Ruka 10km Classic (with full video): Klæbo Leads Norwegian Sweep; Ogden Paces American Men in 28th


Race: Men’s 10-kilometer interval-start, Ruka, Finland. Yes, a 10km men’s classic race. It was the first such race on the World Cup since the 2017 Tour de Ski, nearly six years ago.

Is there embedded video you can watch? Yup! From Finnish broadcaster YLE:

What happened at the front of the race: Looks like Klæbo is doing just fine, hamstring tendon or otherwise. Johannes Høsflot Klæbo won for the second day in a row, crossing the line in a brisk 21:46.1 to take his lifetime 50th World Cup victory. He extends his own all-time record for men’s World Cup wins; Bjørn Dæhlie is in second place with 46, and Alexander Bolshunov is closest among active(ish) skiers with 28.

Pål Golberg made the podium for the second day in a row, moving up from third in yesterday’s sprint to finish second today, a healthy 20.5 seconds back. Martin Løwstrøm Nyenget in third (+28.0) completed the all-Norwegian podium.

What happened for the Americans: Ben Ogden led the way for the U.S. to finish 28th (+1:23.9), his first ever World Cup top-30 in a distance race. His previous high was 44th, in a 15km classic in last year’s Tour de Ski. Ogden was the fourth U23 athlete in today’s race.

Ogden was followed by Zak Ketterson in 31st (+1:24.6), Hunter Wonders in 39th (+1:31.6), Gus Schumacher in 48th (+1:40.3), and Scott Patterson in 54th (+1:45.7). It was Ketterson’s second-best individual World Cup result of his career, behind a 15th in the 15km skate in Falun last March. It was also the second-best individual result of Wonders’s World Cup career; he was 36th in a 15km classic in Falun in January 2021.

N.b., World Cup points are being awarded for every position in the top-50 this year.

What do the athletes think about today? Great question. Here are some thoughts from Zak Ketterson, Scott Patterson, and Gus Schumacher.

Here’s Scott Patterson, via email, speaking to his goals for today as the first race of the season:

“Today’s goal was mostly to shake the cobwebs out a bit for me.  I have historically struggled a bit with the Ruka classic individual and today was no different. While it was my first 10 km race in a while, I don’t think that played a huge factor.  Mostly it just takes me some time to get into racing, shed the load of summer and fall training and especially teach myself how to classic ski on snow again. The unique nature of the 5 km course in Ruka also doesn’t seem to help.  I’m moving on from today and looking forward to a little longer skate race tomorrow. Skating has been feeling better recently and I hope to be able to move up lots in the pursuit.”

Here’s Gus Schumacher, via text, speaking in part to what he characterized on Strava as “slow starting the season”:

“My approach in the last month or so has been to carry a pretty significant training load into the start of the season in an effort to peak later in the season than in the past. Being on snow is good for the technical aspects, but yeah, I’ve raced once since August so I have some sharpening to do. That’s what I mean by a slow start. I feel fit, but lacking that race intensity.

“And even that being the plan it’s kinda tough when the racing actually doesn’t go that well. But it’s all part of the plan!”

Strava! See if you can figure out when the warmup ended and the race began from this heart rate profile. (photo: screenshot from Zak Ketterson Strava)

And here’s Zak Ketterson, in comments on his publicly available Strava profile:

“My best World Cup classic race so far! But I apparently lost a ton of time in the last 2km. Insanely tight margins with 10 sec faster putting me in the top 20. Definitely still need to dial in the pacing for 10km vs 15km. Pretty happy with it considering the disaster of a classic race last week in Beitostølen. Maybe your boy will be able to Classic ski again this year after all.”


— Gavin Kentch

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