American Rosie Brennan notches first cross-country skiing World Cup win

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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 KochKikkan RandallSimi HamiltonSophie 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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