Aspen’s Simi Hamilton on World Cup podium |

Aspen’s Simi Hamilton on World Cup podium

Staff report
Aspen native Simi Hamilton, left, races onto the World Cup podium Saturday in the 1.3-kilometer sprint at Toblach, Italy.
Noah Hoffman / U.S. Ski Team |

Simi Hamilton, who grew up running, racing and skiing in Aspen, vaulted onto the World Cup podium Saturday in the cross country sprints at Toblach, Italy.

Hamilton led the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team in the 1.3-kilometer freestyle sprint.

He finished just .48 of a second behind Italy’s Federico Pelligrino.

Great Britain’s Andrew Young finished third.

The finish was Hamilton’s first World Cup podium since winning a sprint in 2013.

His podium finish also was only the sixth sprint podium in U.S. Ski Team history.

Hamilton’s previous win came in Lenzerheide, Switzerland during the Tour de Ski.

“Simi didn’t feel that great in the qualification but felt strong in the heats,” said Chris Grover, the head cross country coach for the U.S. Ski Team. “He’s been in excellent form all year and after last weekend’s broken pole in Davos (Switzerland), he finally had a chance to demonstrate his ability today.”

Grover said Hamilton followed the game plan to perfection.

“He executed his race plan perfectly from quarterfinals to final,” Grover said, “relaxing early on in each heat and then making big moves to get himself to the front in the middle of the course and on the last uphill before the finish.”

The next sprint race on the World Cup tour will be in Switzerland where Hamilton scored his World Cup win.

Aspen’s Noah Hoffman is scheduled to compete in the 15K freestyle race today in Toblach.

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