After just missing the top of the podium twice in West Yellowstone last week, second in the 10k classic and another second in the 15k freestyle, Sylvan Ellefson (SSCV/Team Homegrown) got the win he was looking for on Saturday, 12/3.

“In my mind, I wanted a little redemption,” said Ellefson after his race. “I felt pretty good today.”

Saturday brought the first win of a breakout season for Ellefson; so far, he’s landed on the podium in four out of these first six races.

“I think it’s a little bit of a surprise,” he said of his recent success. “But, I had a good summer of training. I bumped up my hours, and I think my body handled that well. Right now I don’t feel like I’m super fast, but I’m feeling good.”

Sinnott came through the finish +12.3 seconds behind Ellefson, with Brian Gregg (CXC) just behind in third (+15.0).

Ellefson is Sinnott’s closest challenger for the overall leader bib, but at 28 points back after Saturday, and a win worth 30 points, Sinnott would have to finish out of the top 19 on Sunday for the bib to possibly change hands.

Though they’re competitors out on the course, the Sun Valley crew has adopted Ellefson this weekend, helping him with wax and logistical support.

“They’ve been absolutely awesome so far,” said Ellefson. “Our skis today were so fast, and I think that definitely played a major part [in the win].”