It was a fast day for the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team on the fourth stage of the Tour de Ski in Oberstdorf, Germany. Jessie Diggins was back in the top 10, crossing the line in eighth place and Ben Ogden ended the pursuit in the top 20, finishing in 13th place.
For the Americans, the men packed half of the team into the top 30, and for the women, every single athlete was in the top 50. In a familiar site of the Tour, Johannes Klaebo of Norway won his fourth straight race and Frida Karlsson of Sweden was first for the women.
Let's Talk Times
The real magic of the day was reflected in the individual times. While the placement of where an athlete finished among the pursuit pack count for FIS points and overall Tour de Ski rankings, the overall place fails to reflect how fast they actually skied the course compared to their competitors.
Alayna Sonnesyn, who is now in 37th place for the Tour de Ski rankings, had the fifth fastest time of day among the women. If this was not a pursuit race, Sonnesyn would have been fifth overall, a career-best result and PR for the young American skier.
"I felt so good. I am very happy with the day! I gave it my all and I am proud of that," said Sonnesyn, post-race. "I hope I am ready for three more races, but looking back I am really proud of my pacing through this Tour and today's result exceeded my expectations. I am excited for more!"
Based on overall pursuit results, Diggins was eighth, Rosie Brennan was 13th, Julia Kern 17th, Sophia Laukli 30th and Alayna Sonnesyn 31st. However, digging deeper into individual times, Diggins won the day, Brennan was 10th, Kern sixth and Laukli eighth - noting that all five American women ranked within the top ten for the day.
"I knew my body was fine the whole time; I just had to keep believing and trusting the plan. I finally had great skis and that's really what I needed. I was so grateful to our wax techs - to have the skis that I needed to have a competitive day," said Diggins. “But there are things that are more important than racing. I think being kind and being a good teammate is more important and I am proud to say that this is what I have been focused on this whole time throughout the Tour.”
For the men's overall pursuit result, the Americans packed the top 30. Ogden led the charge in 13th, Scott Patterson 17th, Hunter Wonders 19th, Gus Schumacher 26th, Zak Ketterson 55th, Finn O'Connell 56th, JC Schoonmaker 69th and Kevin Bolger 71st.
Yet, based on individual times, Patterson crossed the line in 4th place, Wonders 19th, Ogden 24th, Schumacher 26th, O'Connell 54th, Ketterson 61st, Schoonmaker 67th and Bolger 68th.
"It was good today. I was bib 29, but we caught the lead pack within three laps and then it turned into a cat-and-mouse game," said Patterson in a post-race reflection. "But, it turned out alright and I was right there in the mix. I am feeling good - the next two races will be fun and with my training and background, when people start getting tired, I start moving up the ranks, so I am excited for Val di Fiemme!"
Now, the team will travel to Val di Fiemme, Italy for the last three stages of the Tour de Ski.
Start List Women
- Jessie Diggins
- Rosie Brennan
- Julia Kern
- Sophia Laukli
- Alayna Sonnesyn
Start List Men
- Ben Ogden
- JC Schoonmaker
- Scott Patterson
- Hunter Wonders
- Zak Ketterson
- Gus Schumacher
- Kevin Bolger
- Finn O’Connell
TOUR DE SKI SCHEDULE
Val Müstair, Switzerland
Stage 1 - Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022: 1.5k freestyle sprint
Stage 2 - Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023: 10k classic pursuit
Stage 3: Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023: 10k classic interval start
Stage 4: Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023: 20k freestyle pursuit
Val di Fiemme, Italy
Stage 5: Friday, Jan. 6, 2023: 1.5k classic sprint
Stage 6: Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023: 15k classic mass start
Stage 7: Sunday, Jan 8, 2023: 10k freestyle final climb mass start
HOW TO WATCH
All races will be LIVE with commentary on skiandsnowboard.live.
Stage 5, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023
4:00 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup, Tour de Ski, 1.5k Classic Sprint, men's and women's, qualifiers, Val di Fiemme, Italy, streaming on skiandsnowboard.live
6:30 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup, Tour de Ski, 1.5k Classic Sprint, men's and women's, finals, Val di Fiemme, Italy, streaming on skiandsnowboard.live
Stage 6, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023
5:45 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup, Tour de Ski, 15k Skate Mass Start, Women's, Val di Fiemme, Italy, streaming on skiandsnowboard.live
7:30 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup, Tour de Ski, 15k Skate Mass Start, Men's, Val di Fiemme, Italy, streaming on skiandsnowboard.live
Stage 7, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023
5:00 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup, Tour de Ski, 10k Skate Mass Start Final Climb, Women's, Val di Fiemme, Italy, streaming on skiandsnowboard.live
6:45 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup, Tour de Ski, 10k Skate Mass Start Final Climb, Men's, Val di Fiemme, Italy, streaming on skiandsnowboard.live