Patterson Top 10 in World Championships 50K
Scott Patterson led the Davis U.S. Cross Country Ski Team in the last race of the 2021 FIS Nordic Ski World Championships, taking 10th place in the 50k classic.
The results were contentious, with Norwegian Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo through the lights as the original winner, but was disqualified for obstruction after a clash with Alexander Bolshunov of the Russian Ski Federation right before the finish line. Emil Iversen of Norway took the eventual gold medal with Bolshunov second and Simen Hegstad Krueger of Norway third.
Patterson skied a solid race, staying in the lead pack until the fifth lap when he changed skis. “I had to put in a pretty strong surge after that to try and get back in on the leaders,” he said. “I paid for it in the end, but I’m pretty happy. I wish I could have gotten a few more. I was hurting that last lap up that big hill. But it was a good race. I’m pretty psyched with it.”
Patterson said he had been building toward this result all season long, and while it was his career-best individual World Champs result and met his goal of making the top 10, he knows he can do more leading up to Beijing next season. “I’m fit; I’m feeling pretty good,” he said. “I can pull out top 10s and if you’re in the top 10, it’s not that much to get a little further up. I’m psyched. I’m looking forward to a few more races this season and try and see what we can do next year and build into the Olympics.”
David Norris also had a stellar race, skiing into 16th place, despite a slow transition and sticky skis for a few kilometers after the ski exchange. “I picked off some spots in the last 10k, but that gap has already formed,” he said. “It’s a little disappointing to know I could have been fighting for a top 10, but I kind of got stuck with a top 20 battle.”
But Norris was still OK with his result, knowing that it’s been a strange and abnormal year. “Earlier in the year, I didn’t even think I’d race this winter,” he said. “I’m grateful to be here and happy I’m in good shape. I really can’t complain, but I have big goals so I’ll be hard on myself a little bit.”
Gus Schumacher also cracked the top 30, taking 29th place in his first 50k attempt. “This year has been a really big learning year,” reflected Gus. “A lot of it is patience. A lot of it is seeing how everyone does it. I would have loved to do better this week, but I think this morning I was happy to feel like I released a little pressure from myself. I came in today and was ready to absorb it and focus on the future to be at the top in a year.”
Rounding out the Davis U.S. Cross Country Ski Team, Hunter Wonders finished 37th.
The 50k capped off a fantastic two weeks of racing in Oberstdorf, Germany, with strong American results across the board. Next up, the team heads to Engadin, Switzerland for a 10/15k classic and a 30/50k skate race.
HOW TO WATCH
Tuesday, March 9
12:30 a.m. FIS World Cross Country Championships Men’s 50k classic mass start - same-day broadcast, Oberstdorf, GER, NBCSN