Liz Stephen working up the pack during the women's cross country skiathlon Saturday at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme. Photo: U.S. Ski Team - Tom Kelly
VAL DI FIEMME, Italy (Feb. 23) - Liz Stephen (E. Montpelier, VT) moved up in the skating portion of the women’s skiathlon to finish 20th at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme. Marit Bjoergen took her second gold leading a Norwegian sweep of the medals. In the men’s skiathlon, Kris Freeman (Andover, NH) topped for the U.S. Ski Team, finishing 41st after muscling through the grueling course for more than an hour. Swiss skier Dario Cologna took home the gold for the men.
Liz Stephen (E. Montpelier, VT) led the U.S. Ski Team finishing 20th in the skiathlon at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.
Stephen was 37th at the changeover from classic to skating, moving up rapidly for the top 20 finish.
Swiss skier Dario Cologna took home the gold for the men.
QUOTES Liz Stephen I was not so satisfied with the classic, but I just said it’s a long race and if you give it all in the classic the skate doesn’t go so well. This course is really hard so wanted to make sure that I didn’t blow up on the classic because I know skating is a little easier and better for me these days anyway. So I held in and held tough.
The skate felt great. I’ve been having trouble having the energy to push over the tops of hills so my strategy today was to take it easy on the bottom of the hill more so I could really hurt people on the top. I think I did that the best I could today and I’m excited for the week to come. Certainly the expectations are greater than the result was today, but I’m happy with a top 20 at World Champs.
Ida Sargent The classic felt really good, so I was psyched for that. I had awesome skis and tried to stay really conservative just because it’s a long race.
Skate: I kind of cramped up a little bit in the stomach and my skate distance just isn’t there yet so some of those steep hills were really tough. But classic felt great, so I have to be happy with that.
On the race’s fast pace Yea it felt pretty fast. I was bib 49 so I kind of started back there, but I was able to move up pretty well without going too hard too quickly. It was fast, but I just tried to do my own thing and remember it was 15k.
Kris Freeman Classic was not that hard. I can always gauge how the race is going to go as the race goes. You only have so much to burn, and I burned a little too much in the classic race and by the time I got to the skating my legs were a little wobbly. I didn’t have it in the skate portion.
On the key to the 30k course Maintain your energy, and my energy lasted about 20k.
It’s encouraging that I lasted as long as I did, but at this stage of the game I’m not looking for anything but a top result and this clearly wasn’t it.