U.S. Ski Team members Liz Stephen and Noah Hoffman both raced to third in the Fonna Upp uphill run, the first race of four at the Toppidrettsveka festival on Thursday in Aure, Norway.
Men and women started together in the hill climb, and Norway’s Didrik Tønseth was first to the top in 28:53.5. Sweden’s Martin Johansson placed second, 13 seconds back, and Hoffman was 1:02.5 back in third (video by U.S. coach Jason Cork).
Norway’s Therese Johaug was the fastest woman and 10th overall (another video), winning in 31:18.8, more than 1 1/2 minutes faster than teammate Heidi Weng in second. Stephen reached the summit as the third woman, 2:42.3 behind Johaug.
Also for the U.S., Caitlin Gregg placed ninth, 5:40 back from Johaug, and Simi Hamilton was 13th in the men’s race, 2:40 behind Tønseth. Canada’s Devon Kershaw placed 16th (+2:59.9), as did U.S. sprinter Kikkan Randall. Her teammates Sophie Caldwell and Jessie Diggins placed 20th and 23rd, respectively, and Andy Newell (U.S.) was 40th.
Racing continued Thursday afternoon with a classic rollerski sprint — complete with a prologue and heats.
Caldwell qualified 21st and went on to make the final, where she finished fifth overall.
Norway swept the top three in the women’s final, which Weng won, Kathrine Harsem placed second, and Barbro Kvaale was third. Germany’s Sandra Ringwald was fourth, Caldwell fifth and Italy’s Greta Laurent sixth.
In the all-Norwegian men’s final, national-team member Petter Northug redeemed himself from finishing 81st of 86 in the hill climb, besting teammate Eirik Brandsdal for the win. Simen Lanes of Team Jobzone was third, his teammate Timo Andre Bakken was fourth, Ola Vigen Hattestad came back from last in the hill climb to place fifth, and Simen Østensen of Team United Bakeries was sixth.