Nordic skiing: Torchia, Frankowski win Birkie classic Sunday in Cable

Skiers had strong weekends after placing in the top 5 on Saturday.

Ian Torchia of Rochester, Minnesota, won the 47th American Birkebeiner classic race Sunday in Cable, Wisconsin. (Photo courtesy of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation)
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Ian Torchia of Rochester, Minnesota, and Rosie Frankowski of Anchorage, Alaska, were the men’s and women’s winners of the 47th American Birkebeiner classic race Sunday in Cable, Wisconsin.

Torchia, 24, dominated the men’s race, completing the 43-kilometer course in 2 hours, 39 minutes, .9 seconds, more than seven minutes ahead of runner-up Johnny Hagenbuch of Ketchum, Idaho (2:46:18.0), and Tyler Kornfield of Anchorage (2:47:08.9).

Hagenbuch won Saturday’s Birkie freestyle race while Kornfield was third and Torchia was fifth as racers were going for an unprecedented Birkie double as the elite freestyle and classic races were held on different days this year due to COVID-19 protocols in place.

Frankowski, 29, won the women’s race in 2:51.44.0, with Alayna Sonnesyn of Plymouth, Minnesota, second in 2:52:42.1, with the two women swapping places from Saturday’s freestyle finish. Katie Feldman of Ketchum was third in 3:07:08.4 after finishing fourth on Saturday.

With fresh snow covering the classic course, the race was slow and challenging Sunday. And unlike normal years, it was a looped course starting and finishing at the American Birkebeiner Trailhead in Cable rather than finishing on Main Street in downtown Hayward.


Classic podium finishers received $1,000 for first, $500 for second and $250 for third.

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