have opposite strengths, so sometimes I was charging, sometimes her, but I think that we really helped each other today."
Bjornsen's brother Erik, who is also an APU skier, placed 30th in the men's 30-K, trailing Americans Andy Newell (19th) and Simi Hamilton (27th).
Saturday's wins went to Norway's Therese Johaug and Martin Sundby.
In the five-race Tour of China that began Friday with a sprint race in Yanji, Jilin Province, APU skiers Lauren Fritz placed fourth and Holly Brooks placed fifth in the women's final.