SVSEF’s Sammy Smith competes in FIS Cross Country World Cup 23-24 Tour de Ski

Smith part of a successful finish for the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team Tour de Ski

After winning three of the four races at the first U.S. Super Tour in Anchorage, AK in mid-December, Sammy Smith (U.S. Cross Country Development Team, SVSEF XC Gold Team) was offered a spot to compete on the World Cup circuit, in the coveted FIS Cross Country World Cup Tour de Ski and she jumped at the chance.

“The first Super Tour series was a lot of fun!” said Sammy Smith. “Having some of the top Canadian skiers there definitely raised the level of competition and it was a great opportunity to be in such a competitive environment early in the season. I think it was a good start to the year, but I’m definitely hoping to build off the races and carry momentum into the rest of the season.”

And carrying momentum into the rest of the season is exactly what Sammy has done. Arriving in Toblach, Italy after some turbulent travels, Smith competed in the the Tour de Ski, a grueling race series that included seven races in nine days with competitions held in Switzerland and Italy. Inspired by the Tour de France of cycling, the event is held annually in Central Europe and typically has six to nine stages. The combined time (and bonus seconds) of the stages decides the winner of the tour.

Smith, one of six women competing for Team USA finished in 26th overall in one of the most competitive fields seen in recent history. Smith had a standout day on January 4, finishing 22nd overall in the skate sprint. The US women showed their depth with Jessie Diggins winning the overall title, Rosie Brennan and Sophia Laukli in 12th and 14th respectively, followed by Smith in 26th. Teammates Novie McCabe and Julia Kern stopped competing after the fifth stage.

“Sammy (Smith) continued her strong start to the season grinding her way through the Tour de Ski—culminating with the infamous Alpe Cermis Hill Climb to finish 26th overall’, said SVSEF XC Gold Team Head Coach, Chris Mallory. “We are super impressed with her determination and competitiveness to finish the tour and have some great races along the way.”

Sammy’s results from the Tour de Ski were enough to extend her stay in Europe to compete in Period 3 of the FIS World Cups where she’ll be racing in Oberhof, Germany and Gones, Switzerland. Beyond this, Smith will look to the World Juniors in Planica, Slovenia Feb. 5-11 and the Stifel Loppet Cup Feb. 17-18 in Minneapolis, MN. The Stifel Loppet Cup is a COOP FIS Cross Country World Cup, featuring sprint and distance races. The Loppet Cup will bring the world’s best skiers to the United States for the first time in over 20 years.

Officially announced today, Smith will be joined by teammate Peter Wolter who was offered a spot to compete in the World Cups and will soon be headed to Europe.

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PC: Mathias Bergeld