Rosie Brennan skis into 2nd place in XC World Cup in Norway

TRONDHEIM, Norway — In the final race of a three-race series in Trondheim, Norway, the Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team athletes were once again back on top with Park City’s Rosie Brennan on the podium in second, and Jessie Diggins only seconds behind in fourth in the 10k classic on Sunday.

Brennan reaffirmed her dominance, showcasing her versatility in every event. Starting conservatively, Brennan accelerated mid-race and never relinquished her podium position. At the 5.2k mark, she trailed the leader by a mere 10 seconds, closing the gap the more she skied. In the final stretch, Brennan put down a powerful sprint, crossing the line in second place, just two seconds ahead of Sweden’s Ebba Andersson and 19 seconds behind the day’s victor, Victoria Carl of Germany. Diggins was just off the podium in fourth place.

Reflecting on the team’s exceptional performance, Brennan said to the U.S. Ski Team, “It’s been an incredibly strong start from our entire team. It’s not something we planned, but we’ll gladly take it. Our team is in excellent shape, skiing well, and things are moving in a positive direction.”

After four weeks of racing, the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team closed out the first period of racing with one of the program’s most impressive starts to a season in history. Throughout the 10 races, spanning four different venues and three countries, the team landed on the podium nine times, in both individual and team pursuits. Overall, the 23-athlete-strong roster is third in the Nations Cup standings, ahead of powerhouse countries like Finland, Germany, France and Italy.

In the battle for the overall title, Jessie Diggins maintains her lead, with Brennan closely trailing in third, a historic positioning with two Americans occupying the top two spots. Individually, Brennan, currently ranked second in the World Cup overall, has consistently finished within the top ten in every race of the season but one.

As the team looks back on the achievements of period one, there is much to celebrate, multiple podiums, outstanding skis in each race, career-best results and a strong sense of camaraderie within the team.

“Podiums are always fun for the team, and even when it’s coming from just one athlete,” Matt Whitcomb, U.S. Cross Country Ski Team head coach, said in a statement. “So imagine what it feels like to come out of period one with five athletes that have stood on it. And beyond that, we have new athletes in the top 30 and top 15 for the first time. We’ve built some depth, and that depth is like a ladder of possibility that extends down to the racers back home. More American athletes know they can do it. And they are going to. You’ll hear their names soon.”

Anticipation builds for the upcoming Tour de Ski, with the American team emerging as the one to watch, but for now, the entire team will take a break for the holidays.

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