March 01, 2017 (Lahti, Finland) – Erik Bjornsen finished strong in 18th in the men’s 15km classic race interval start at FIS Nordic World Championships in Lahti, posting the best World Cup distance result of the US XC ski men’s team this season. Bjornsen was also the top North American matching his sister’s performance in yesterday’s women’s 10km classic race – Sadie was 23rd – but managed to move the needle even higher claiming a top-20 finish.
Bjornsen has been a standout for the US men’s team at these championships, teaming up with Simi Hamilton to take 5th place in the men’s classic team sprint. Today’s top-20 solidifies his place at the top of the US distance skiing hierarchy.
“I’ve had this race on my radar for over a year now,” Bjornsen shared in an interview with Trax after the race. “15km classic has always been my favorite discipline.” For the past year, he has been targeting the classic team sprint and the 15km classic, and said that “it all came together here, and I was able to come up with my best result at world champs.”
He was also enthusiastic about the upward trend of US skiing, pointing to the stellar performances on the women’s side. As for the men, he’s optimistic about podiums at next year’s Olympic Games, “we’re excited to be battling with the best.”
Erik Bjornsen Interview by Ahvo Taipele/
American Andy Newell – known as a sprint specialist – finished 50th (+4:21.7), followed by teammate Benjamin Lustgarten in 55th (+4:56.9).
Full results here.