Ben Ogden leads Americans in opening race at Toppidrettsveka –

Athletes run on a causeway approaching Hitra at Toppidrettsveka 2022. (Photo: screenshot from NRK broadcast)

After technical work on snow comes the racing effort on roller skis. Running Thursday night in Hitra, Norway, Ben Ogden led four American men as he placed 18th out of nearly 100 in the 54-kilometre classic mass start, the opening race of the Toppidrettsveka race series in the Trondheim region in western Norway.

Ogden finished 50.2 seconds behind the winner and 10.4 seconds off the podium. He was followed by fellow USST athletes Finn O’Connell in 47th (+3:57.4), Johnny Hagenbuch in 55th (+6:38.4) and JC Schoonmaker in 65th (+9:26.0 ). Kevin Bolger and Walker Hall are also on this trip and could participate in future races.

Max Novak makes the winning move, Toppidrettsveka 2022. (photo: screenshot from NRK broadcast)

The race was won by Sweden’s Max Novak in 2:03:13.6, after he and Norway’s Gjøran Holstad Tefre pulled away from a 17-man chasing group in the final 10 kilometres. Novak used powerful acceleration on a small 1.8 kilometer climb to pull a small gap on Tefre, which he held until the finish. Tefre finishes 1.8 seconds behind Novak. Mikael Gunnulfsen of Norway won a group sprint to finish third (+39.8).

Perhaps the best-known retired skier in the field, 36-year-old Petter Northug finished 38th (+2:53).

The women’s race, in which no American women participated (there are no American women on this training trip), was won by Norwegian Astrid Øyre Slind, who covered 54 km in 2:10 :40.5, more than 12 minutes ahead of Lotta Udnes Weng. in second. Friend of the program Frida Karlsson finished in 2:25:31.2 to place fifth in a field of twelve women.

Ben Ogden crosses the finish line in 18th, back middle, to the right of the athlete in the yellow top. (photo: screenshot from the NRK broadcast)

United States Ski Team Head Coach Matt Whitcomb was enthusiastic about the team’s fitness and recent pre-race training.

“Everyone is healthy,” Whitcomb wrote in an email to multiple media outlets Thursday morning, “and we all had one of the best training camps of my coaching career. The guys had a blast together. We trained hard, both on and off the snow. As we train for these races, everyone feels ready to race. Training during summer races is a common approach.

Thursday’s races started at 6:20 p.m. local time, with the male winner finishing at 8:23 p.m. and the last American not finishing until after 8:30 p.m., suggesting a late night for all after recovery time, recovery and coming . down from the top of the run.

Landscape shot, Toppidrettsveka 2022. (photo: screenshot from NRK broadcast)

Competition continues in western Norway with a classic sprint on Friday followed by a 10/15km split start skating race on Saturday morning and a classic 5/10km pursuit on Saturday afternoon. FasterSkier will publish a more detailed article after the final race. The races will be broadcast on NRK, if you can access the Norwegian broadcaster from where you live, and can be streamed live on the event’s Facebook page.

Results: Men | women

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