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Brennan, Bjornsen Lead US in OPA Cup 15/30k Mass Start

OPA Cup racing continued in Slovenia with a 15/30km classic mass start.

Rosie Brennan was the top American in 5th, finishing 1:23 behind winner Barbara Jezersek, a regular on the Slovenian World Cup team. Jezersek is coming off a 19th place finish in the World Cup skiathlon last weekend in Lahti and bested Aurelie Dabudyk (FRA) by just a hair under 10 seconds in the 15k on Sunday.

Alenka Sebasek gave the host ocuntry two-thirds of the podium, placing third, 24 seconds behind Dabudyk.

Becca Rorabaugh placed 7th, 34 seconds behind Brennan.

Chelsea Holmes was 12th and Lauren Fritz 20th of 21 finishers.

In the men’s 30k race, Marco Muehlematter (SUI) bested Ivan Perrillat Boiteux (FRA) by seven seconds.

Erik Bjornsen was the top American in 23rd, +4:20.

Matt Gelso was 27th, Brian Gregg 28th, Reese Hanneman 30th, Tad Elliott 37th and Peter Kling 38th for the US.

Forty-three men finished the race.

On Saturday, Cebasek edged out Jezersek by just .6 seconds to win the 5k freestyle race.

Holmes was 10th for the US +31 seconds.

Rorabaugh was 15th, Brennan 18th and Fritz 24th.

In the men’s 10k Perrillat Boiteux earned a six-second victory over countryman Mathias Wibault.

Wibault was third in the 30k.

Tad Elliott finished 15 seconds off the podium in 5th and was 39 seconds behind the winner.

Matt Gelso was 21st, Brian Gregg 23rd, Erik Bjornsen 37th, Peter Kling 50th and Reese Hanneman 52nd in the 53-man field.

The OPA Cup season concludes next weekend with the OPA Cup Finals in Toblach, Italy.

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