The cross-country skiing season is just barely underway, and already two-time Olympian Sadie Maubet Bjornsen has a podium finish.
World cup competition kicked off on Friday in Ruka, Finland, with the men’s and women’s classic sprint, and Maubet Bjornsen showed the results of her off-season work with a third-place finish.
Maubet Bjornsen, formerly Bjornsen, married Frenchman Jo Maubet in July in Alaska.
Maubet Bjornsen cruised through the heats, placing first in her quarterfinal heat and second in her semifinal, which included teammate Sophie Caldwell placing 11th overall. She was the only American to make it through to the final and finished with a time of 3 minutes, 9.86 seconds. She was just 2.77 seconds behind winner Maiken Caspersen Falla of Norway, who finished in 3:07.09. Sweden’s Jonna Sundling was second with a time of 3:09.42.
It was the same position Maubet Bjornsen finished in the 1.2-kilometer classic sprint as part of a three-day Norwegian National that several members of Team USA took part in last week as final preparation for the competition season. She was also fifth in the 10K classic at that event.
At this time last year, Maubet Bjornsen also scored a third-place finish in the women’s freestyle sprint in Lillehammer, Norway.
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This is the 10th world cup podium of her career, six of which are individual. She finished each of the past two seasons ranked eighth in sprint points.
The weekend continues on Saturday with a 10K classic for the women and 15K classic for the men, and will finish on Sunday with a 10K freestyle pursuit for the women and a 15K freestyle pursuit for the men.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic and Paralympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.