Schoonmaker Seventh, Ogden Ninth, Brennan 10th in Val di Fiemme Classic Sprint
The U.S. Cross Country Team raced the first of three races in Val di Femme, Italy to kick off the last stop of the FIS Tour de Ski with JC Schoonmaker leading the way for the Americans, finishing seventh, Ben Ogden ninth, and Rosie Brennan 10th.
To begin the 1.5k classic sprint at the site for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games, three men and three women qualified in the top 30 to advance to the next round. On the fast and hilly course, Ogden showed his speed by qualifying third, Schoonmaker was fifth and Zak Ketterson 15th - advancing to the heats for the first time in his World Cup career. For the women, Brennan led the way in qualifiers in 13th, Jessie Diggins in 16th, and Julia Kern in 24th to advance to the quarterfinal heats.
Onto the heats - it's a game of mere inches. In the first heat for the men, Ogden skied smart and drafted Haavard Moseby of Norway through the tracks of the 1.5k course. With only meters to go, Ogden made the move and took the inside line of the critical left turn on the course and catapulted his way into a second-place finish. JC Schoonmaker, who qualified fifth in the qualifiers, made a move late in the heats to finish second - this led him to advance to the semifinal heats.
For women, Brennan skied smart throughout the entire first quarterfinal heat and pushed the pace alongside Krista Parmakowski of Finland and Nadine Faehndrich of Switzerland. Sprinting to the finish, Brennan was third in her heat, moving on to the semifinals with her lucky loser time. Diggins and Kern raced together in heat five but did not advance to the semifinals.
In the semifinal heats, Ben Ogden charged into the lead with the eventual winner of the day, Johannes Klaebo, in tow. "They were kind of slow in the beginning, and I was just like 'Oh, I'm going to do it, I'm just gonna try,'" Ogden said of his mid-race effort that had him looking back to see the damage he inflicted. "I went as hard as I could, got to the top of the hill, and looked back and it was just me and the King (Kleabo). I was like maybe this could work, but of course, I paid the price in the end."
With fast skiing being the theme of the course, Klaebo made a move late and won the round, with Ogden finishing fifth. "I'll stand by (that effort)," Ogden added. "This was a unique course and a unique situation for me and I had a lot of energy...I might not try it again too soon, but I'm going to keep messing around. I've tried four times now to get into the finals, I mean eight times. I've been making errors doing other things...I try to ski smart and I don't make it, I try to wait till the end, and I don't make it, try to go early and I don't make it...so you have to try everything and see what works."
For Schoonmaker, the theme of fast skiing continued as the young American, finished third in the semifinal after skiing a smart round with some of the sports' veterans.
In the semis, Brennan led the way in semifinal heat one, and even though she did not advance, reflected through a personal Instagram post that she is, "happy to find myself back in the semis today. It's been a slow journey in sprinting but forward is still forward!"
Now, with five out of seven stages of the Tour complete, the team resets for Saturday's 15k classic mass start. Watch LIVE on skindsnowboard.live.
TOUR DE SKI SCHEDULE
Val di Fiemme, Italy
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 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