American Rosie Brennan notched her first cross-country skiing World Cup win in her 143rd career start, taking a freestyle sprint in Davos, Switzerland, on Saturday.
Brennan, a PyeongChang Olympian in the longer skiathlon, surprised herself by holding off Slovenian Anamarija Lampic by .28 of a second in the 2-minute, 40-second final. Brennan also had the fastest time in qualifying.
All of her previous individual World Cup top-10s came in events that were 10km or longer. Her best previous sprint finish was 15th.
“It’s wild,” said Brennan, a Park City, Utah, native who turned to skiing after ending a competitive gymnastics career at age 14. “I have never considered myself a sprinter. So to find myself on the podium in a sprint is something I honestly didn’t even dream of.”
Brennan, 32, beat a field that included zero skiers from powerhouses Norway and Sweden, whose teams didn’t travel to Davos amid the coronavirus pandemic.
She became the first American to win a World Cup cross-country race since Jessie Diggins on Feb. 16, 2019 and the sixth or seventh overall. She joined Bill Koch, Kikkan Randall, Simi Hamilton, Sophie Caldwell and Diggins.
Another skier, Alison Owen-Spencer, won a race in 1978 that U.S. Ski and Snowboard counts as a World Cup, but the International Ski Federation does not.
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