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Brennan Seventh In Holmenkollen Skifestival 30k Classic

By Tom Horrocks
March, 5 2022
Rosie Brennan
Rosie Brennan finished seventh at the Holmenkollen Skifestival Saturday in Oslo, Norway. (Thibaut/NordicFocus)

Rosie Brennan once again proved she is one of the best all-around cross country athletes in the world, leading the Davis U.S. Cross Country Team with a seventh-place finish in the 30k classic at the Holmenkollen Skifestival in Oslo, Norway, Saturday.

Norway’s Therese Johaug, who won the race 11 years ago and announced her retirement Friday, won the FIS World Cup Cross Country race with a time of 1:19.22. Finland’s Krista Parmakoski was second, 19 seconds back. Sweden’s Jonna Sundling was this at 32 seconds off Johaug’s time. Brennan was 1:12 back. In her first career 30k classic, Julia Kern was 23rd; Hailey Swirbul was 26th, and Caitlin Patterson was 30th.

For Brennan, who finished in the top six in all six events at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Saturday’s race was significantly different from the 30k freestyle at the 2022 Games, with thousands of fans cheering fans lining the course.

“This race was nothing like Zhangjiakou,” Brennan said of the cold, wind-swept race on the final day of the Games. “It is tough to even compare the two. 30ks are always an adventure, and I am thrilled to have put together two strong ones in each technique.

“I had a great ride with Ebba (Andersson) and had an enjoyable time skiing out there today,” Brennan added, noting that the events of the week led to quite a bit of pre-race anxiety. “It's also been a stressful week for a variety of reasons…I am really proud of giving myself another chance to put together a good race here and to have managed the stress and anxiety well enough to do so.”

Jessie Diggins, who won the silver medal in the 30k freestyle at the 2022 Games and is currently second in the overall FIS Cross Country World Cup standings, was among the thousands of cheering spectators Saturday. 

​​”My heart wanted to race Holmenkollen, but taking care of my body comes first…and my body is still tired from the last 30km!” Diggins posted on Instagram.

Up next, the men compete in the 50k classic Sunday at the Holmenkollen Skifestival. Staring for the U.S. are Scott Patterson, Adam Martin, Zak Ketterson, Hunter Wonders, and John Steel Hagenbuch.

Unfortunately, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the FIS Cross Country World Cup Finals scheduled for March 18-20 in Tyumen, Russia, have been canceled. Next weekend’s FIS Cross Country World Cup in Falun, Sweden, will be the season's final event and will include the first-ever mixed team sprint and mixed team relays.

“I am really bummed Finals was canceled,” Brennan said, “but it will be fun to end the season with the mixed relay event as that is a new one for us!”

Women’s 30k classic