Sadie Bjornsen © Reese Brown
March 19, 2017 (Quebec City, Que.) – An all-star line up and perfect sunny skies saw the USA’s Sadie Bjornsen ski a phenomenal final race to claim 10th in the women’s 10 km Pursuit as Norway’s Marit Bjoergen showed once again why she is a legend taking the win and the mini series over teammate Heidi Weng in second and Sweden’s Stina Nilsson in third. Weng had already captured the overall World Cup title and Crystal Globe for the first time in her career.
Bjoergen and Weng © Reese Brown
Women's podium (l-r) Weng 2nd, Bjoergen 1st, Nilsson 3rd © Reese Brown
“It feels good to end the season on a good note with a top 10 tour finish,” said Bjornsen who had the 5th fastest time of the day. “I wanted to follow Nicole Fessel and Charlotte Kalla who was going so hard at the start. Some of the girls who went in front of me let her [Fessel] get away. I was ‘No! I can’t let her go’. I did a full sprint to get to her. The highlight of today was trying to stay with Kalla.”
Kalla leads Bjornsen © Reese Brown
Kalla ended up winning the sprint between the three of them but for Bjornsen it was mission accomplished. “I am not yet at the point that I can be the one charging from the front, but I feel confident to know I can ski with one of the strongest skaters in the world. That gives me great confidence, excitement, and hope for the coming season of training.”
Emily Nishikawa © Reese Brown
Emily Nishikawa was the top Canadian on home turf in 38th and was all smiles at the finish. “The fans were great and it’s so cool to race at home. Alex has had such a super season and the women’s team is coming together so all together it’s great to finish at home. The highlight of the season was our top 10-relay result, the second best we’ve ever achieved,” said Nishikawa.
Jessica Diggins © Reese Brown
Bjornsen’s teammate Jessica Diggins came to the line after a night of stomach cramps, nausea and not much sleep. “It was pretty bad in the warm-up,” she explained afterwards,” But I thought I had to race to get things pumping. Normally I’m the energizer bunny getting people on their feet again. I just decided I was going for it and really liked skiing with Stephanie [Boehler].” Diggins beat the German by two seconds in their sprint to finish 16th on the day.
Sophie Caldwell © Reese Brown
American Sophie Caldwell followed Diggins in 36th with Nishikawa 38th, Cedrine Brown (Can) in 40th, USA’s Rosie Brennan in 42nd, Caitlin Patterson (USA) in 43rd, Chelsea Holmes (USA) was 45th, Julia Kern finished 46th, and Canada’s Dahria Beatty skiing to 50th.
(l-r) Holmes, Kern, Guiney © Nordic Focus
Joining Weng on the final overall podium were Krista Parmokoski of Finland in second and Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg who finished third overall.
Final World Cup Women's overall podium (l-r) Parmakoski 3rd, Weng 1st, Oestberg 3rd © Nordic Focus
Pursuit results here.
Fastest of the day here.
Overall WCup standings here.