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Strong efforts propel Anchorage’s Brennan, Maubet Bjornsen in World Cup pursuit race

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: January 19
  • Published January 19

Rosie Brennan and Sadie Maubet Bjornsen of Anchorage both climbed in the results Sunday in a World Cup pursuit race in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.

Brennan had the day’s 12th-fastest time and Bjornsen had the 15th fastest, which allowed Brennan to climb from 17th to 13th and Bjornsen to go from 26th to 20th in the pursuit format.

The pair was among three American women in the top 20 – Minnesota’s Jessie Diggins slipped to 10th place after finishing fourth in Saturday’s 10K freestyle.

Brennan said conditions were better Sunday than Saturday, when skiers raced on sugary snow.

“Today was a much better day for me,” she said by email. “I had much better energy and really enjoyed skiing today. I had a really solid group that I started with and we stuck together throughout the race picking people off in front of us.”

Brennan and Bjornsen are both coming off top-15 finishes in the demanding Tour de Ski – seven races in nine days and two countries – and Bjornsen got sick afterward. She has been in the top 10 of most of her races this season, making Saturday’s 26th-place finish was one of her worst of the season.

She rebounded on Sunday.

“An ice tub, a night of sleep, and as much mental positivity as possible left me in a better place today,” she said by email. “I would have loved to have been skiing with one of the front groups today, because I felt I had the strength to hang on, but instead, I worked my way through some girls, and tried my best to catch the group working together in front of me. It was a hefty mission on my own, but I feel really good about the way my body came around.”

In the men’s 15K classic pursuit, Anchorage’s David Norris scored World Cup points for the second straight day by placing 30th. He was 27th on Saturday.

Victories went to Norway’s Therese Johaug and Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov, who both won for the second day in a row.